Mental Health Safety and Quality Engagement Guide

Mental Health Safety and Quality Engagement Guide

The Mental Health Safety and Quality Engagement Guide is a welcome and practical addition to Australia’s investment in consumer and carer engagement and participation in the development and delivery of mental health services. It is a priority action under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

A word from the National Mental Health Commissions Chief Executive Officer

The Mental Health Safety and Quality Engagement Guide is a welcome and practical addition to Australia’s investment in consumer and carer engagement and participation in the development and delivery of mental health services. It is a priority action under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

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Section 1: Overview of the guide

The Mental Health Safety and Quality Engagement Guide aims to empower and support mental health consumers and carers who would like to participate and engage in improving safety and quality in mental health services. The guide provides practical guidance and information to help you contribute to, and partner with, services to promote positive change.

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Section 2: Getting engaged

There are many ways in which consumers, carers, families and kinship groups can become involved in, and contribute to, conversations about safety and quality that lead to improved services.

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Section 3: Enabling diverse participation

When working to improve the safety and quality of services, we need to think and act in ways that are inclusive and consider diversity. Traditionally, mental health services have been designed along the model of the medical ward or community clinic. Services can make assumptions about the culture, language, gender, age, abilities and identity preferences of people accessing the service.

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Section 4: Working together

In this section, we describe several aspects of effective partnerships within safety and quality groups. The discussion covers the importance of expectations about lived experience roles and the roles of other group members, and the leadership skills required by chairs and group leaders.

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Section 5: Being heard and having influence

When preparing this guide, we talked with people about being an effective lived experience leader. They gave many suggestions about ways of being heard and having influence, as well as tips for navigating the challenging aspects of being an adviser or leader.

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Section 6: Mentoring and support

In this section we discuss the importance of mentorship and support. One of the consistent messages we heard during the consultation process for this guide is that mentorship is a critical element of safe and supported engagement of people with lived experience in the safety and quality area. Mentorship can take many forms, and should be discussed and tailored to individual preferences. Here we discuss several aspects of mentorship and support.

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Section 7: Managing your self-care

In this section, we discuss some ideas for self-care. This is an important topic as many conversations that occur in the safety and quality area may be challenging emotionally for everyone involved. The conversations and subject areas may remind people with lived experience of difficult and traumatic personal memories. It is useful to know something about areas that may be challenging for you.

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Section 8: Training and learning

Becoming a part of a safety and quality group in the mental health sector can be a new and challenging experience. This section outlines some important facts about training and learning.

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Appendices

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References

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Commission acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands throughout Australia.
We pay our respects to their clans, and to the elders, past present and emerging, and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, sea and community.

Diversity

The Commission is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. The Commission welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lived Experience

We acknowledge the individual and collective contributions of those with a lived and living experience of mental ill-health and suicide, and those who love, have loved and care for them. Each person’s journey is unique and a valued contribution to Australia’s commitment to mental health suicide prevention systems reform.