The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has welcomed the National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, recently launched by the Australian Government.
Underpinned by eight principles, the strategy is a good first step toward addressing the mental health issues faced by children in Australia, explained RANZCP President, Associate Professor Vinay Lakra.
‘The mental health and wellbeing of our children should be of the utmost importance for our government’, said Associate Professor Lakra.
‘This strategy is the beginning of a long-term plan to address the issues facing not only those seeking mental health support for their children, but also for those who work within the under-resourced and straining system.'
The RANZCP also welcomed the inclusion of workforce as a priority in the National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
‘With only 10% of the psychiatry workforce in Australia being child and adolescent psychiatrists, it is integral that the government begin to work toward a solution to this shortage.
‘It is encouraging to see the strategy include aims to improve mental health and psychiatric workforces through resourcing and capacity.
‘This includes the recently established National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health which aims to assist professionals, organisations and services to develop and increase their support capacity.
‘The RANZCP has long advocated for further collaborative care between medical professionals, allied health professionals, educators and families for children with mental health needs and this strategy is a step towards this goal.
‘It is our hope that the government will also continue to highlight the need for creating and incentivising training opportunities for psychiatrists to work in regional and remote areas.
‘We look forward to working with the Federal Government in implementing the strategy and reinvigorating our children’s mental health system to provide the best care possible, when it’s needed and where it’s needed.'
For all other expert mental health information visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.
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