Titled Reducing distress in the community following the COVID-19 pandemic, the new white paper highlights broader social and economic factors causing distress in the community: stepping away from a mental health specific approach.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a unique health crisis and one that has touched the lives of thousands directly affected by the virus, as well as their loved ones”, said Nieves Murray, CEO of Suicide Prevention Australia.
Reducing distress in the community following the COVID-19 pandemic provides a roadmap of proposals to address the ongoing needs of people during and after the pandemic response measures.
Key recommendations include:
1. Increase the base rate of JobSeeker (NewStart) and extend JobKeeper past September.
2. Build domestic and family violence workforce capacity to screen for mental health issues and suicide risk.
3. Invest in mental health screening and a model of care for retirement villages.
4. Deliver a national survey into the impacts of COVID-19 on the mental health of Australians.
5. Fund screening and tailored suicide prevention training for frontline hospital staff faced with alcohol and other drug issues.
6. Extend the moratorium on evictions and address long-term housing and accommodation needs through the recovery phase of COVID-19.
7. Promote fact-based sources of information on COVID-19.
You can read the full white paper here.