Past Issues

Mental Health Care in Australia

Malcolm J. Hopwood, M.B.B.S., M.P.M., M.D., F.R.A.N.Z.C.P.

Australia is a prosperous and large country of 23 million people located in the southern Pacifi c Ocean, defi ned as the world’s sixth largest country by geographic area. Nominal gross domestic product (GDP) is relatively high at US$56,000 per capita, making it the 13th highest per capita GDP globally. With this context, this overview is intended to examine this range of components of mental health policy and care in Australia, as well as the environment in which this care is delivered. Australia’s fi rst National Mental Health Policy was released in 1992, and was the result of an unprecedented level of state and Commonwealth government co-operation around mental health policy. This First National Mental Health Plan had a strong focus on issues related to deinstitutionalization and the move to community- based care. The Fifth National Mental health Plan was released in 2017. Australia’s mental health care system is made up of various components with the target of appropriate stepped care. Key components include the public and private specialist mental care systems and the very signifi cant rôle of primary care. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) is the main body representing psychiatrists in Australia and New Zealand. The College is an active member of both the Asian Federation of Psychiatric Associations (AFPA) and the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), with many of its fellows holding offi ce in AFPA and the WPA.
Key Word psychiatry, Australia, The Fifth National Mental Health Plan, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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