Mental Health in Australia

Briefing paper (2000 word)


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An important aspect of policy work is the capacity to write coherent policy briefs. A policy brief is not an essay. Rather, the aim of the brief is to provide a Minister or government agency with key information on a policy issue. A briefing paper aims to provide a concise and coherent explanation of the issue and it must provide the decision makers with relevant information to enable a decision to be made. It often involves demonstrating a need to change or alter a current policy; to form a new policy or cease a current policy. A good briefing paper must include:


· A clear statement of the topic (which is mental health in Australia)

· A concise summary of the issue

· Argument and evidence that demonstrates the need for change of some kind

· Recommendations for action, backed up by evidence

· Any appendices that would assist the decision makers to move on the issue

· A reference list


Please note the following for the development of your report.

1. Presentation. A contents page is required. Please also note that the report can include headings and sub-headings.

2. Evidence to support your analysis of the policy. If appropriate this may include statistics.

3. Tables and figures. These can be useful but must enhance the clarity and/or strength of your arguments. All tables and figures also require a heading. The main information in the tables and figures must be discussed in the text of the report. Avoid the practice of inserting a table or figure without it ever being mentioned in the text.

4. Word count. For this assignment, word count only applies to the main text. The contents page, references and appendices are excluded.For more information on Mental Health in Australia read this:

Mental Health in Australia

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