The new Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing is embarking on a community consultation program as part of its bid to reshape services in the ACT, so that people who need help and support can access the right services at the right time.
The Office’s Coordinator-General, Dr Elizbeth Moore, said the Office was developing a new approach to mental health services in the ACT and was seeking public input into which areas should have priority.
“The ACT Government is committed to providing a more integrated approach to mental health services that works with the community as a whole,” Dr Moore said.
The first phase of consultation includes an online feedback form and a series of workshops during February.
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Dr Moore said feedback would be used to create a work plan for the Office.
While all views are welcome, the Office particularly wants to hear from people who use mental health services, their families and carers, and members of the public with experience in the mental health sector.
The Office has already identified a range of priority areas but wanted to ensure that they aligned with what the community wanted.
Top of the list is a need for increased focus on prevention and early intervention, including improved holistic outcomes, coordinated services so individuals don’t need to have to navigate the system, and more focus on vulnerable population groups.
Other priority areas include reducing suicide attempts and deaths through better integration of suicide prevention services; consumer and carer engagement and participation; growing an effective mental health workforce, including peer workers; and targeted research and evaluation.
“As Coordinator-General I am working closely with carers and consumers, mental health service providers, experts in the sectors and across all ACT Government directorates to raise the prominence of and make changes to enhance mental health,” Dr Moore said.
The workshops will be facilitated by Mental Illness Education ACT and supported by Mental Health Community Coalition, ACT Mental Health Consumers Network, Carers ACT, and the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Association ACT.
They will take place on:
- Tuesday 12 February, 9 am-11:30 am (Belconnen)
- Wednesday 13 February, 5:30 pm-7:30 pm (Phillip)
- Thursday 14 February, 2 pm-4:30 pm (Watson)
This first round of consultation on the YourSay website is open until 7 March, 2019.