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New guide empowers partnerships to strengthen safety and quality across the mental health system

24 Feb 2021
Mental health reform in Australia has taken another positive step forward, with the launch of the Mental Health Safety and Quality Engagement Guide.

The Guide aims to empower and support our mental health workforce to engage in meaningful partnerships, to improve the safety and quality of mental health services.

National Mental Health Commission CEO Christine Morgan encouraged consumers and carers, and health service leaders, to access and to use the Guide to engage in meaningful change.

“The Safety and Quality Engagement Guide will support the improvement of the safety and quality of mental health services across Australia,” Ms Morgan said.

“The Guide has been developed with broad consultation and includes practical information for consumers and carers, service providers and health leaders who would like to improve their processes.

“It includes information on how to get engaged, understanding your role, building a network, seeking a mentor and managing your own self-care. For health service leaders, the guide provides information on supporting diversity, creating a safe environment and the role of consumer and carer leaders.”

The development of the Guide included feedback from consumers, carers, families and kinship groups on a community level.

“Consumers are carers play a vital role in improving mental health care from all touchpoints.

“Consumers and Carers are an essential source of knowledge and experience that reflect community concerns such as accessibility, barriers, perspectives about medicines and treatment, preferred staff behaviours and standards, gaps in services, and wider impacts of the service on consumers and families,” Ms Morgan said.

“They help ensure services are relevant and meaningful for their treatment and recovery needs.”

The Commission is committed to working together with Government and the mental health and wellbeing sector to improve the healthcare system in Australia. The Mental Health Safety and Quality Engagement Guide is an action under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

As part of this, the Commission has consulted with a range of stakeholders to develop a guide for consumer and carer participation in mental health services – and through this, strengthen their role in ongoing safety and quality initiatives.

The Guide is now available online at the Commission’s website.