Fels takes reigns of new mental health commission

NEWLY appointed National Mental Health Commission chair Professor Allan Fels, AO, has assured GPs he is “very keen” to consult the profession when the commission draws up its first report card for the government.

Professor Fels was appointed to replace the government’s original choice to chair the commission, South Australian Catholic priest Monsignor David Cappo, who declined the role in response to criticisms of his handling of sex abuse claims by Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth.

Professor Fels is best known as the former head of the ACCC and is dean of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, chair of the Haven Foundation and patron of numerous mental health organisations.

He said the vital role of GPs in mental health care would be one of the areas the commission would examine when it was officially established in January next year.

“GPs are very often the first point of interaction with consumers