policy and governance
The University of Birmingham (UK) has launched a Policy Commission report calling for increased investment in the prevention of poor mental health. The report comes at a time when half of life-long mental health problems show their first signs by the age of 15, and three quarters by the age of 25, and evidence that the rates of mental health problems amongst young people are increasing. The Commission Report, therefore, identifies childhood and adolescence as a critical opportunity to prevent and promote better mental health. In this post, Karen Newbigging discusses the report and implications from this work.
Mental health problems in young people are increasing. Suicide remains a leading cause of death in those aged 15-24 worldwide. The majority of mental health problems develop before the age of 25 but have their roots usually in childhood and teenage years. If left untreated, mental health problems can persist into adulthood with poorer prognosis and greater disability over the life course. In this blog post, Maria Michail, Jo Robinson, Tina Yutong Li, Sadhbh Byrne explore how primary care services can become more accessible and acceptable to vulnerable young people. This post has been co-produced with young people with lived experience of mental-ill health and highlights the importance of making primary care health services more accessible, acceptable and equitable for vulnerable young people.
Two very significant studies were published in May. On the face of it they had little relation to each other, but together they have shattered powerful myths that have brought our social policy to the point of crisis. In this post, Atif Shafique explores what all this might mean, and how we can use this moment to redesign social policy for the better. This post originally appeared on the RSA blog.
This week has seen a significant milestone in the fight against modern slavery as the Modern Slavery Bill was introduced into the Australian parliament. When passed, the law will require companies with an annual turnover of more than $100 million to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and on the actions to address these. Fiona McGaughey (University of Western Australia) and Justine Nolan (UNSW) explain more.
While there is little consensus about the “future of work”, one thing is certain – young people are at the coalface. Young workers experience insufficient opportunities for work experience, a mismatch between work and education, a lack of career management skills and scant entry-level jobs, according to a report from the Foundation for Young Australians. In this post, Shirley Jackson from the University of Melbourne, says we need to stop fixating on increasing the supply of talented young people, and start addressing the lack of demand.
In this post, first published in the Conversation, Professor Peter Whiteford explains the effects of government benefits and taxes on household income, including the impact on income inequality.
As any mother or father will tell you, being a parent is hard. Being successful at it is highly dependent on the personal and material resources of parents, and the emotional, mental and physical needs of children. There is a culture of expectation around parents, especially mothers, to be “good” parents, regardless of their children’s needs or challenges. Some people find parenting very stressful, which can cause a form of psychological strain known as parenting stress. In this post, Brendan Churchill and Lyn Craig from the University of Melbourne, discuss parenting stress and what reduces it.
Since Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s rejection of the 2017 Statement from the Heart, demands for a treaty process across the country have accelerated state-based moves, including in Victoria and the Northern Territory. In this piece Gaynor MacDonald argues the enthusiasm for treaties at the state and territory level is misplaced and that while local treaty action may be a symbol of goodwill, it is the very foundation of the Australian Constitution that must be changed.
Local governments everywhere are being challenged by the move towards better, more meaningful citizen engagement. The new Local Government Bill before the Victorian Parliament will require Councils to have a policy with specific community engagement principles, aiming to, among other things, "enable meaningful and informed engagement." Chris Eddy reflects on his experience as CEO at a local council in Melbourne's inner west.
Over the last few weeks our inboxes have been flooded with privacy reminders, a direct response to the implementation of a new European regulation on privacy, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In this piece, Gerard Brody looks at how Australia’s privacy and data protection laws stack up and finds our laws and enforcement bodies are ill-equipped to protect privacy and consumer rights in a world of “big data”.