MHCA CEO's Weekly Update - 14 March

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This Week

Co-designing the best mental health system in the world…

We have been focussed this week on the work we have commenced to develop a vision for the best mental health system in the world.  It’s a huge task, but an exciting one.

We are starting the excercise by looking at the experience of individuals (and I will be seeking the assistance of the National Mental Health Consumer & Carer Forum on Monday to focus this work).  We are then asking how the various policies and service systems should impact on those individuals as they progress through life and what are the barriers to an ideal experience.

We will then ask what the barriers are to this ”ideal” experience, and what changes we need to make to existing systems and processes to ensure this “ideal” experience becomes the norm.

In the lead up to the Members Policy Forum we will be seeking some assistance to clarify these issues and I will communicate more in future updates.

Independent Hospital Pricing Authority Stakeholder Advisory Group

Earlier this week I attended the IHPA Stakeholder Advisory Group. This important work is proceeding at a slightly slower pace for mental health now, with original timetables having been wisely amended to give more time to do developmental work allowing mental health to “catch up” with things that are already in place in other areas of health.

An important question is emerging about whether or not the costing and pricing work that IHPA is doing in relation to hospital based activities should be extended to cover community-based mental health activites. One theory being that if community-based activites were compared directly to hospital-based activites it is likely that the substantial underfunding of community-based activities relative to their value would come to light.  I would be pleased to hear views on this directly

Crossroads report - rethinking the Australian mental health system

Early in the week I attended the launch of a new report released by by Inspire Foundation. Crossroads proposes a choice between either accepting and funding the increased costs associated with delivering existing services to more people, or rethinking the way mental health services are delivered in Australia. In our media release on this report, I took the opportunity to renew our call for a new vision for the mental health system and, in particular, a review of how much we currently invest at the acute end of the system, rather than on early intervention and prevention. You can read the full media release here. The full Crossroads report is available on the website and I would encourage you all to read it and consider its findings.

Experiences with Disability Employment Services - Consumer and Carer Survey

Our survey seeking to hear from consumers and carers about their experiences with Australian Government Disability Employment Services is still open. The short survey can be completed anonymously and the results will help us in providing advice to the government about service needs and ways to improve future disability employment services. Please distribute this survey widely among your networks of consumers and carers.
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newparadigm - NDIS edition

You may be interested in reading the Summer 2014 edition of newparadigm, the Australian Journal on Psychosocial Rehabilitation, published by VICSERV. The latest edition is dedicated to discussing a range of issues around the NDIS and includes articles from myself along with NMHCCF members Pat Sutton, Margaret Springgay and Isabel Collins.

Partners in Recovery - Capacity Building

Today I am attending the first meeting of the Partners in Recovery Capacity Building project. This project has been established to support the work being done in PIR projects across the country. You can review the website here and I would be very interested to hear from people on the ground how this work is progressing and how the support is being received. 



Mental Health in the Australian Workplace Conference

The 2014 Mental Health in the Australian Workplace Conference is being held next Wednesday and Thursday (19-20 March) at Rydges Melbourne. The conference will explore current trends, best practice and future opportunities for Australian organisations. Full details of the conference including the themes and speaker information are available at the website. Read More

15th Annual Health Congress

I will be speaking at the upcoming 15th Annual Health Congress in Sydney on 24-25 March. The event is an important gathering of leading healthcare professionals and industry to consider the challenges, implications and future directions for health reform. Full details about the Congress including registration information is available from the website. Read More

Australian Government Grants System Project

The Department of Finance has set up a short online survey to collect information about how much time and resources not-for-profit organisations use in accessing Australian government grants.  The results of the survey will help inform the development of – a new ‘one-stop-shop’ for all grants offered by the Australian Government.  If you are interested in participating, please ensure ONE person from your organisation completes the survey by COB 21 March 2014. Download

Happiness and its Causes 2014 Conference

Have an inspiring and productive 2014! Revitalise, refresh, learn, explore, network and be motivated at the world’s leading happiness event – celebrating its 9th year. Explore the varied causes of a happy and meaningful life for yourself and others at Happiness & Its Causes 2014, being held on 29-30 May in Sydney. Early bird registration rates end on 28 March so book your tickets now. As a special offer, you can access a special ebook featuring 8 of the upcoming speakers at this year’s event. The ebook is available for download from the conference website. More Info

National day of action against bullying and violence

Next Friday, 21 March, is the national day of action against bullying and violence. This annual day provides a focus for all schools to say Bullying, No Way! and strengthen their existing everyday messages that bullying and violence at school are not okay at any time. Community groups, sporting groups and local businesses are all invited to get involved in the day and provide support for this important issue. More details on how to get involved are available at the website. Read more

Minds Matter Conference - register now

The Minds Matter Conference will be held from 3-5 April at Aanuka Resort, Coffs Harbour. Hosted by the University of New England, the conference will bring together academic researchers, policy makers, practitioners, service providers and non-government organisations to discuss mental health issues confronting rural and regional Australia. Full details are on the website. Read more

No 2 Bullying Conference - register now

The Australian No 2 Bullying Conference will be held at QT Hotel, Surfers Paradise from 6-8 April. The Conference will examine bullying and what can be done about it in a range of contexts including schools, families, workplaces and cyberspace. The Conference is being hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association and full details including the program and registration details are available on the website. Read more

Principles for collaboration, communication and cooperation between private mental health service providers

The Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN) will be holding a webinar to discuss the principles for collaboration, communication and cooperation between private mental health service providers on Tuesday 25 March. The principles were released last December by the Private Mental Health Alliance and aim to support mental health professionals to collaborate, communicate and, where necessary, share care. Registration details for the webinar are available on the MHPN website. Read More

Peer Support Guidelines - Webinar

The Mental Health Commission of Canada has recently released Guidelines for the Practice and Training of Peer Support to outline the important aspects of formalised or intentional peer support. The Guidelines focus on the empathetic and supportive role of a peer support worker in fostering hope, empowerment and recovery. A free webinar is being held on Wednesday 19 March to discuss how you can use the Guidelines to bring the power of formalised peer support to your organisation or community. Registration details are available on the website. More Info

Workshops for adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse

Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA) runs workshops for adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse, as well as for partners and supports (carers) of adult survivors. ASCA also delivers trauma informed training to workers and organisations as well as professional development for health professionals who work clinically with adult survivors. For more information and to register please visit the website. Read more

National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Awards now open

A reminder that nominations are now open for the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Awards. These Awards provide an opportunity for recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in the alcohol and other drug field and appreciation of their contribution in reducing the harmful effects of alcohol and other drugs among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Nominations close at midnight on Sunday 20 April and the winners will be announced during the 3rd NIDAC Conference on 4-6 June. Read more

AMA Awards 2014 - call for nominations

The Australian Medical Association is currently calling for entries for their 2014 awards. Do you know someone you wish to nominate? Don’t miss your opportunity, nominations are due by 28 March and categories include the AMA Excellence in Healthcare Award, Women in Medicine Award, Women’s Health Award, Men’s Health Award and a Youth Health Award. Full details are available on the website. Read More

Nominations for 2014 LiFE Awards now open

In more awards news, Suicide Prevention Australia is calling for nominations for the 2014 LiFE Awards, recognising excellence in suicide prevention. The LiFE Awards are a prestigious national event that attract nominations from all areas including business, industry, media, community, government, youth research and medicine – all with an interest in suicide prevention. Full details are available on the website. Read more

Warm regards


Frank Quinlan
Chief Executive Officer

T: 02 6285 3100  |  M: 0409 655 460
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Mental health begins with me!


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