A national conversation on a 2030 Vision for mental health and suicide prevention, known as the Connections project, has been launched by the National Mental Health Commission. From this week the Commission will be visiting communities in 23 cities and towns across Australia during July, August and September for their input into this national conversation.
Everyone involved in mental health and suicide prevention, especially people with living experience, their carers, families and supporters will be welcome to attend community Town Hall meetings.
CEO, Christine Morgan, and Chair, Lucy Brogden, are keen to hear insights from people in their communities to help inform a shared 2030 Vision for the future of Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention system and to guide the Commission’s focus on national priorities over the next two years.
Ms Morgan said the Commission is committed to ensuring people with living experience of mental health and suicidality have access to and are supported in the best way possible, in a connected and well-functioning system.
“Connections is an Australia-wide conversation towards a shared vision. We know everyone’s experience of the mental health system is different and we want to hear from people about what has worked for them to date, their challenges and any barriers, and what they envision for the future,” she said.
“This is about ensuring that the voices of those with a living experience of mental health and suicidality are involved in Australia’s 2030 Vision for mental health, and are contributing to the design of an improved approach.”
The Connections project begins on Thursday Island on Wednesday, 3 July, and will travel far and wide, including regional locations such as Nhulunbuy (NT), Kalgoorlie (WA), Mt Isa (QLD), Broken Hill (NSW) Launceston (TAS) and Port Lincoln (SA).
Commission Chair, Lucy Brogden said that while Australia’s mental health system has received significant new investment over the last few years, there are still gaps and inconsistencies in the delivery of connected support at all levels of need.
“The Commission is working across the sector and with all stakeholders to collectively identify what can and should be changed. Mental illness is still often viewed and treated as a medical condition. Measures to address overall wellbeing and the many social determinants of mental health are either absent or not integrated and connected to the current system or directly to the needs of each person,” Mrs Brogden said.
Ms Morgan said that the last few years had seen considerable reforms to the way mental health is funded, and to whole of system investments in new programs and services, which has led to new and exciting opportunities for doing things differently.
“What is needed now is a unified mental health system that takes a whole-of-person, whole-oflife, whole-of-community approach to mental health. A system which is accessible incommunity, is easy to navigate, and delivers meaningful outcomes for the individual. At its heart, a vision of a new system will essentially respond to a person’s individual needs in their community.”