The Productivity Commission’s draft report on Mental Health has recently been released and they are now calling for submissions seeking further information and feedback regarding it, preparatory to its finalization. Details about the report and making submissions is to be found at https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/mental-health#draft..
An obvious deficiency in the report is the paucity of references to sleep which is in defiance of the considerable and growing literature that highlights the close bidirectional relationship between disturbed sleep and mental health problems, including depression and psychotic disorders. The word “sleep” is not mentioned in the report overview, is briefly mentioned in volume 1, mainly in relationship to the “sleeping rough” of homelessness and not mentioned in any meaningful way in volume 2 at all. Try searching the documents for the word “sleep” yourselves.
This is clearly a quite shocking shortcoming of the report that needs to be addressed. We are keen to mobilize our community of sleep professionals to make submissions to the inquiry to ensure that the final report is far more insightful regarding the fundamental links between sleep health and mental health. To this end we are contacting you to urge you to read the report and, if you feel it is appropriate for you to do so, to make a submission based on your knowledge, expertise and insights into this issue.
Please note that the written submissions are due by Thursday 23 January 2020. Again, these can be made at https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/mental-health/draft .
Please also note that the inquiry is currently holding public hearings around the country and are inviting individuals and organisations to register to attend and make a brief verbal submission there. Details are at https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/mental-health/public-hearings
See also the Submission to the Productivity Commissions’ Mental Health Inquiry: On behalf of the Australasian Sleep Association’s Behavioural Management of Sleep Disorders Subcommittee.
We strongly encourage you to do this as well as making your written submission. Note the particular urgency regarding these public hearings which are currently in progress.