Mental Health Reform: A Never Ending Story?
What will it take to be a mentally healthier nation? How can we bend the curve on suicide and self-harm? How to improve access to care and the quality of care in your setting?
The journey of mental health reform in Australia is a long and discontinuous one. Closing the old stand alone psychiatric hospitals and moving to a community based model of mental health care has not resulted in better mental health or improved quality of life for all of those in our community with severe mental conditions. Good care for the nearly 700,000 Australians with a severe condition, remains something of a lucky dip.
Mental health reforms in primary care and specialist care, only began in the late 1990s. A succession of new programs – Better Outcomes, Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program, Better Access and many others – have provided improved access to care for many people experiencing high prevalence mental health conditions, but again the evidence relating to improved outcomes is mixed. Successive governments, state and federal, have funded a myriad of programs rather than undertake systemic reform. Simply put, too few Australians with a need for mental health care access any care and those that do, only some gain sustained improvements and enjoy contributing lives.
This two-part workshop will begin with a 1-hour presentation that will look at what can be done to ‘bend the curve’ on mental illness and suicide and self-harm in Australia and create a more mentally healthy and resilient communities. It will set out the 'big picture' of what can be done at a policy level, within the health sector and other sectors, and at a practice or service level.
The second part of the day (the workshop) will examine developing regional or service-level integrated approaches to improving access to mental health and the quality of that moves beyond the formula driven population level models so evident to date. Practical examples from around the world will be presented, analysed and considered for how they can be applied in local Australian contexts.
9:15 Welcome & Introduction
9:30 The Big Picture: Why we have failed to bend the curve on mental illness and suicide
10:30 Discussion: Up for debate
10:45 Morning break
11:15 Systems Approaches: The building blocks for integrated regional mental health and suicide prevention
12:45 Networking lunch
1:45 Innovations in Mental Health Services: Determining the value for communities
2:45 Innovations in Suicide Prevention: Determining the value for communities
3:45 Afternoon break
4:00 Measuring Impact & Putting it Together
5:00 End of Workshop
John Mendoza, Director, ConNetica
John Mendoza has played a lead role over past 10 years in the political strategies to engage all Australian governments to commit to the reform of mental health services. His efforts contributed to the 2006 $5.5billion COAG National Action Plan and $2.2b 2011 plan of the Gillard Government. He has authored more than 20 major reports on mental health and suicide prevention including Obsessive Hope Disorder Report (2013) and the Not For Service Report (2005).
In 2002, John was awarded the Queensland University of Technology, Vice- Chancellor’s Outstanding Alumni Award for Innovation and Excellence. He was also awarded the Faculty of Health’s 2002 Outstanding Alumni Award. In 2010 he was awarded a Life Achievement Award for his contribution to suicide prevention.