COAG decisions on Mental Health Reform
Last Friday, COAG agreed to a number of actions which include:
• COAG welcoming the release of A Contributing Life: 2012 National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and reaffirming its commitment to mental health reform as an ongoing national priority
• COAG agreeing to jointly respond to the our first Report Card
The Report Card reflected the community’s and sector’s call for the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers to continue to directly support mental health reform.
Without strong leadership from the top and strong links between housing, employment, education, health, family and child support, justice and corrections we will never give people the best chance of recovering and living contributing lives. As such we welcome that all governments have agreed to work together on a joint response to the Report Card’s findings and recommendations.
• Significantly, COAG agreeing to include national indicators and targets for mental health reform in its formal response to the Report Card, something the sector has been calling for, for a long time
This advocacy culminated in an open letter to COAG signed by over 30 leaders and organisations last week urging COAG to commit to mental health reform and to set specific targets to measure progress. This was an incredibly important letter that showed unity and a shared vision across the many different sectors that support people with mental health issues and their families.
Our Report Card also reflected these views and challenged governments to be brave enough to set goals and targets for improving mental health and reducing suicide, and be judged by the community on their results. These indicators and targets must be based on helping people and families to achieve contributing lives.
As Commission Chair Allan Fels said in The Australian newspaper last week, “Without a set of national indicators and clear targets, that properly show Australia’s “mental wealth” – whether we are promoting wellbeing and preventing illness, whether people’s lives are improving – and give all Australians a proper picture of progress, we will continue to limp along. If we can do this for homelessness and HIV, why not mental illness and suicide?”
• COAG releasing a Ten Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform 2012-2022 which sets out next steps and a process to: improve access to data, develop indicators and targets and develop a successor to the Fourth National Mental Health Plan
COAG will set up a new working group on Mental Health Reform co-chaired by the Commonwealth Minister for Mental Health, Mark Butler, and a Minister appointed by the states and territories.
The Roadmap also gives the Commission a role in bringing together people with lived experience of mental health issues, their families and support people, and other experts from around the country to work alongside and assist the working group. An Expert Reference Group, which the Commission has been asked to chair, will be formed. Right now we don’t have any further details about the group, but will make these available as soon as possible in 2013.
Read the 10 Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform HERE
The National Mental Health Commission gave the following update below. Go to their website http://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/ and sign up for email alerts if you want to know more.
A new set of guidelines launched today aim to help mental health and social service providers better understand the complex effects of trauma on adult survivors of childhood abuse.
The guidelines, funded by the Federal Government and developed by Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA), were launched today in Canberra by Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler.
Mr Butler said the guidelines would contribute to our understanding of the implications of childhood abuse on mental health.... For the full media release click here.
Visit the Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) website for more information www.asca.org.au/blueknotday
For help, call ASCA's support line on 1300 657 380 or visit the website www.asca.org.au
The National Carer Strategy has been released by the Australian Government in order to increase recognition of carers and to better respond to the needs of carers. There are several accompanying documents:
For further information go to http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/our-responsibilities/disability-and-carers/publications-articles/national-carer-strategy-implementation-plan
The Australian Government this week kicked off discussions on a new Code for consultation with the Not-for Profit (NFP) sector.
Minister for Social Inclusion Mark Butler said the Consultation Code will be a practical guide to effective ongoing consultation between the Government and the NFP Sector and will sit under the National Compact: working together.
Workshops are being conducted between 17 October and 1 November 2012 in all capital cities and Port Hedland. Registrations remain open at www.nationalcompact.gov.au. For organisations unable to attend the workshops, an online forum will also be open for three weeks on the same website.
THE HON MARK BUTLER MP , Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Minister for Social Inclusion, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform
15 October 2012
Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler today called for applications from non-government organisations to become Partners in Recovery (PIR) Organisations in each of the 61 Medicare Local regions.
The $549.8 million PIR initiative is a major plank in the Government’s $2.2 billion mental health reform plan and will provide more coordinated services for 24,000 individuals with severe and persistent mental illness and complex needs.
“People with severe mental health issues often need to access a range of services like housing, income support, employment services and medical care, and this program is about joining those services up so that people don’t fall through the gaps,” Mr Butler said.
“And often people will be accessing one or two service types, but aren’t aware that other services are available to them, so the NGOs we select to do this work will be funded to make sure people’s full range of needs are identified and met.”
“This is a bold, new approach to deliver on the needs of people with extremely complex needs and whilst this is a challenging area, the successful PIR organisations have a real opportunity to break new ground here.”
Mr Butler encouraged service providers across different sectors to be involved and participate in the application preparation process.
“Having a broad range of delivery partners involved will show the commitment and capacity of the local community, which in turn will be critical to the successful implementation of PIR in their region.”
Applications need to include:
Information and the Invitation to Apply documentation are available online www.health.gov.au/mentalhealth
Applications for funding to become a PIR Organisation close at 2.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday 18 December 2012. All enquiries should be directed to email@example.com.
Media contact – Tim O’Halloran – 0409 059 617
The Mental Health Workforce Advisory Committee and Health Workforce Australia seek your input into the review of the National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce (the Practice Standards) and the subsequent development of core competencies. For further details and to find out when the consultations are on click here
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