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RANZCP welcomes new Queensland mental health plan

22 November 2018
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists supports the Queensland Mental Health Commission’s new plan, Shifting minds: Queensland Mental Health, Alcohol and Oher Drugs Strategic Plan 2018–2023.

The RANZCP Queensland Branch Chair, Professor Brett Emmerson AM, welcomes the new plan and congratulates Commissioner Mr Ivan Frkovic on leading the conversation on mental health reform in Queensland.

The RANZCP QLD Branch is pleased the plan prioritises early intervention and intensive supports to families at higher risk of experiencing mental health, alcohol and other drugs difficulties.

‘Children and families need support to have the best start in life. We have advocated strongly to government on this issue in our Anti-cyberbullying Taskforce and Youth Justice Strategy submissions,’ said Professor Emmerson.

‘RANZCP has long campaigned to government to enhance the capability and capacity of the mental health workforce and we are thrilled this has been included as a strategic priority in the plan.

‘The plan’s priority to increase literacy around mental health, alcohol and other drugs, and suicide prevention will help address stigma in our community and hopefully encourage people who need help to seek it.’

The RANZCP QLD Branch calls upon the Queensland government to increase funding to mental health services to match the commitments in the new strategic plan.

‘Queensland still has the second lowest per capita spend on mental health services in Australia, and in order for this plan to succeed government must fund it appropriately,’ said Professor Emmerson.

Other key priorities of the plan include:
  • Developing new and expanded alternatives to emergency department presentations and hospital admissions for mental health and alcohol and other drugs emergencies, and suicidal behaviour.
  • Aligning job access, disability employment support and work readiness policy and programs for people with a lived experience by working with state and Commonwealth government agencies.
  • Building on inter-agency initiatives to support Queenslanders with mental illness and problematic alcohol and other drugs use to obtain and sustain safe, secure and affordable housing and pathways out of homelessness.
  • Strengthening and integrating the cross-sectoral approach to problematic alcohol and others drugs use and harm minimisation, and suicide prevention.
  • Co-designing evidence-based strategies with people with a lived experience to change attitudes and practices that entrench stigma, disadvantage and exclusion.
  • Expanding early intervention capacity and responses to address the specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, rural and remote communities, people living with disability and people who identify as LGBTIQ+.

ENQUIRIES: Andy Newton at or +61 437 315 911

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or or the Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467 or