Weekly CEO Update: “It starts with conversation”

In her acceptance speech on Tuesday evening, new Australian of the Year Grace Tame said “This year and beyond my focus is on empowering survivors and education as a primary means of prevention. It starts with conversation. We’re all welcome at this table. Communication breeds understanding and understanding is the foundation of progress. Lived experience informs structural and social change. When we share we heal”.

This idea that understanding based on communication will be the foundation of progress together is a strong model for 2021. For me, the biggest opportunity – and challenge – this year, is to convert the visible profile and earnest intent for mental health reform into systemic action and measureable results. 
We all know we need to capitalise on the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health (PC Report) and other reports recommending actions to improve our system.

And we need to do this at a time when the profile of mental health and wellbeing has never been so high, and never been such a constant in our national narrative. 

Yes, there is still stigma. But perhaps the challenges of 2020 have helped reduce it. These challenges have compelled us to communicate, and raise the profile of looking after our mental health, as well as articulate what we need to do systemically for those in need of support and care to prevent, and treat, mental illness.

These challenges have always been there, and are perhaps even greater due to the pandemic, but the opportunity such profile and intent brings to address them is new, and something we must harness. Especially if we want real change.

Today, Mental Health Australia will offer our Pre-Budget Submission where we state clearly that the 2021-22 Budget is the time for significant investment in mental health reform and say this knowing that the Australian Government has consistently declared mental health to be a high priority. Thank you to all those members who have informed and supported the development of this Submission.

In releasing the PC Report the Prime Minister said “Given the breadth of our ambition, mental health will be a feature of the budget not just next year [2021], but it will be a feature for many years to come under the governments that I lead.”

The PC Report has given the Government clear directions as to where to invest to improve our mental health ecosystem and as such, Mental Health Australia is calling for the following top three priorities for the Australian Government’s action on mental health:

  • An implementation plan for the recommendations of the PC Report, properly informed by the mental health sector, which includes all of the Commission’s recommendations and any gaps identified through the Department of Health consultation.
  • An accompanying budgetary plan that includes Australian, state and territory governments’ commitments to fund the Productivity Commission’s recommendations over a number of funding cycles.
  • Investment in the 2021-22 Commonwealth budget to fund immediately implementable recommendations from the Productivity Commission, and ensure continuity of funding for the psychosocial service sector.

To read our full Pre-Budget Submission click here 

With a New Year comes new challenges, and also change with a new Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention in the Hon David Coleman MP, and a new Shadow Minister for Health in the Hon Mark Butler MP, who of course was a former Minister for Mental Health and Ageing for three years.

Together, we can address these challenges and capitalise on opportunities in front of us, and for Mental Health Australia that starts with our Pre-Budget Submission and continues over the coming months as we work with all of you to achieve our vision of mentally healthy people, mentally healthy communities.

Welcome back and have a good weekend


Leanne Beagley
CEO


2021-22 Pre-Budget Submission - Click Here To Read

 
 

NEXT WEEK

On Monday, we’ll be catching up with the National Mental Health Commission for our monthly meeting while later that day we’ll be meeting with Mental Health Carers Australia.

On Tuesday, I’m looking forward to our Members webinar on children’s mental health and then meeting with Liz Callaghan (Carers Australia) and Leanne Wells (Consumer Health Forum) to talk more about our shared advocacy in Social Prescribing.

On Thursday, we’ll be holding a new Board Director induction for Dr Cathy Andronis, Heath Fereday, Mark Orr and Joe Hooper.

 

Member Benefits and Profiles

Communicate your news or upcoming events to more than 5,000 people in the mental health ecosystem weekly.

Mental Health Australia members are invited to send us news, announcements, events or other notices for inclusion in the Weekly CEO Update newsletter. To do so, simply fill out this form by COB each Wednesday for your notice to appear in the newsletter the following Friday.

Member Profiles

Australian Rotary Health
Australian Rotary Health is one of the largest independent funders of mental health research within Australia. In addition to mental health research, we also provide funding into a broad range of general health areas, provide scholarships for rural medical and nursing students, as well as Indigenous health students. Australian Rotary Health has a broad vision to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians. Since the year 2000, Australian Rotary Health has focused its funding on mental health research. In 2012 this focus narrowed to the Mental Health of Young Australians, and in 2013 research projects focussing on the Prevention of Mental Health Disorders were included.  Our mission is to create better health for all Australians through improved education and advancements in knowledge through medical research. We support excellence in research in an effort to provide both preventative and curative solutions for a broad range of health conditions.


Mentally Healthy WA
Mentally Healthy WA is a community-based health promotion campaign that encourages people to take action to improve their mental health and wellbeing. This evidence-based campaign was developed primarily from research undertaken by Curtin University into people’s perceptions of mental health and the behaviours they believed protected and promoted good mental health. Following a successful pilot phase in six regional communities in Western Australian (2005–2007), the campaign was expanded state-wide.

 

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health News

The Department of Health has developed and translated a number of communication resources for multicultural communities with information on the national COVID-19 vaccines rollout.

Resources include social media materials; videos and radio announcements; posters; and an editorial by Adjunct Professor John Skerritt, from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), explaining the TGA process for assessing and approving COVID-19 vaccines and ensuring COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for the public.

We would appreciate your support in disseminating these resources through your networks to reach multicultural communities.

 

Mental Health News

Australia Day Honours mental health advocates

Congratulations to the following mental health advocates who were recognised in the Australia Day 2021 Honours List:

  • Ms Anne Gordon BURGESS - For significant service to mental health, to gender equality, and to older persons.
  • Mrs Norma Mary TRACEY - For significant service to mental health, and to Indigenous children and their families.
  • Mr Gordon BARRATT - For service to children with a disability and mental health issues, and their families.
  • Mrs Wendy CARVER - For service to community mental health.
  • Mr Peter Barry WICKING - For service to education, and to youth mental health

National Peer Support Service

eFriend is a virtual peer support service where trained peer workers offer befriending session via phone or video conferencing. It is a national program that is for anyone aged 18 years and over who is feeling down, stressed, isolated or worried. People can access up to 5 to 10 calls with the same peer worker.

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More support for Victorians with eating disorders 

Victorians experiencing eating disorders will get the care, support and treatment they need - earlier and faster. A new nine bed, Adult Mental Health Unit was opened at Box Hill Hospital by Minister for Mental Health, James Merlino. He also announced that the Andrews Labor Government would invest $2 million to ensure people with eating disorders are getting the care they need.

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New Guidelines launched to empower recovery from Australia’s growing trauma crisis

Australia’s National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma, Blue Knot Foundation, has launched a new set of organisational guidelines to better support people with experiences of trauma to receive appropriate, trauma-informed services. The Organisational Guidelines for Trauma-Informed Service-Delivery inform diverse audiences, from the human services and legal sectors to health professionals and first responders, to understand how to consider the possibility of trauma in people’s lives and work in ways which empower recovery and minimise the risks of additional trauma.

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#MakingTime for what matters to us this summer

Following a difficult year, the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) has had conversations with people experiencing mental illness and those who care for them about their challenges and what has helped them, as well as how they are feeling about the summer and festive period. The NMHC has launched #MakingTime as a way for Australians, especially those living with mental ill health, mental distress, and those who care for them, to share their daily experiences. Our stories can help everyone understand how to prioritise their mental health and wellbeing, as well as the need to make time for the things that help us respond to daily challenges.

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Carers Australia calls for greater support for carers within community services

Carers Australia is urging the Federal Government to provide greater support to carers after new figures released by the Productivity Commission show decreasing levels of satisfaction amongst primary carers. The annual Report on Government Services highlights that Australia’s 861,600 primary carers across Australia are vital in enabling older people to remain in their homes, and support people with disability to remain in the community.

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Two safe havens opening to support people with mental health challenges in a first for WA

Mental Health Minister Roger Cook officially announced the opening of Safe Havens at both Royal Perth Hospital and Kununurra Hospital. The Safe Havens are important new services which will provide support for people experiencing mental health distress. Announced in March last year, the McGowan Government provided $700,000 to the Mental Health Commission for the funding of two Safe Havens in Western Australia.

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New Release: Mental health and COVID-19

Mental health services in Australia describes the activity and characteristics of Australia’s health care and social care services accessed by people with a mental illness. This web report provides the most recent data available on the national response of the health and welfare system to the mental health care needs of Australians, including COVID-19 and its impact on mental health service activity. Data are progressively published as it becomes available throughout the year.

Read more

 

Reminders 

Seeking feedback into consumer, family and carer experiences of telehealth psychiatry consultations

So that Lived Experience Australia can provide advice to the Government and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), they are running a brief survey about telehealth consultations with psychiatrists. In appreciation of your time in completing the survey, you can enter the draw to win one of four $50 visa cards (2 for consumers and 2 for carers/family members). The survey closes Tuesday 9 February 2021.

Complete the survey

Splash the Stigma

batyr and budgy smuggler have teamed up to bring you Splash the Stigma, a chance to feel the positive benefits of exercise on your wellbeing, have fun and raise much needed funds to support youth mental health. Join us from Friday 19th Feb – Sunday 21st of Feb and take part anywhere in Australia! It doesn’t matter whether it’s your local beach, ocean pool, swimming pool, lake or river, you just need to be able to swim and make a splash!

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Free regional & rural LGBTQIA+ workshops

Minus18 has received funding to run FREE live-streamed, interactive LGBTQIA+ education sessions in South Australia, New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland to regional and rural schools (students and teachers) and community groups. You can register your interest in the workshops or find out more.

MHCC Webinar: NDIS Quality Management Webinar

On 25 February, Join the Mental Health Coordinating Council’s free webinar on NDIS Quality Management. During this webinar you will learn about: key Quality Management principles, mechanisms and practices as they relate to NDIS psychosocial disability service providers; NDIS service provider experience of developing and implementing Quality Management Systems; and implementation ready tools, resources and Quality Management System models. This is the ninth in a series of 10 webinars intended for psychosocial disability service providers and others seeking registration. Register here.

Work with the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations to deliver their NDIS workshops

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations is looking for facilitators – people with disability from different parts of the country – to run NDIS workshops. The workshops are designed to help people with disability and families get the most out of their NDIS plans, and have a good understanding of how everything works.

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The Disability Gateway

The Disability Gateway seeks to improve access to information about disability services and supports that is currently difficult to navigate using several search methods. Find information on local offerings at the Disability Gateway or call the dedicated Disability Gateway phone line on 1800 643 787.

 

 

 
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