2021 continues to remind us the importance of connecting and supporting one another, and listening to the many different voices across our communities. Earlier this month, the Commission engaged with leaders and service providers in a roundtable to look at the increased need for support this year and how we, as a sector, can manage this for all Australians. Across the sector we’ve seen further increases in requests for support in 2021, a sign that Australian’s are continuing to grapple with the uncertainty of COVID-19 and the impact of natural disaster.
As we continue to face challenges, there is a clear need for the mental health system to evolve and reform to meet emerging needs. At the Commission, we know mental health doesn't discriminate and that's why we are researching, monitoring and advising on how to create change within the system. Our National Disaster Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework will aim to improve how governments work together to respond to and support people’s mental health before, during and after disasters. A key part of developing any of our work is consultation with people with lived experience. Recently, we released our report sharing the experiences of Australians from areas affected by floods and fires such as the Bega Valley and Townsville. This report, and the consultations, will inform the final framework to ensure it is co-designed with people with lived experience and a step closer to a stronger system for us all.
Last month, Lived Experience Australia also launched their Lived Experience Perspectives Report that looks at how and why people fall through the gaps or disengage from the mental health system. It is through listening to those providing services, those who fund services, and most importantly, those who access services, that we will find the information we need to move towards the mental health system Australia needs.
Our Stories: Beyond the Disaster
Last year, we engaged community-based researchers to capture stories from people with lived experience of disasters in fire-effected Bega Valley and Monsoon-effected areas of Queensland. We have collated these experiences and launched the Our Stories research report which will inform the development of the final Framework piece.
Support for flood-affected communities
Natural disasters and traumatic events can impact more than the physical environment. It can have a profound effect on the mental health and well-being of affected communities, emergency services, first responders and those tasked to assist in the recovery effort. Life in Mind has created a hub of community support services and resources for all Australians.
National Safety and Quality Mental Health Standards for Community Managed Organisations
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has developed a consultation paper for National Safety and Quality Mental Health (NSQMH) Standards for Community Managed Organisations (CMOs).
This is the first step in the development of NSQMH Standards for CMOs, which will help provide safety and quality assurance for community mental health service users, and best practice guidance for service providers and developers.
Consultations close 30 June.
The Commission released the first Mental Health Safety and Quality Engagement Guide to empower and support consumers and carers and our mental health workforce to engage in meaningful partnerships, to improve the safety and quality of mental health services.
The development of the Guide included feedback from consumers, carers, families and kinship groups on a community level.
New Report on Lived Experience Perspectives
Lived Experience Australia have released The Lived Experience Perspectives report – identifying why people slip through the gaps or do not receive the mental health care they need. It is incredibly important that these experiences and voices are heard.