Mental Health Australia - Submission to National Disability Strategy - Consultation Stage 2-5 November 2020

Mental Health Australia - Submission to National Disability Strategy - Consultation Stage 2-5 November 2020

Summary of recommendations

This submission includes a range of recommendations to guide the drafting and development of the revised Strategy:

Recommendation 1: All governments should provide funding for structures that strengthen and embed the voices of people with lived experience in national policy design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. This includes funding for consumer and carer leadership and representation structures.

Recommendation 2: The Federal Government should develop and implement a supported decision-making framework for mental health and psychosocial disability support services, in line with its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Recommendation 3: In the final revised Strategy, clearly articulate the application parameters of the guiding principles.

Recommendation 4: The Federal Government should resource a nationally coordinated and evidence-based prevention, early intervention and anti-discrimination campaign, including community-wide education and tailored strategies for mental health services, emergency services, workplaces, schools, early childhood services and other key settings for health promotion, prevention and early intervention.

Recommendation 5: All governments should require workers in all services that support people with disability to undergo a minimum level of mental health training. Training could be incorporated into accreditation processes or delivered on-the-job.

Recommendation 6: Governments should identify the potential impacts of policy changes on mental health outcomes across portfolios and jurisdictional boundaries. Treasury and/or Finance Departments of all governments should also reconfigure their Budget rules in order to allow Ministers to account for savings in one portfolio as a result of investment in another portfolio, and to better recognise longer-term down-stream savings that stem from government investments in areas such as psychosocial services, employment supports and securing stable housing.

Recommendation 7: Federal and jurisdictional governments jointly provide an annual “report card” to the community. People with disability (a mix of both NDIS participants and non-participants) co-design the indicators which are reported upon, and remain involved through formal leadership positions in the governance structure.

Recommendation 8: The revised Strategy must include a whole-of-Strategy Implementation Plan, in addition to proposed TAPs that must include consumers and carers as decision-makers and identify who will be delivering each aspect of the action plan to ensure accountability for delivery.

Recommendation 9: Governments should develop a national plan to support the development of the workforce necessary to support people with disability outside of the NDIS. This plan should sit within the Strategy, and acknowledge the unique skills required for the psychosocial disability workforce.

Recommendation 10: Governments should provide funding and support to develop a trained professional lived experience workforce, as well as incentives to integrate peer workers into all mental health services, multi-disciplinary teams and accident, emergency and other first responder services.

Recommendation 11: All sectors including government, non-government, industry and private sector must work to reduce the barriers to employment that will increase economic productivity and social participation.

Lachlan Searle
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