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September Message from our CEO

10 Sep 2019

This Thursday, the final Connections Town Hall meeting will be held at Safety Beach, Victoria. The meeting marks the conclusion of our tour across 26 Australian communities regarding a national conversation on the 2030 Vision for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. Although this marks the end of the tour, the conversation will continue when the 2030 Vision is developed, as this will be shared publicly for feedback.

In August, we released economic modelling which shows investing in mental health prevention initiatives yields positive returns. Summaries of ten interventions are now available to help workplaces, schools and communities make informed decisions.

We now have useful resources aimed at reducing restrictive practices in Australian mental health services which include a Safe in Care, Safe at Work (983KB) toolkit for mental health staff and managers.

Another project we've worked on is a new Spotlight Report on Experiences of Functional Neurological Disorder.

Recently, we welcomed the Hon.Greg Hunt's request to develop a National Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Finally, our study into the feasibility of a national peer workforce organisation has progressed. In collaboration with the Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network (PMHCCN) we have released a new report which explores potential governance structures and models of a national organisation, as well as gaps and opportunities for training a peer workforce.

More information about these projects can be found below.

Christine Morgan
Chief Executive Officer
Commissioner

Connections

Over July, August and September we have been consulting and engaging with Australians on the 2030 Vision for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. To date, we have visited 24 communities, connected with 950 people in person and received 1900 responses to our online survey. Thank you to everyone who has contributed!

Following each Town Hall meeting, we provide a snapshot of what the community had to say. You can view the snapshots by visiting the Connections page.

We have two more communities to visit this week which all are welcome to join; Dandenong on Wednesday 4th Sep and Safety Beach on Thursday 5th Sep. If you can’t make it to our Town Hall meetings, you are welcome to have your say online.

Connections online survey

Connections is about connecting with you to contribute to a national conversation about the future of mental health care, suicide prevention and wellbeing in Australia.

We are developing a vision for a ten year plan through to 2030. Your input will help to inform our design for a more connected and well-functioning system.

The economic case for investing in mental health prevention

We have released economic modelling which shows that investing in mental health prevention initiatives yields positive returns.

Analysis indicates that prevention interventions targeted to workplaces, schools and specific members of the community including new mothers and older persons can bring economic benefit. The 10 interventions can be found on our Prevention and Early Intervention page.

Safe in Care, Safe at Work

We engaged the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses to undertake work aimed at reducing restrictive practices and ensuring both safety in care and safety for staff in Australian mental health services.

The project includes a package of documents comprised of:

  • an audit toolkit for services
  • the Australian adaption of the Six Core Strategies checklist
  • and a list of guiding documents to reduce seclusion and restraint.

An abridged version for mental health staff and managers was developed that emphasises the use of the checklist to guide the reduction of seclusion and restraint. Please find both documents available for download below.

Safe in care, Safe at Work: Ensuring safety in care and safety for staff in Australian mental health services (Full version) (983KB)

Safe in care, Safe at Work: Ensuring safety in care and safety for staff in Australian mental health services (Abridged version) (1018KB)

For more information, please read the ACMHNs media release and visit the ACMHN website.

National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

We welcome Minister Greg Hunt’s commitment to developing a National Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy to ensure that neuropsychiatric conditions are diagnosed and treated early to prevent lifelong disability. It will provide a framework for preventing mental illness and reducing its impact on children, families and the community.

The National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy is to be delivered by the Commission and led by Professor Frank Oberklaid and Professor Christel Middeldorp.

Information for the Strategy can be emailed to [email protected]

Experiences of Functional Neurological Disorder

We have released the findings of a research project on the experiences of people diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) and their carers in Australia. The research was undertaken by FND Australia Support Services Inc for the Commission.

People with FND experience a variety of disabling motor, sensory and cognitive neurological symptoms, and often face significant challenges in accessing the treatment and support they need. They also confront high levels of stigma and discrimination by both clinicians and people in the community. This report aims to highlight areas that are in need of improvement to enhance the quality of life experienced by people living with and affected by FND.

Experiences of Functional Neurological Disorder Summary Report (2.2MB)

Consumer and Carer Experiences of FND/CD in Australia Report (2.2MB)

Towards Professionalisation: A study into the feasibility of a national peer workforce organisation

Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the Department of Health tasked the Commission with investigating the feasibility of establishing a member based organisation for the peer workforce in Australia. We funded the Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network (PMHCCN) Australia to undertake this work.

The PMHCCN’s final report explores potential governance structures and models of a national organisation. The report also explored gaps and opportunities for training of the peer workforce and data on the peer workforce. The summary report outlines the key messages and topics from the final report.

Towards Professionalisation: A Project to undertake a feasibility study into the establishment of a member based organisation for the peer workforce in Australia (1.8MB)

Towards Professionalisation Summary Report: A Project to undertake a feasibility study into the establishment of a member based organisation for the peer workforce in Australia (698KB)