Politics — 13 June 2013

Queensland’s first Mental Health Commission has been appointed by the Newman Government, fulfilling a promise to revitalise frontline services for families.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck has accepted this important role and he couldn’t be happier.

“Dr van Schoubroeck will lead the Queensland Mental Health Commission (QMHC) that will launch on 1 July,” Mr Springborg said.

“It will drive reform to improve mental health and minimise the harmful impact of substance abuse in our communities.”

Mr Springborg said that the responsibility for improving outcomes for Queenslanders must be shared across a range of areas, including health, education, housing, employment and justice.

“As the Commissioner, Dr van Schoubroeck will help to shape and strengthen partnerships between stakeholders from the community, government and industry,” he said.

“Most importantly, she will be central to improving the system that supports people living with a mental illness or who misuse substances, as well as their families, carers and support networks.”

Dr van Schoubroeck comes to the Queensland Mental Health Commission directly from the Western Australia Mental Health Commission, which she helped establish a number of years ago.

“She has worked extensively on public sector management and policy, and has engaged extensively with advocacy groups,” he said.

Mr Springborg said the QMHC will be an independent statutory body established under the Queensland Mental Health Commission Act 2013.

“The Commissioner will be supported by the Queensland Mental Health and Drug Advisory Council which will be established as a priority,” he said.

The recently announced state budget allocated $3 million to establish and run the Commission with additional funds to support the Commission in achieving its significant mandate and functions under the Act, including managing the cross-government suicide prevention budget.

“The Commission will also focus on strategies promoting mental health and wellbeing, as well as prevention and early intervention measures across the community and within vulnerable and disadvantaged groups,” Mr Springborg said.

As first appeared in a Media Statement from Minister for Health, Lawrence Springborg, 10 June 2013.


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