Discussion paper on mental health first step in overhaul

A DISCUSSION paper, which is the first step in overhauling the state's mental health system to better improve services, is now open for public comment.

A recent review of the Mental Health Act recommended 200 changes be made.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said on Thursday delivering better mental health outcomes for Queenslanders was the ultimate goal of the major review.

"Our recent review of the Mental Health Act revealed it to be overly complex and inconsistent, difficult to understand and administer," he said.

"Almost one in two Queenslanders, aged 16 to 85, will experience a form of mental illness some time in their lives and for carers, families and communities, it is an enormous concern."

Mr Springborg said the changes proposed in the discussion paper were very broad and covered most aspects of the Mental Health Act, including provisions to strengthen community protection from people who had committed unlawful acts.

"We also want to focus the system on treating the acute stage of people's illness and then encourage the person's rehabilitation and recovery," he said.

"Research shows that wherever possible, treatment should be provided in the community rather than in a hospital to get the best patient outcomes."

For further information, or to make a submission, visit www.health.qld.gov.au/mentalhealth