Former CEO of Beyondblue and Executive Director of the Brain and Mind Research Institute, Professor Ian Hickie, will question whether there's the political will to extend mental health services in Australia at the 2010 Open Forum series on Wednesday 25 August at the UWS Parramatta campus.
At the forum, entitled 'The Mental Wealth of Australians - Does Any Government Care?', Professor Hickie will examine the funding commitments of the major political parties to mental health during the election campaign, and how these commitments will shape the future of the sector.
Former Human Rights Commissioner and Disability Discrimination Commissioner, and current Director of Equity and Diversity at UWS, Dr Sev Ozdowski, will act as MC for the evening.
In 2005 Dr Ozdowski and Professor Hickie worked on the 'National Inquiry into Mental Health Services: Not For Service' report, which placed mental health on the national agenda and led to major budget increases.
"Professor Hickie is Australia's most prominent advocate for quality treatment of care for people suffering mental health issues," Dr Ozdowski says.
"He was instrumental in delivering the 'Not for Service' report, which lead to $2.4 billion of commitments from the Howard government to improve mental health services, in particular by providing Medicare rebates for patients visiting mental health professionals.
"Professor Hickie continues to advocate for more mental health funding, especially in rural and regional areas, and it will be interesting to hear how these discussions are progressing."
From 2000 to 2003 Professor Hickie was CEO of the national depression initiative Beyondblue, and in 2006 he received the Australian Honours Award of Member (AM) in the General Division for services to medicine in the development of key national mental health initiatives.
Professor Hickie was appointed to the Prime Minister's Australian National Council on Drugs in 2007, and has led the BMRI as a founding member of the new National Youth Mental Health Foundation ('headspace'). Also in this year, Professor Hickie was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.
From 2008-2013, Professor Hickie is one of the first round of new NHMRC 2008 Australian Fellows. In July 2008 he was appointed to the Federal Health Minister's new National Advisory Council on Mental Health, and in November 2009 he received the Research Australia National Advocacy Award for his work in mental health.
WHAT: UWS Open Forum: 'The Mental Wealth of Australians - Does Any Government Care?'
WHEN: 5.30pm, Wednesday 25 August 2010
WHERE: Building EA, Room G.19, UWS Parramatta Campus, Corner Victoria Road and James Ruse Drive
Source: University Of Western Sydney http://pubapps.uws.edu.au/news/index.php?act=view&story_id=2772