Aboriginal #MentalHealthWeek @GregHuntMP launches 5th National #MentalHealth and #SuicidePrevention Plan


” For the first time this plan commits all governments to work together to achieve integration in planning and service delivery at a regional level. Importantly it demands that consumers and carers are central to the way in which services are planned, delivered and evaluated.

Furthermore this plan recognises the tragic impact of suicide on the lives of so many Australians and sets a clear direction for coordinated actions by both levels of government to more effectively address this important public issue.

This plan is also the first to specifically outline an agreed set of actions to address social and emotional wellbeing, mental illness and suicide amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as a priority, as well as being the first to elevate the importance of addressing the physical health needs of people who live with mental illness and reducing the stigma and discrimination that accompanies mental illness.”

The Hon Jill HennessyChair, COAG Health Council

” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership in mental health services is fundamental to building culturally capable models of care. Governance, planning processes, systems and clinical pathways will be more effective if they include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers at key points in the consumer journey, such as assessment, admission, case conferencing, discharge planning and development of mental health care plans.

Strong ACCHSs are an important component of a culturally responsive mental health service system.

These organisations can play a vital role in:

  1. prevention and early intervention to address risk of developing mental health problems
  2. enabling access to primary and specialist mental health services and allied health
  3. facilitating the transition of consumers across the primary and specialist/acute interface
  4. connecting consumers with the range of community-based social support services
  5. working with mainstream community mental health and hospital services to enhance cultural capability through provision of cultural mentorship, advice and training placements for non-Indigenous staff
  6. working as part of multi-agency and multidisciplinary teams aimed at delivering shared care arrangements.

Building a culturally competent service system also requires a well-supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health workforce.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health workers require opportunities and support to attain advanced qualifications and recruitment and retention processes that maximise opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and workforces should be complemented by mainstream services and clinicians that are responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

From Page 30 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 

Download 84 page Plan PDF HERE

 Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

Health Minister Greg Hunt Press Release 14 October

Around four million Australians who experience a mental health condition will benefit from a strengthened mental health system under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

The Plan, which was endorsed in August by all health ministers at Council of Australian Governments Health Council, has been released as Mental Health Week comes to a close

The Turnbull Government is committed to ensuring people with mental health challenges get the support and treatment they need and this Plan will see a more coordinated national approach to mental health from all governments and stakeholders.

More than 2,800 Australians take their lives each year and the Plan will provide an additional focus of suicide prevention.

Evidence-based approaches and strategies to prevent suicide will be implemented through a community-wide approach, including more effective follow-up support for people who have attempted to take their own lives.

The Turnbull Government recently committed $47 million for more frontline services for suicide prevention.

Last week as part of our over $4 billion annual investment in mental health we launched the Head to Health website, which is a one-stop shop for services and resources delivered by some of Australia’s most trusted mental health service providers.

NACCHO Aboriginal #MentalHealthDay : Australia’s new digital #mentalhealth gateway now live

NACCHO Aboriginal #MentalHealthDay 2/2 @KenWyattMP Minister Scullion : Download Building a Better Understanding of Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health

And yesterday the Turnbull Government announced a wide ranging package of reforms to make private health insurance simpler and more affordable for Australians, including better access for mental health services without a waiting period.

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.

What will we do?

From Page 3o + Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 

Action 10 Governments will work with PHNs and LHNs to implement integrated planning and service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at the regional level. This will include:

  1. engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the co-design of all aspects of regional planning and service delivery
  2. collaborating with service providers regionally to improve referral pathways between GPs, ACCHSs, social and emotional wellbeing services, alcohol and other drug services and mental health services, including improving opportunities for screening of mental and physical wellbeing at all points; connect culturally informed suicide prevention and postvention services locally and identify programs and services that support survivors of the Stolen Generation
  3. developing mechanisms and agreements that enable shared patient information, with informed consent, as a key enabler of care coordination and service integration
  4. clarifying roles and responsibilities across the health and community support service sectors
  5. ensuring that there is strong presence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership on local mental health service and related area service governance structures.

Action 11 Governments will establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Subcommittee of MHDAPC, as identified in the Governance section of this Fifth Plan, that will set future directions for planning and investment and:

  1. provide advice to support the development of a nationally agreed approach to suicide prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for inclusion in the National Suicide Prevention Implementation Strategy
  2. provide advice on models for co-located or flexible service arrangements that promote social and emotional wellbeing incorporating factors, including a person’s connection to country, spirituality, ancestry, kinship and community
  3. identify innovative strategies, such as the use of care navigators and single care plans, to improve service integration, support continuity of care across health service settings and connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with community-based social support (non-health) services
  4. provide advice on suitable governance for services and the most appropriate distribution of roles and responsibilities, recognising that the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to self-determination lies at the heart of community control in the provision of health services
  5. oversee the development, dissemination and promotion in community, hospital and custodial settings of a resource that articulates a model of culturally competent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health care across the health care continuum and brings together (a) the holistic concept of social and emotional wellbeing and (b) mainstream notions of stepped care, trauma-informed care and recovery-oriented practice
  6. provide advice on workforce development initiatives that can grow and support an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health workforce, incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff into multidisciplinary teams and improve access to cultural healers
  7. provide advice on models of service delivery that embed cultural capability into all aspects of clinical care and implement the Cultural Respect Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 2016–2026 in mental health services
  8. provide advice on culturally appropriate digital service delivery and strategies to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to register for My Health Record and to understand the benefits of shared data.

Action 12 Governments will improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access to, and experience with, mental health and wellbeing services in collaboration with ACCHSs and other service providers by:

12.1. developing and distributing a compendium of resources that includes (a) best-practice examples of effective Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health care, (b) culturally safe and appropriate education materials and resources to support self-management of mental illness and enhance mental health literacy and (c) culturally appropriate clinical tools and resources to facilitate effective assessment and to improve service experiences and outcomes

12.2. increasing knowledge of social and emotional wellbeing concepts, improving the cultural competence and capability of mainstream providers and promoting the use of culturally appropriate assessment and care planning tools and guidelines

12.3. recognising and promoting the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership and supporting implementation of the Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Declaration (Appendix B)

12.4. training all staff delivering mental health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly those in forensic settings, in trauma-informed care that incorporates historical, cultural and contemporary experiences of trauma.

Action 13 Governments will strengthen the evidence base needed to improve mental health services and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through:

13.1. establishing a clearinghouse of resources, tools and program evaluations for all settings to support the development of culturally safe models of service delivery, including the use of cultural healing and trauma-informed care

13.2. ensuring that all mental health services work to improve the quality of identification of Indigenous peoples in their information systems through the use of appropriate standards and business processes

13.3. ensuring that future investments are properly evaluated to inform what works

13.4. reviewing existing datasets across all settings for improved data collection on the mental health and wellbeing of, and the prevalence of mental illness in, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

13.5. utilising available health services data and enhancing those collections to improve services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

How will we know things are different?

What will be different for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers and carers?

  • Both your clinical and social and emotional wellbeing needs, and the needs of your community, will be addressed when care is planned and delivered.
  • Your care will be coordinated, and you will be supported to navigate the health system.
  • You will receive culturally appropriate care.
  • Services will actively follow up with you if you are at a higher risk of suicide, including after a suicide attempt.
  • If you are at risk of suicide, you will have timely access to support and be clear about which services in your area are responsible for providing you with care and support.

Press Release Continued

A key priority area is strengthening regional integration of mental health services to support more effective treatments for those in need.

In partnership with consumers and carers, Primary Health Networks and Local Hospital Networks will plan and design mental health services to meet specific local needs.

An implementation plan has been developed to guide and monitor implementation efforts of governments.

Improving the mental health system and outcomes for people with mental illness can only be done in partnership with the community, sector and all governments.

For people looking for mental health and suicide prevention support, I encourage them to visit the newly launched Head to Health website.

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