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Productivity Commission into Mental Health
contribution by ADHD Australia in April 2019

Scope of the Commission's Review.
'The Commission should consider the role of mental health in supporting economic participation, enhancing productivity and economic growth. It should make recommendations, as necessary, to improve population mental health, so as to realise economic and social participation and productivity benefits over the long term.

Without limiting related matters on which the Commission may report, the Commission should:
* examine the effect of supporting mental health on economic and social participation, productivity and the Australian economy;
* examine how sectors beyond health, including education, employment, social services, housing and justice, can contribute to improving mental health and economic participation and productivity;
* examine the effectiveness of current programs and initiatives across all jurisdictions to improve mental health, suicide prevention and participation, including by governments, employers and professional groups;
* assess whether the current investment in mental health is delivering value for money and the best outcomes for individuals, their families, society and the economy;
* draw on domestic and international policies and experience, where appropriate; and
* develop a framework to measure and report the outcomes of mental health policies and investment on participation, productivity and economic growth over the long term.'

Our key recommendations
ADHD Australia provided information about ADHD and the measures which can be undertaken to improve individual outcomes in education, workplaces and life, to increase productivity and reduce the economic burden this disorder has within Australia.

We focused our argument across the following areas:
* ADHD affects learning and often has other co-occurring mental health conditions
* Why things need to change, especially schools and education
* Untreated ADHD can cause lifetime impairment; however there are effective ways of managing ADHD. Early diagnosis and early interventions are critical
* The impact of what happens at school is incredibly far-reaching and definitive for every child, and even more so if they have ADHD
* Children with ADHD are more likely to be a target for bullying at school
* What can be done now?
* Supporting adults with ADHD in the workplace

In our conclusion we reaffirmed that whilst classification of ADHD is based on behavioural criteria, the disorder is biologically based, with strong genetic transmission. ADHD results in genuine disability, acknowledged by the educational, legal and medical communities.

ADHD Australia asked for government and policy makers to take a leadership role in creating attitudinal change in schools and workplaces which will make the biggest impact. This is especially the case in helping to reduce stigma. This includes implementing actions and culture change to create an inclusive environment and stamp out major issues such as bullying and discrimination.

The timetable for the Productivity Commission is:
* Consultations on the draft report - November 2019 to February 2020
* Final report to Government - 23 May 2020

We will keep the ADHD community informed as updates arise.

Please click here and follow the link to read the ADHD Australia submission.