MHCA CEO's Weekly Update - 28 March

Mental Health Council of Australia Header

National Mental Health Commission Review

This Week

National Mental Health Commission Review

The National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) has opened its call for submissions from organisations and individuals as part of the national review of mental health services and programmes. Submissions can be made online via the Commission’s website and close on Monday 14 April 2014.  

The MHCA will certainly be making a submission. Given all that is currently happening, I think it is essential to ensure that the Commission is aware not just of your concerns, but also the successful initiatives and strategies that might help us to build the best mental health system in the world.  
I encourage you to have your say.  We will also be discussing our approach at the forthcoming Members Policy Forum and expect to have representatives of the Commission along to that forum to discuss its review.
Read More

Co-designing the best mental health system in the world

This week, Josh Fear and Emily Clay, of the Policy Team, and I commenced conversations to gather ideas about the many current barriers to the world’s best mental health system.  Already we are hearing many ideas about what such a system should look like, but the challenge is identifying the specific steps we need to take to get there. In the context of the NMHC’s review, and with a Minister who has told us directly he is looking for suggestions that can be put into action, we are keen to develop a clear plan and clear set of priorities. We will be continuing these discussions over the next week or so, and will be seeking further input from members at the Members Policy Forum in early April.  

One of the challenges for the sector to think about is how we maintain a sense of unity when all our priorities cannot be dealt with at once.

Presentation to the 15th Annual Health Congress

Early in the week I presented to the Annual Health Congress in Sydney and spoke about the challenges we face in mental health, and the need for closer integration across services.  I also spoke about the impact of the NDIS and shift towards outcomes rather than activities.  I shared the platform with John Mendoza who spoke to the Obsessive Hope Disorder Report.

It is encouraging that a mainstream health congress gave so much time and attention to mental health.

Presentation to NESA Leaders Forum

Later in the week I addressed the NESA Leaders forum in Melbourne and spoke particularly to the need for employment services and mental health services to work more closely together.

NESA is very interested in conducting some shared work on this in future and I will post more in future updates.  I’d be pleased to hear from members doing innovative work in the employment space.

The Government’s current review of social security arrangements is likely to have a big impact on these issues.

CHFA National Roundtable on Housing and the NDIS

Today I attended the CHFA National Roundtable on Housing and NDIS. Travis Gilbert from our Policy Team, who you may remember came to us from Homelessness Australia, also attended yesterday’s Forum.

While we agreed that there still seem to be at least as many questions as answers in the NDIS space, the Forum agreed that with some $500 million available in the NDIS for some kind of accommodation supports we should be exploring creative solutions to people’s housing needs.  

Travis has some information sheets and briefing papers available if members are interested in receiving more information

Submission to inquiry into affordable housing

The MHCA provided a submission to the Senate Inquiry into Affordable Housing this week. In the submission we recommend that people with a lived experience of mental illness be recognised as a priority group in future housing and homelessness agreements, that the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness be re-funded for a further five years, and endorse the continuation of current strategies aimed at growing the community housing sector to ensure that there are increased housing options available. To read the full submission please visit our website.

Update from the National Mental Health Consumer Peak Project

The Consumer Reference Group (CRG) released two updates this week - the communique from their March meeting and a monthly update. In this edition, CRG Chair Mr Ian Watts discusses the need for funding and resources as the new organisation approaches incorporation. Both updates can be downloaded from the project website.



National seclusion and restraint project - calling for survey participants

The NMHC is calling for people to take part in an online survey as part of their National Seclusion and Restraint Project. The survey is anonymous, open to anyone over the age of 18 and does not seek detailed information about experiences of seclusion and restraint. The survey aims to gather information about how best to reduce or eliminate seclusion and restraint and to identify barriers to achieving this. People with a lived experience of mental health issues, their families and support people, as well as practitioners and other service providers are particularly encouraged to participate. Read more

World Bipolar Day - 30 March

World Bipolar Day (WBD) will be celebrating its inaugural year on March 30th, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh. The vision of WBD is to bring world awareness to bipolar disorders and eliminate social stigma. Visit the WBD Facebook page today and find out more information about the day and the various events and initiatives taking place around the globe. Read More

Your Brain Matters - bilingual help sheets released by Alzheimer’s Australia

Alzheimer’s Australia has produced dementia risk-reduction bilingual help sheets titled Your Brain Matters. Each sheet provides information in English as well as other languages and provides advice on reducing the risk of dementia that is relevant for everyone in the Australian community. You can download the help sheets from the Alzheimer’s Australia website. Read more

Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia

Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA) is pleased to announce the launch of the Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia, which is now available online. The Framework is designed to improve cultural responsiveness at both organisational and worker level. It is an integrated online package consisting of an organisational cultural responsiveness self assessment scale, strategies and outcome indicators for organisations and workers backed up with resources and best practice examples referenced to the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (2012) and the National Standards for Mental Health Services (2010). For full details please visit the website. Read more

Mental health leadership program

The Centre for Mental Health, University of Melbourne is offering the five-day intensive Multicultural Mental Health Leadership Program, from 26-30 May, 2014.  The program is designed to support mental health professionals and consumer and carer representatives to contribute effectively to the development of mental health services for multicultural Australia. Service managers, clinical leaders, professional trainees in the mental health disciplines, carer and consumer representatives and academics are encouraged to participate. Full details are available on the website. Read more

Royal Commission to hold roundtable on out-of-home care

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse will hold a roundtable in Sydney next month to discuss the prevention of child sexual abuse in out-of-home care. Invited participants include state and territory government representatives, regulators, policy experts, out-of-home care practitioners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives, academics and advocacy groups. For more information or to view submissions please visit the website. More Info

SANE Australia online communities

SANE Australia is developing an online community service for carers, and for people living with mental illness. SANE Online Communities will provide a free, safe, anonymous peer-to-peer forum service where carers and people living with mental illness can share stories, tips and offer support. Introductory sessions to discuss the new service are being held in various locations around Australia, for full details please visit the website. Download

Australian long-term unemployment conference - awards now open

Nominations for the 2014 Employment Awards are now open. The awards will be announced at the Long-Term Unemployment Conference this August on the Gold Coast. The awards recognise, raise awareness and promote the benefits of employing at risk groups and nominations are invited from all organisations active in employment initiatives. Nominations can be submitted online at the conference website. Download

Mood Active professional development breakfast - register now

Mood Active is hosting a professional development breakfast with guest speaker David Gilfillan on Friday 4 April in Sydney. David was a clinical psychologist at the Black Dog Institute from 2007-2012 and has thirty years experience treating mood disorders. David will speak about exercise and depression and provide practical suggestions for prescribing exercise to consumers. Full details including registration details are available on the website. Download

TheMHS Conference registrations now open

Registrations for this year’s TheMHS Conference are now open. The conference, being held in Perth from 26-29 August, will focus on the theme ‘What we share makes us strong’. The first keynote speaker for the conference has also been annouced. Pat Bracken is a consultant psychiatrist and clinical director of West Cork Mental Health Service in Ireland. Full details are available on the website. Download

eMHPrac - enhancing use of online mental health resources in primary care

eMHPrac is a national initiative to encourage the use of e-mental health resources in primary care and is funded by the Australian Government. The Australian National University will be working with allied health workers and nurses in primary care to increase their awareness of and skills in using e-mental health resources through a range of training and promotional activities over the next few years. As part of this work, the first of three annual surveys exploring workers’ awareness and use of e-resources is underway. To participate please visit the website. Download

Warm regards


Frank Quinlan
Chief Executive Officer

T: 02 6285 3100  |  M: 0409 655 460
E:  |  W:

Mental health begins with me!


Rate this article: 
Newsletter, submission

© 2024 Mental Health Australia All rights reserved.