Media Release

Wellways Australia has welcomed the appointment of Associate Professor Dr Ruth Vine as Australia’s first Deputy Chief Medical Officer for mental health.

Wellways CEO Laura Collister said the appointment of Dr Vine is a significant step by government to recognise the need for a public health strategy that will give equal weight to both mental and physical health.

“Dr Vine’s appointment recognises that our mental health is central to our quality of life, central to our economic success and interdependent with our success in improving education, training and employment outcomes and tackling some of the persistent problems in our society, from homelessness, violence and abuse, to drug use and crime,” said Ms Collister.

“Successive Australian governments have expressed their intention to improve existing services for people with mental health issues and tackle the wider underlying causes of mental health issues. The they have not spelt out how this would be delivered to give people better outcomes. The coronavirus pandemic has served to highlight the gaps and the need to fill them.

“In order to return to overall health, people need to return to the community in which they live. People cannot recover long-term good mental health in isolation. To achieve this requires a fundamental reframing of the ways in which we all relate to one another.

 “The government’s decision to appoint Australia’s first Deputy Chief Medical Officer for mental health is a step in the right direction. As a former chief psychiatrist for Victoria, Dr Vine is highly regarded within the community mental health sector and will be a huge asset to the development of national policy responses to mental health issues affecting more than 1 in 5 Australians,” said Ms Collister.

As a leading community mental health provider Wellways is looking forward to working with Dr Vine as the sector responds to the challenges we face as a nation to support Australians with a living experience of mental health issues, their families and the community. The challenges are enormous but the rewards of meeting them are great.

Download Media release statement (PDF - 148KB)

For comment contact: 
Scott Samson, Public Affairs, Wellways Australia
media@wellways.org | (03) 8486 4200 | 0429 022 248