Project on COVID changes to Brisbane South mental health services

FEEDBACK OPPORTUNITIES for CONSUMERS AND CARERS …

The Queensland Alliance for Mental Health (QAMH) – partnering with Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ), Metro South Addictions and Mental Health Services (MSAMHS) and Brisbane South PHN – is undertaking to assess the system changes in the Brisbane South Region adopted due to pandemic.

To do this, they are looking for people to be involved in

FOCUS GROUPS and INTERVIEWS in February and March

Participants will be remunerated having been chosen for the limited positions based on their Expression of Interest forms.

There will also be opportunities for wider participation through an online survey.

To find out more and access the EOI form go the following website:

Mental Health Service System Changes: Experiences of COVID-19 Project

*

NEW MENTAL HEALTH CONSUMER PEAK BODY – Significant roles available

The initiative to establish a new mental health consumer representative peak organisation is set to have a significant impact on the support for those with mental health issues throughout Queensland.

We only have to look at the phenomenal achievements of Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ) in the last few years to see how such an organisation can ensure that those directly affected can have their voices not only heard but responded to in the form of ongoing effective services. Without HCQ facilitating significant action on many issues addressing healthcare rights, quality, standards and systems, much vital progress would never have been made.

So to have a peak body that will be able to impact, through policy advice and systems advocacy, the way mental health services are delivered to consumers across Queensland is something that should shape the change necessary to better support the lives and futures of those affected.

“Years in the planning, designed to improve the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders, the Peak will launch in 2021.

So the Queensland Mental Health Commission and Windsor Group are working together to fill the following key positions:

  • Inaugural Board Chair – 1 position
  • Inaugural Non-Executive Director (Board Member) – 5 positions
  • Inaugural Non-Executive Director (Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander identified position) (Board Member) – 1 position
  • Interim Chief Executive Officer (12-month contract) – 1 position

“People with their own personal lived/living experience of mental ill-health, service use and recovery are strongly encouraged to apply.”

These are remarkable opportunities to play roles that can achieve significant change in a world where mental health requires as much attention as possible.
If you’re not in a position to apply yourself, please spread the word to ensure that individuals with knowledge, experience and dedication can establish this important Peak Body as one that is committed to ensuring what is needed reaches those in need.

For more information click here to go to the Windsor Group webpage on the positions and application process.

And please use the buttons below to share this post (or copy and paste the following shortlink on social media):
https://wp.me/p7lCk2-Jz

*
 

 

PEER WORKER role for young person with lived experience of mental health issues

The compassion and understanding that you or someone you know feel/s for others in circumstances that parallel those you/they have experienced can, when you/they are ready, be the basis of a meaningful career.

A Peer Worker role is based on the idea that people who have had lived experience of mental illness and have experienced recovery, with specialised training, can support others experiencing mental health difficulties and can intentionally engender hope by role-modelling recovery in a way that others without a lived experience cannot.

And Children’s Health Queensland (CHQ) are currently looking for a YOUTH Peer Worker to fill a Temporary (until 3 July 2021) Part-Time position in the Brisbane Inner City, Brisbane – South areas.

More information about this vacancy (and working for CHQ) is here with a pdf of the job description here.
Applications close on the 5th of February.

Report on MENTAL HEALTH by Productivity Commission: a clear directive the Australian government can’t afford to ignore

Yesterday, the Australian government released their Productivity Commission’s Inquiry Report into mental health. And, whether the focus is on the health and welfare of the community OR the economy, it has been spelled out in simple terms:

THERE MUST BE MAJOR REFORM ACROSS AUSTRALIA TO DEAL WITH THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS

Sadly this crisis existed prior to the global pandemic so the urgency now is even greater.

Some of the actions cited as high priorities include:

  • development and implementation of a new assessment tool to ensure a robust and person-centred approach to assessment and referrals
  • an immediate trial and evaluation of psychology therapy – expanding the number of MBS-rebated treatments to 20 per 12-month period (instead of 10 per calendar year) as well as delaying the need for re-referrals and the use of feedback-informed practice
  • the immediate improvement of emergency mental health service experiences i.e. to ensure that hospitals and crisis response services support a person’s recovery in a safe environment that meets their needs
  • that State and Territory Governments should immediately act to provide child and adolescent mental health beds that are separate to adult mental health wards and if it is not possible to provide these beds in public hospitals, then there must be the capacity to offer alternative services such as hospital-in-the-home, day programs or options where private providers have been contracted to provide services
  • etc.

The report is extensive and even its summary document on Actions and Findings is 74 pages. So there should be no doubt as to what is needed, why and how to begin implementation the vital reforms.

The Productivity Commission makes clear that the cost to all Australians of ignoring what is required  is overwhelming.

The economic benefits of the recommended reforms to Australia’s mental health system were estimated to be up to $1.3 billion per year as a result of the increased economic participation of people with mental ill-health. About 85% of these economic benefits ($1.1 billion) could be achieved from the identified priority reforms alone.

adding that …

… the main benefits of this Inquiry’s recommended reforms would be a substantial increase in the quality of life for a large number of Australians. These gains were estimated to be the equivalent of up to $18 billion per year (an improvement of 84,000 quality-adjusted life years), were the full list of recommended reforms implemented. Ultimately though, the benefits of reform extend to all Australians: those who are currently receiving or require treatment and support for their mental health; their carers, families and colleagues; and those who are well now but may one day seek help for themselves or someone they know. You do not have to be unwell now to benefit from improvements to Australia’s mental health system.

(Australian Government Productivity Commission Inquiry Report on Mental Health, No. 95, 30 June 2020. Volume 1, p14)

So much more could be extracted from this report that those with lived experience have known for far too long.

To read more, the report can be accessed here in its three volumes plus appendices, Actions and Findings and factsheet forms.

And an article on the government’s release of the report by the Guardian is at the following:
“Landmark mental health report calls for $4bn upgrade to care from ‘moment’ a person is struggling”

WE AWAIT THE PRIME MINISTER’S CONFIRMATION THAT ALL ACTIONS WILL BEGIN IMPLEMENTATION AS RECOMMENDED.


 

Specialised Education – How it Works

To conclude our month focussing on education for young people with severe and complex mental health issues, here’s a video that illustrates what’s needed and how it works:

Click to view video on YouTube

 

To read the rest of our October posts, go to:

Education for Young People with Severe Mental Health Issues (5 Oct)

And the GOOD NEWS is … (9 Oct)

Not Patients But Students (15 Oct)

“Who We Are” and What We Need” (22 Oct)

What Learning Means (26 Oct)

 

And please do what you can to advocate for the right kind of education for the young people in your community.


 

“Who We Are” and “What We Need”

We started our month on education for young people with severe mental health issues by introducing one of the new videos created by the Health Consumers Queensland consumer/carer network – ‘Education for Young People with Severe Mental Health Issues’ (5 Oct). That video – which gives insights into the lives of these young people – is also half of a 2-part series aimed at education service providers (government, private organisations, curriculum designers as well as teachers).

But, in the same way that Part 1 (Who We Are) is able to highlight aspects of what the reality of living with severe and complex youth mental health issues can be, Part 2 (What We Need)’s concise clarity gives indications of the personal perspective that, when shared, can help to properly develop wider understanding of what severe youth mental health issues can actually mean. Especially in relation to the gulf that those directly affected can feel between their experience/needs and what is available to help them – a burden which can add to a situation that’s already overwhelming.

So please share this post or links directly to the videos wherever you see opportunities to raise awareness and/or communicate what’s necessary to ensure the most effective services become available.

CONSUMERS AND CARERS ON EDUCATION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH SEVERE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
Experiences with Education: Part 1 – Who We Are 

Experiences with Education: Part 2 – What We Need

 


To read our previous October posts focused on education, go to:

Education for Young People with Severe Mental Health Issues (5 Oct)

And the GOOD NEWS is … (9 Oct)

Not Patients But Students (15 Oct)

Two positions for mental health consumers/carers

Amidst our month long focus on EDUCATION for young people with severe mental health issues, opportunities continue for those with lived experience to have a voice where it matters.
Here are two – one with the Queensland Mental Health Commission and the other with the government’s Quality Assurance Committee:

 

Queensland Mental Health Commission – Steering Committee

Closing date: 5pm Thursday, 22 October 2020

Needs-analysis project – mental health non-government community services sector

The Commission is seeking to engage eight (8) people with lived experience of mental illness personally or as a carer to become members of the time-limited Steering Committee that will oversee and inform the needs-analysis project.

The Queensland Mental Health Commission (the Commission) is investing in a needs-analysis of the mental health non-government community services sector to gain a better understanding of the current environment, strengths, challenges, barriers and opportunities. The needs analysis will inform the development of a five-year strategy to enhance, develop and grow the sector.Further information can be found on the Commission’s website – https://www.qmhc.qld.gov.au/

How to apply: Please complete the consumer application form here and return to consumer@hcq.org.au by 5pm Thursday, 22 October 2020.


Queensland Health Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Quality Assurance Committee

(The QAC was established by the Queensland Health Director-General in September 2017. The Committee meets an identified need for quality assurance oversight and improvement of mental health alcohol and other drugs service delivery.)

Closing Date:Wednesday 21 October 2020.

The Queensland Health Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) for Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Services is recruiting up to two (2) representatives to fill available roles on the QAC membership. They are seeking expressions of interest from consumers and carers who have experience with Queensland Health mental health and/or alcohol and drug treatment services.

How to apply: Please complete the consumer application form here and return to consumer@hcq.org.au by Wednesday 21 October 2020.

 

Please share this post or the information wherever you’re able.

Thanks!

Education for Young People with Severe Mental Health Issues

Today is World Teachers Day.*

Saturday is World Mental Health Day.*

So at severeyouthmentalhealth.org, we’ll be focussing on EDUCATION for young people with severe mental health issues throughout October.

Highlighting what’s available and what’s needed for young people in this area is relevant anytime. But the global pandemic has made this – like many other things – an urgent issue. The theme of 2020 World Teachers Day is, appropriately:

Leading in crisis, reimagining the future
So this October, we’ll be paying tribute to the truly amazing educators who are already showing the way in specialised education for young people for whom mental health issues have rendered every other education option ineffective. We’ll shine a light on the best but also ask “where’s the rest“?

In future posts we’ll look at Support Schools, the AETC education program and ways educators can share insights across their network. We’ll look at Queensland and see if young people across the state are being properly supported to keep learning through severe mental health issues and a global pandemic.

For those who have disengaged from education because you felt misunderstood, … because even modified, distance ed or other services couldn’t keep you learning, … it’s important that you know that the problem is not with you. Teachers have shown us they can be flexible, resourceful and mindful of individual needs in 2020. But to properly support students with severe mental health issues, teachers need to know more about those young people and the programs that will work to keep them on a path where progress is inevitable. In time. SO the service providers – government and private – must ensure that teachers have that specialised knowledge and that there are places with appropriate environments where individual goals are the foundation for expert staff to provide targeted programs.

But the most important place to start is to hear from the young people themselves about what they need. And the struggle they can go through trying to find it.

Health Consumers Queensland has just released some short videos created by those in their severe youth mental health consumer and carer network. Young people and those close to them have shared their experiences in the hope that education providers will listen. And learn. And then enable their dedicated teaching staff to deliver the programs that can mean the difference for young people affected between a life of dependence and isolation and one where independence, purpose and personal satisfaction are a reality.

Click here to watch Young People with Severe Mental Health Issues: Experiences with Healthcare & Education (9 mins)

And please share this post or the video link so that with understanding will come better services and greater support for those whose lives are so severely challenging.


World Teachers Day will be celebrated by the Queensland Education Department on 30 October and State Education Week will be 25 – 31 October.

Queensland Mental Health Week is 10 – 18 October.

 

Position Vacant on project with Queensland Alliance for Mental Health

PROJECT:
Consumer and Carer Perceptions of Mental Health Service System Changes resulting from COVID-19

(a project in partnership with Health Consumers Queensland, Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Service and the Brisbane South PHN)

ROLE:
Lived Experience Advisor
(part time up to 15 hours per week until  30 June 2021, based at QAMH Stones Corner)
https://www.seek.com.au/job/50578393
The QAMH is the state’s peak advocacy body for mental health.
And they’re undertaking a project to understand:
  • the specific changes that have occurred across services and map those services
  • the experiences of consumers and carers with those changes and
  • the perceptions of care from the service providers viewpoint
This isn’t a role that’s specifically for young people or carers of young people but it might be worth considering or sharing with others that you know.
If you want more information, click on the link to the SEEK advertisement above or  contact Sarah Childs, the Director of Engagement & Partnerships at QAMH oschilds@qamh.org.au or at  07 3394 8480.

Have YOUR SAY on Mental Health

The government provides health services based on the National Mental Health Plan. The Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (the Fifth Plan) and its Implementation Plan were endorsed in August 2017.

NOW, they are looking to work towards a NEW set of mental health safety priorities. And they want people in Australia to tell them …
  • what you think are the most important safety priorities in mental health,
  • how they can best improve safety in these areas, and
  • how they can monitor progress over time.

There are several ways you can let the government know what you think:

  1. You can take part in a survey (open until 10 June)
  2. You can join an online discussion (between 15 & 26 June)
  3. You can make a written submission (open until 26 June)

To do any of those, click on the links above.

People across Australia dealing with mental health issues KNOW what’s important.

We know that quite often just surviving the day has to be your focus. But if, in the next few weeks, you can make some time to give your input, the government will know where THEIR focus has to be where mental healthcare is concerned. If you can’t, perhaps you can share the links above with others who might be able to.

We need to let the government know what matters.

Australia needs the best possible mental healthcare. Telling those providing services what and how is the way to achieve that.

Thank you.