Thanks to our supporters, we now have a federal political party dedicated to mental health and well-being.

While the focus of other political parties is on business, workplace issues, and the environment, our political party is about valuing people as our number one asset. For too long, the political agenda has failed to think about how people experience living in our society, which has made mental health an afterthought. Government policies end up looking like they were intended to benefit something other than the people who make our nation what it is. Our party will always keep real human beings in mind.

Just under a year ago, we became officially registered with the AEC as a federal political party. Rather than rushing into an election at short notice, we made the call to slow down and build a strong foundation for the party before we begin. Although we have been relatively quiet, the Executive and a small team of volunteers across Australia have worked hard to build on our values and a strong vision for the future. Careful steps in the right direction will serve us well as we approach the next federal election in 2019.

Across the first few months, we worked together with our supporters to develop our core values. Bringing everyone together has helped us to create a shared sense of what our party stands for.  The core domains of our values highlight a need for policy reforms aimed at empowerment, equality, better support, and healthy relationships.

The structure and relationships between sections of our party are just as important to us as our policies are. The composition of our Executive is intentionally diverse and our Branches across the states and territories reflect a broad mix of unique individuals. We believe that looking after mental health is a responsibility that belongs to all of us, aiming towards a shared vision that everyone can identify with in one way or another. A lot of our time and energy over the last six months has been on diversifying, finding good ways of working together, and developing a code of conduct to inform the ways we interact. Our thinking is that if we can get that part right in a political party, then we are off to a good start!

Leading up to our first AGM, we’d really like to hear from you, our supporters, about the issues you care about most. A party like ours is only as strong as the people who stand with us. Next year brings excitement, as we plan to make our presence felt by the wider public and share our vision and ideas on policy reform. Please join us as we find a new direction in politics.

Thanks again.
Dr Ben Mullings (Leader)
Australian Mental Health Party

13 comments

  1. Tamara Buckingham-Spray

    Reply

    Thanks for the email and the update of what’s been going on..
    Community support and suicide prevention is definitely the two things that I passionate about. After losing a very close family member 6 years ago. It came to my attention that we need to support people out there in the community more love and understanding are two key factors, when youre feel down hearted and discouraged with life and time and time again people have let you down..
    Any way if there is anything I can help with let me know.
    Thanks again
    Tamara

  2. Judy

    Reply

    Isolation remains a huge part of continuous mental health issues. I feel that there should be more places set up specific to the needs of people living with a mental illness to meet and socialise to help relieve the isolation and to be amongst their peers to discuss issues that they may be experiencing and to feel a sense of community.
    Thanks for all your efforts so far.
    Judy

  3. Chris Ison

    Reply

    What’s needed is a change from the revolving door approach to mental to one that gets people out of the system and living a life worth living.

    The current system of community mental health support services only support the persons disability that was created by their mental health. They do not directly support a persons mental health, instead they leave that to the “professionals”. It is also not in their financial interests to support people in moving beyond their disability, after all they are funded to support.

    With the roll out of NDIS the problem is only getting worse.

    • Andrew Lee

      Reply

      So true, then once the person is trapped in the system the powers that be can cut parts of the services.

      Once I went to a community service and they told me I was too “well” for their program, I think if there were more services focused on as you say getting better and staying better then monitoring people a bit, it would be good.

      The closest thing I’ve seen to what you suggest is a program I did at Neami called “Flourish” where the point is to learn skills about actually re-entering life. About not just surviving but thriving.

  4. Nicole

    Reply

    I have been on both sides, as i have worked with patients of mental health, witnessed friends with mental health problems and have had experiences myself. I feel that there are so many changes that need to be made in order to improve the system! Happy to be contacted about experiences/advice etc if warranted. I have been trying to find a way to become involved and improve the system as i am very passionate about mental health.

  5. Courtney

    Reply

    Thank you to Dr Ben and everyone in AMHP for everything you do, and for keeping up the good fight. It’s incredibly refreshing to see a Party that WANTS to help people and looks after the interests of some of our most vulnerable Australians, like me. Dr Ben is one of the most brilliant minds I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing, and I can’t think of anyone better to lead the fight for the improvement of mental health services.

    Once again, thank you for doing your bit to care for people like me. Words can’t express how much your efforts mean to me personally, as well as the rest of the country.

    – Courtney

  6. Andrew Lee

    Reply

    This party is a good idea and I like the decision to not rush to the election. I think more education not just in schools but in the wider community would help break down stigma. Simple stuff like busting the myth that violence is linked to mental illness, when really most of us are non-violent and more likely to be victims of violence.
    Treatment in Hospital is a big thing people bring up, some people go to worse places where they are treated poorly.

    Also I am completely ignorant on the detail, but whats happening with research into better medications, ones with less side effects or more targeted? So many people I know have struggled with finding ones that work and being misdiagnosed. I also take meds so I’m not just going off other people’s experiences.

  7. Paul McNeela

    Reply

    Tamara, I am on the AMHP National Executive and I’m looking for people who can contribute to the the development of a suicide prevention policy. Something that goes far beyond current suicide prevention efforts. I feel the input of people with your type of experience would be invaluable in crafting a coherent and credible policy. Anyone interested please contact me on mcneelapaul@hotmail.com

  8. Sue Snarkle

    Reply

    Wishing the Party much success. In the current Political Climate where lobbyists and big business push agendas that often aren’t to the benefit of the public, health and mental health in particular seems last on the list. Hopefully, this Party can keep the major Parties in check, so that supporting good mental health becomes a realistic goal of governments, rather than a tokenistic bone they throw out whilst rolling out policies that directly and negatively impact on peoples wellbeing.

  9. Coral Giffin

    Reply

    Thanks for the update.
    Issues I would like to see tackled. 1 the link between centrelink debt demands and suicide. Two men have died and were highly distressed by debt collection agencies for unproven centrelink debts.
    2 Newstart benefits and vulnerable people with mental illness are not a healthy mix.
    3 Income support and stable housing as basic human rights when psychiatric disability prevents people from working full time.
    4 Resources and services for male survivors of child abuse..
    5 addressing the numbers of people with mental illness in the criminal justice systems and jails. In particular the missing men who are given a temporary diagnosis and psychiatric drugs with no referrals or follow up on re entry to the community.
    6 Big pharma and how psych drugs are tested before being made available for use.

  10. Katie

    Reply

    I am looking forward to some big changes!!! Up until last year when my children where getting seen by the ndis I was informed the ndis had funding for mental health. I have suffered mental health illnesses for decades and never heard of any government funding available for mental health. Since the powers of social media are so great, I’ve also learned that I am not the only one facing this issue. I’ve suffered particularly for the last 7 years and had help available that I had no idea about. Help available needs to be advertised anywhere and everywhere. There needs to be a long term mental health program put in place. The government have had over 10 years of supposedly working with mental health organisations but not one long term program exists. I have been doing alot of research the last few months and my most struggling finding is mental health comes second best to our roads. We have a major roads system in place that builds and maintains Australians roads, this has happened for years. More and more funding gets poured at the blink of an eye. There is careful planning and full development of major new roads built. But our government can’t do the same and pay the same attention to someone who suffers on a daily basis. I would rather a few bumps in the road, or a couple more minutes spent on my road trip then millions being poured into tar!! Australians shouldn’t come second best to black tar!! How are we supposed to value our own lives and try get better if our own government won’t give us the value we deserve. I am so looking forward to a party with mental health as it’s main dedication!! About time I say

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *