National mental health policy 2008

1.2 Scope

Page last updated: 2009

The National Mental Health Policy 2008 provides a strategic framework to support improved mental health outcomes for people at risk of or experiencing mental health problems or mental illness. It recognises that certain groups in the community, including homeless and disadvantaged people, those exposed to traumatic events, and those with serious or chronic health problems are at heightened risk of mental health problems and mental illness. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples face unique issues in terms of social and emotional well-being, and experience higher rates of mental health problems and mental illness than other Australians.

The National Mental Health Policy 2008 also recognises that certain life stages such as adolescence and old age may be associated with increased risk. It does not seek to replace existing policies, plans and frameworks that target particular groups. Policy directions for individual groups have not been identified. However, specific groups are mentioned by example. The National Mental Health Policy 2008 recognises that the approach for any group should be based on the best available evidence for that group and tailored to their particular needs.