We’re pleased to issue our first e-newsletter for 2018 as we undergo a period of growth to support our new responsibility: additional monitoring and reporting on the implementation of reforms to improve Australia’s mental health system.
To support our expansion, we have a new office in Canberra to provide us with the opportunity to engage and participate in centrally-based activity as required and in Sydney we've moved to larger premises.
In February, we welcomed our new Chair, eminent businesswoman and organisational psychologist Mrs Lucy Brogden and farewelled our inaugural Chair, Professor Allan Fels AO.
In this issue you’ll learn about our Commissioners meeting in Launceston, our new Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellowship and our recent submissions to inform a wide range of inquiries to ensure a mental health perspective is considered.
We look forward to providing you with more updates on our work as we continue to strive for transformational change across service systems for people with lived experience of mental ill-health.
Dr Peggy Brown AO
CEO, National Mental Health Commission
In April, we held our Commissioners meeting in Launceston and invited engagement and discussion on mental health and suicide prevention with a focus on children and youth; education; and emergency responders in Tasmania. We also heard the experiences of consumers, carers and service providers at our Community Forum.
Our Commissioners learned about many positive efforts in Tasmania to address challenges such as schools experiencing increased demand for mental health services; long hospital wait times and inconsistent access to services within rural areas.
Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellowship
The Commission recently opened applications for the Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellowship. This prestigious program is the first of its kind in Australia. There are 40 funded places available to successful applicants who show a capacity and willingness to improve mental health outcomes for all Australians.
The educational content will be delivered by the University of Melbourne and mentors and coaches have been chosen from a pool of expert facilitators. The Fellowship will offer a mix of experiential learning, reflective practice and group activity. Applications for the Fellowship opened on 6 April 2018 and will close 11 May 2018.
We support calls for a national mental health consumer peak
We fully support a recent call by Community Mental Health Australia for the establishment of a national mental health consumer peak organisation which would provide a united national voice for mental health consumers.
The call comes as the mental health sector undergoes a significant period of reform which is all about giving consumers choice in the care they receive and creating a system that is person-centred. The new stand-alone organisation would ensure that the design and delivery of programs, policy, and services effectively address what matters to consumers and carers.
Shared priorities for Commissioners'
On 4-5 April, our CEO, Dr Peggy Brown AO attended the Joint Mental Health Commissioners' Meeting in Brisbane. The meeting primarily focussed on shared priorities.
Australian Mental Health Commissions have a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Zealand Mental Health Commissioner to collaboratively improve the mental health and wellbeing of Australians and New Zealanders.