Position statement: Diversity


This position statement outlines the importance of recognising and responding to diversity in the mental health system.
People’s identities and life experiences fundamentally impact on mental health and wellbeing. These identities include, but are not limited to, age, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, disability and health status. An equitable mental health system recognises and responds to this diversity to provide safe and high-quality mental healthcare based on fair access, respect and inclusion for all people.
Key principles:

1. To be safe and effective, mental health services must be delivered and designed in ways that recognise diverse needs and address associated barriers to care.

2. Inclusive practices are beneficial across all levels of the mental health system, including governance, research, and service development and delivery.

3. A human rights-based approach to mental healthcare requires recognition and respect for the rights of communities to exercise choice and control over the development and delivery of services in their communities.

4. Equitable representation of key population groups is vital to achieving equity in mental health and wellbeing outcomes.

5. Empowered communities play a critical role in promoting good mental health and facilitating recovery.

6. A preventative approach to mental health necessarily includes addressing prejudice, stigma, discrimination and social inequities, each of which can adversely impact mental health and wellbeing.

7. Intersectionality is a critical framework for understanding the complexity of overlapping experiences, perspectives, inequalities and inequities that operate within and across key population groups.

8. Inclusive data collection and usage practices that respect principles of data sovereignty and ethics are essential to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of all population groups.

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