The Brisbane North PHN is seeking Expressions of Interest from young people and parents/carers to participate in some focused consultations around their experience accessing child and youth mental health services in Brisbane North region. They are interested in hearing the experiences of those who have accessed child and youth mental health services themselves, or for someone they care for.
MENTAL HEALTH AND SUICIDE PREVENTION MONITORING AND REPORTING FRAMEWORK
The National Mental Health Commission is developing a long-term monitoring and reporting framework to bring a national perspective to mental health and suicide prevention through the lens of consumers and carers and their experiences. This will enable the Commission to deliver an independent, consistent and comprehensive account of reform progress and support the Commission’s new role to monitor and report the implementation of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (see next item for more on the Plan).
The national consultation process on the draft Framework (being conducted from 16 October to 13 November 2017 and involving workshops in capital cities across Australia) will engage a broad cross-section of stakeholders in government, primary health networks, mental health peak bodies and service providers and professional bodies with consumers and carers seen as key representatives with invaluable input to provide.
SO YOU CAN BE DIRECTLY INVOLVED!
Attendees of the workshops will receive a copy of the draft Framework at least one week in advance and an on-line portal for submissions will also be conducted during this timeframe.
The aim is for the Commission to receive targeted feedback on the draft Framework’s priorities, potential gaps, and the availability of data to support the monitoring and reporting of mental health and suicide prevention in Australia.
This consultation NEEDS the voices of those with LIVED EXPERIENCE.
The Brisbane workshop is from 9.30am – 2.00pm on Monday 30 October and Hotel Jen on Roma Street, Brisbane and attendance is FREE. If you’d like to register to attend, you can go directly to the booking page at this link or for more information about this or other workshop locations, contact vanessa.d’firstname.lastname@example.org or via www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au
Online Consultation Survey
For those who can’t attend the workshop, you can provide your input via the online survey here. Or if you’d like to enquire about other ways to contribute, Nous Group (who are working with the Commission to develop the national Framework) can be contacted on email@example.com.
RELEASE OF FIFTH NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH AND SUICIDE PREVENTION PLAN
With seemingly little publicity, Australia’s Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan was released on 14 October. The press release* indicates that:
A particular focus of the Plan is addressing eating disorders. These can have a catastrophic impact on both individuals and their families. It will be a personal priority as we frame further policy in the future. The Plan includes eight nationally agreed priority areas and 32 coordinated actions for the next five years with a view to achieving an integrated mental health system. A key priority area is strengthening regional integration of mental health services to support more effective treatments for those in need.
[* The press release also mentions HEAD TO HEALTH, the federal government’s digital mental health resources site. It’s a very user-friendly interface where consumers and carers can access a range of service providers, support for specific mental health issues etc. so you might want to check it out.]
So, as stated above, since the role of the NMHC is to monitor and report the implementation of the plan, those ‘on the ground’ are in a key position to provide input on if those tasks are being carried out effectively. So ongoing/intermittment contact with the activities of the NMHC will be valuable. On the home page of the National Mental Health Commission, there’s a ‘Get Involved’ box where you can sign up to receive eNews updates so that could be a useful way to stay informed.
BECOME A QUEENSLAND REP FOR THE NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH CONSUMER AND CARER FORUM
The NMHCCF provides a mechanism for mental health consumers and carers to foster partnerships and to ensure input of consumers and carers into the activities of the mental health sector, including policy, service delivery and evaluation of reform in Australia. And the Queensland Mental Health Commission is overseeing the recruitment of:
- a Queensland CONSUMER representative and
- a Queensland CARER representative
General information on these roles – which are remunerated – can be found here and the Operating Guidelines for the NMHCCF (including Terms of Reference for the rep roles) are here. The closing date for Expressions of Interest in the roles is 17 November.
One thing that must be said after all these opportunities for involvement are listed is that WE KNOW that those directly affected by severe and complex youth mental health issues are rarely in a position to be able to attend workshops, regular meetings or commit to an engagement role on an ongoing basis. So we will always try and find ways that you, within the context of your lives, can provide feedback – whether it be via online surveys, direct contact (phone/email) with those managing a consultation process OR by utilising the amazingly dedicated services of Health Consumers Queensland as a conduit. Leonie Sanderson’s role is to represent the needs of those affected in this area so you can get in touch with her for her advice on how your own experiences and ideas can be communicated to those who can utilise those to change service provision and attitudes. We can’t avoid working with bureaucracies, large business-like entities and others in official capacities who don’t always have a true understanding of the daily lives of people in the cohort for which they’re planning. These people are the ones who can make the services what they need to be. So we’ll always be endeavouring to find ways that those who LIVE severe adolescent mental issues can pass on their vital insights to those who provide the services available to support the people whose needs are so great.
The Inquiry into the closure of the Barrett Adolescent Centre brought many issues to light in relation to mental health services for young people that need to be addressed.
In chronological and legal terms, an adolescent becomes an adult at 18 years old. But when that adolescent has been enduring severe and complex mental health issues for years, adult services are too often totally inappropriate for his/her needs and transition to those purely because they’ve passed their 18th birthday can frequently be more harmful than helpful. The process of transition (when a young adult does actually reach a stage where they have the reasoning capacities, lifeskills and emotional/social development of an adult – ensuring access to adult services will facilitate ongoing progress) is also obviously vital. Trauma is likely to have already been a significant experience in the lives of these young people and all efforts to support them must ensure that no therapeutic process or mechanism between processes contributes to that in any way. Individual readiness and gradual and appropriate transitions must not be an aspiration but a BASIC REQUIREMENT of their mental healthcare.
Justice Wilson’s Recommendations from the BACCOI included:
REC 5: Improve transitions for adolescents moving into adult mental health services
and the government’s action on this has been to assemble a working group to outline the terms of reference for the engagement of an organisation to undertake an independent review of the current situation as regards the alignment and transition arrangements between Queensland’s adolescent and adult services.
Health Outcomes International (HOI) and Synergy Nursing and Midwifery Research Institute are, as a result of their appointment, undertaking a range of consultations – from focus groups, discussions with key stakeholders and an online survey to gather information on issues including the following:
- Mental Health Program/Services that currently exist throughout Queensland
- Capacity/ resourcing issues
- Processes for the transition of adolescents and young people to the adult mental health system
- Collaborative working arrangements and communication between services
- Service Innovations
Many young Queenslanders and their families will have valuable information based on their own experiences and it is only through sharing those experiences that access to the appropriate services and transition methods can be developed. The problems Queenslanders have personally experienced or witnessed cannot continue but any shortcomings or mismanagement can’t be addressed if they are not communicated to the independent reviewers. Please be assured that any contributor’s personal identity WILL BE PROTECTED.
HOI states clearly that the information collected by the survey is for statistical purposes only and won’t be used to identify survey respondents, mental health service users or their families/carers. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact Andrew McAlindon, Senior Manager at HOI (AndrewM@hoi.com.au)
please note that Leonie Sanderson at Health Consumers
Queensland is an ADVOCATE and ADVISOR for the needs of CONSUMERS and CARERS, specifically in relation to the government response to the Inquiry’s recommendations.
As the HCQ website states:
Health Consumers Queensland is a not-for-profit organisation and a registered health promotion charity and we believe in improving health outcomes for people in Queensland. One way we do this is through enabling consumers to be an effective voice in how health services are designed and delivered.
So you can contact Leonie at firstname.lastname@example.org to clarify anything or provide anonymous information should you have any concerns about sharing information related to your mental health service experiences in a more public forum.
Those who were/are unable to attend the ongoing regional forums* should be encouraged to contact Leonie with their insights at the above email address or by phoning HCQ on 07 3012 9090 to arrange the best method and time of sharing your insights to suit your needs and availablity.
So please, urge those you know who have experience in the transition of a young person/s from adolescent to adult mental health services to undertake the survey (at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3542411/Queensland-Health-Public-Mental-Health-Services-Mapping) and/or contact Health Consumers Queensland directly if you have additional insights to share regarding the services needed to address the needs of young people with severe and complex mental health issues. Contributions from those with experience are essential in ensuring that the right approaches, programs and attitudes to mental healthcare for our most vulnerable young people become standard practice as soon as possible.
* There are still places available for the following Youth Mental Health forums: Townsville: 9.30am - 12.30pm, 19 May - Riverway Function Space, Tony Ireland Stadium. Mt Isa: 12.30 - 3.30pm, 23 May - MICRRH, James Cook University Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health, Mount Isa Hospital, Joan St, Mount Isa City. Logan: 9.30am - 12.30pm, 29 May - Logan Central, 51 Wembley Rd, Ground floor conference room Addiction, Mental Health Services. Mackay: 10.30am - 1.30pm, 30 May - Ocean International Resort, 1 Bridge Rd, South Mackay. Bundaberg: 10.30am - 1.30pm, 31 May - Burnett Riverside Motel, 7 Quay Street, Bundaberg.
The Queensland Health Commission of Inquiry Implementation Group and Health Consumers Queensland will be hold a forum in Mackay as well as the other regional centres already announced. The list of dates is now as follows:
2 May (Tuesday) – Toowoomba
4 May (Thursday) – Sunshine Coast
5 May (Friday) – Cairns
9 May (Tuesday) – Ipswich
12 May (Friday) – Rockhampton
19 May (Friday) – Townsville
23 May (Tuesday) – Mt Isa
25 May (Thursday) – Bundaberg
29 May (Monday) – Logan
30 May (Tuesday) – Mackay NEW
1 June (Thursday) Gold Coast
2 June (Friday) – Brisbane
Click on your chosen location above to register your attendance OR
Head to the GET INVOLVED! page at severeyouthmentalhealth.org
under the heading
for more information
Go directly to www.health.qld.gov.au/improvement/youthmentalhealth OR www.hcq.org.au OR
This is a unique opportunity to genuinely contribute to the specific services and support required for all young people and families in Queensland dealing with severe and complex mental health issues.
We cannot change the past – and we will continue to support those whose suffering continues as a result of what has gone before – but anyone with an interest in this vital area of service provision can now be HEARD and RESPONDED TO.
Please become a part of the movement towards valuing our young people and those who care for them in the way that they truly deserve.
As part of the Qld Government’s response to the Barrett Adolescent Centre Commission of Inquiry (BACCOI) Report, Health Consumers Queensland‘s collaboration with Queensland Health and Education Queensland continues to create vital opportunities for public input.
The next phase means that ‘coming soon to a town near you‘ will be a public forum where anyone with ideas, experience and information related to adolescent mental health issues are invited to talk directly to those responsible for the provision of health and education services throughout Queensland for young people and their families dealing with such challenges. Consumer and carer representatives who have been actively involved so far will be present as will the Health Consumers Queensland staff who continue to advocate for co-design as the only means by which the best services can become available. These forums are an opportunity to:
To register your attendance go to
contact EDyouthmentalhealth@health.qld.gov.au or
click on the thumbnail below right to open the info sheet
with location and registration information
Very few people know.
Quite a few people think they know … but they don’t.
So, as is often the case, education is the answer.
If there is genuine understanding of an issue, most people’s needs will be met. So, in endeavouring to ensure that the needs of those affected by severe and complex adolescent mental health issues are met, those advocating for the right services are gathering information from the people who know – the people who’ve experienced those issues.
If this is you or someone you know, we need your input … so that we can make sure YOU and those close to you … AND others like you … get the best help in future.
We need to put together stories, snapshots, insights into what it’s like living with severe and complex mental health issues during adolescence – for the young people, for their carers, for their families and their friends.
So if you can tell us just a little, we can put together some examples that resonate with truth but without identifying any individual or contravening anyone’s privacy. We can paint a clear picture of what it feels like to:
- be turned away from an Emergency Department
- be denied access to services because you’re TOO unwell
- have to retell your history over and over again to psychiatrists, psychologists, CYMHS staff
AND what it feels like to:
- get the right support so that you can attend school
- work with a clinician who respects your input and acknowledges your strengths
- build a life with functional relationships and moments of peace
Only your own stories can describe what it’s like. And we know that it’s not easy to tell those stories. So Health Consumers Qld have put together some questions to provide a framework for people to provide their insights. So that we can educate people – the people in positions that will determine the services available to support those dealing with severe and complex adolescent mental health issues.
Click on the links below to have your say – the good, the bad, the unimaginable. If the government officials, medical professionals and bureaucrats don’t know what’s happening to you, they can’t improve the system, the type/amount of support or the approach/attitude of clinical staff etc.
The good things must be replicated and shared.
The bad things must be prevented from impacting people’s lives ever again.
So please fill us in about your significant experiences and knowledge of what works/doesn’t work (AND/OR encourage others to do so) via: