Medication and Mental Illness: Perspectives

By NSW Mental Health Commission          [Download Resource]


‘This paper tells the story of medication as a treatment for mental illness from the perspective of consumers, carers, families and people who work within the mental health system. …

The experiences we heard were varied. Some were nothing short of heartbreaking, while others, which told of inspiring people and innovative practice, were uplifting and hopeful. These perspectives on medication reflect what the Commission knows about the mental health system more broadly: that it too often lets people down, and that change is necessary. …

This paper is a unique resource that exposes both the challenges and opportunities for medication as a treatment for mental illness. The Commission will advocate for the changes it outlines, and I urge others to join with us in doing so’


Key Content Areas:

  • A pragmatic approach
  • Medication is one treatment option
  • Mental health systems, practices and recovery
  • Taking medication
  • Medication costs
  • Medication side effects
  • Medication supported my recovery
  • The challenge to change


The role of medication in recovery from mental illness is complex and often polarising … This paper makes it clear that change is needed on several fronts, and, to be effective, change must include consumers, carers, families, clinicians, including general practitioners, psychiatrists, and pharmacists.
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