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Engage and Participate in Mental Health

18 Aug 2017

How do you Engage & Participate in Mental Health?

The National Mental Health Commission’s online consultation Engage and Participate in Mental Health has attracted over 800 people to share their valuable experiences about consumer and carer engagement and participation.

Our consultation began in June and concludes on August 31.

What have people been saying?

We have created a few different ways for people to share how they engage and participate in mental health and suicide prevention, and holding a community conversation is one of them.

community conversation was held by Connections Inc., a small non-profit organisation which provides mental health support service based in Caboolture in Queensland.

A group of 25 people of all ages attended the community coversation, including people with lived experience, family and carers, support workers, clinical staff, Primary Health Network staff and the local state MP.

When asked what engaging and participating means to you, here’s what some of the community conversation participants said:

  • Having our say
  • Getting the community involved
  • It means everyone working together (being inclusive)
  • It means a focus on both good and poor mental health
  • Staff that listen to what’s going on instead of just dispensing medication
  • Being heard as a person- someone who is not defined by their mental illness (active listening, change)

In response to the question what should engagement and participation look like in the future, here are some of their ideas:

  • In accident and emergency, have a nominated mental health nurse to assist presenting people experiencing a mental health crisis - in particular a young person to help reduce trauma at the time
  • Have accident and emergency section within the mental health unit - not mainstream accident and emergency.
  • Utilize social media to develop an engagement and development initiative
  • Young people teaching young people
  • Educate young people about mental health from peers or ambassadors
  • Youth engagement panels to sit at all levels from education QLD, QLD health, change policies
  • Youth mental health week, driven by young people, talking to young people about issues impacting young people (young people need a voice)
  • Engage young people in policy development” “camps, social media, events, music, websites”, user friendly language that young people understand and relate to

The Commission thanks Karen Thomas-Goldsmith and the staff of Connections Inc. for holding the community conversation, as well as the people who attended and provided such helpful ideas.

There is still time to share your experiences - the closing date for contributions has been extended to 31 August.

You can participate or email or mail us your contribution.

Please continue to promote this project throughout your networks.