The government has acknowledged that just sending people off for a set number of psychology sessions is an inadequate response, particularly for people with more complex conditions.
The reforms announced today have the potential to change this appalling situation. But ultimately they should be judged on the outcomes they achieve for patients.
Mental illness is about brain function, not individual weakness.
Denis Balibouse/Reuters Pics
Severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and dementia are disorders that are ultimately traced to brain function, and not the manifestations of individual weaknesses.
Sleep problems often occur just before an episode of mental illness.
What your sleep patterns may say about your risk of developing mental illness.
Easton Woodhead has been found not guilty of murder on the basis of mental impairment, but he did not walk free from the court.
Despite the many people with mental illness who go to prison, successful defences of mental impairment are rare. But this is not a 'get out of jail free' card and should be more accessible.
Early intervention and diversion away from the criminal justice system can enable Aboriginal people with mental and cognitive disabilities to live with dignity.
The predictable path into prison for Aboriginal people with disabilities is preventable. Here are some solutions.
Men are more likely to use cannabis because of external factors such as peer use, and women for internal factors such as anxiety.
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug with more than 181 million consumers worldwide, three quarters of whom are men. Why do men and women use cannabis?
Australians are less likely to see a person with an anxiety disorder as warranting professional help.
Australians have come a long way in understanding depression. Most recognise the symptoms and believe in the value of professional help. But anxiety disorders have been left behind.
Easy to access, hard to prove.
If apps aren't proven to make users' mental health better they could end up making it worse.
Therapy, drugs or exercise? The depression treatment journey can be difficult to navigate.
So you're depressed. You know this because a health profession has told you so, or because there is no mistaking the symptoms. Perhaps you've been depressed before. What now?
Professor Pat Dudgeon and Tony Jones, speaking on Q&A, October 5, 2015.
Q&A presenter Tony Jones asked psychologist and research fellow Pat Dudgeon if Indigenous youth suicide rates across the top half of Australia are the highest in the world. We check the research evidence.
People who believe their problems have biogenetic causes tend to opt for biomedical treatments.
Biological and genetic explanations of mental illness can weaken people’s sense of control and optimism, and create a bias against effective psychological interventions.
Some women are very sensitive to small shifts in hormones, others aren’t.
In recent times, we have learnt more about the connections between the “reproductive” or gonadal hormones and the brain, and how they affect not only women but men as well.
The erection of barriers and nets at public sites with a high incidence of suicide results in far fewer deaths – at the site and nearby locations.
Installing barriers and safety nets at public sites with a high incidence of suicide can reduce the number of deaths at these sites by more than 90%.
A new approach should include social supports, such as living skills and assistance obtaining housing and employment.
On closing the asylums, Australia failed to invest in an alternative model of community mental health care. So there are few alternatives between the GP surgery and the hospital emergency department.
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions in the world.
Saying someone has epilepsy is a little like saying they're ill. Its cause can vary from a brain tumour to an inherited genetic condition, the consequence of injury or a disorder affecting the brain.
An easier route?
Man by Shutterstock
People with intellectual disabilities and either behavioural disturbance, autism or dementia are significantly more likely to be prescribed anti-psychotic drugs.
Sandra Bland’s body is removed from a Texas jail.
Waller County Sheriff's Office/via REUTERS
With the rate of suicide on the rise, it's time to train law enforcement officials to recognize the signs of mental illness.
A diagnostic label such as borderline personality disorder, with its stigma and propensity to invalidate the person’s suffering, clearly has many negative impacts.
Diagnostic labels usually describe symptoms, attempt to answer the question of what is wrong, and lead to a treatment plan. But "borderline personality disorder" fails on all three counts.
Parental responsibilities may motivate people with mental illnesses to remain in treatment.
By better supporting at-risk families we can prevent the 'transmission' of mental illness from parents to children.
The many people who are mourning the loss of Phil Walsh should also reflect on what we as a society can do to help families avoid such tragedies.
The killing of Phil Walsh is a tragedy for his family and the football community. It should also lead us to question whether we do enough to support families before the issues they face spiral out of control.