The Mental Health Council of Tasmania (MHCT) is a member based peak body. We represent and promote the interests of community managed mental health services and have a strong commitment to enabling better access and outcomes for every Tasmanian.

Sector Development

MHCT represents and promotes the interest of the Community Managed Mental Health (CMMH) services and are strongly committed to supporting positive sector reform and enabling better mental health and wellbeing outcomes for everyone.

Working closely with the Mental Health Alcohol and Drug Directorate (MHADD), Primary Health Tasmania (PHT) and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), MHCT links in with these agencies to be able to communicate with our members and the broader community on the implementation of the reform agenda.

Our aim is to assist the CMMH sector with the provision of efficient, effective and connected services, delivering relevant services and programs, with strong governance, leadership and partnerships. To achieve this, we focus on:

  • Training, chiefly through Skills Fund brokerage
  • Opportunities for networking and peer learning particularly through the Mental Health Leaders Forum and Regional Mental Health Group meetings and workshops on current issues
  • Providing access to resources that support good practice
  • Advocacy for public policy that ensures community service organisations can perform their roles in a well-resourced and accountable environment based on what the sector tells us they need to stay effective, efficient and connected.
    Identify, communicate and facilitate system linkages to support ongoing change
  • Facilitate the process for Government Agencies, Primary Health Tasmania and key decision makes to engage with CMMH services around system reform
  • Continued assessment of barriers, enablers and solutions relating to reform implementation through member consultation and community engagement
  • Increase public and broader community awareness of the reforms
  • Identify opportunities and provide recommendations to assist and support initiatives in other areas as identified
  • Support building capacity within the Community Managed Mental Health services to achieve systemic and sustainable reform

2018 Key projects

Tasmanian Mental Health Leaders’ Forum (TMHLF)
The Tasmanian Mental Health Leaders Forum (TMHLF) is a forum to advance thought leadership, strategic planning and collaboration action between principle stakeholders within the Tasmanian CMMH sector and as appropriate with the broader services sectors. Members’ collective expertise will inform a proactive agenda guiding sustainable sector development in a climate of significant state and federal reform.

The role of the TMHLF is to:
• Identify and examine key issues and factors impacting the Tasmanian mental health sector at state and national levels including:
-the State Rethink Mental Health Plan;
-the Federal Response to Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities;
-the National Disability Insurance Scheme;
-The Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan
• Develop shared positions and policy responses and advice to government and government agencies as appropriate;
• Devise joint strategies to assist the Tasmanian mental health sector to engage with and address industry changes and reforms;
• Develop consultation and communication processes to receive and share information with stakeholders including consumers and carers;
• Identify opportunities for prioritisation, agenda setting and future planning within local and national reform and funding frameworks;
• Work across sectors and silos by establishing connections across the broader mental health sector to improve outcomes for consumers and carers;

Current TMHLF initiatives

MHCT and the TMHLF have been working since July 2018 to develop a cohesive and collective response to the public debate around the perceived need for more acute mental health beds in Tasmanian Hospitals. We launched a media call ‘A Better Way – Unifying the Tasmanian Mental Health System’ to drive a new focus in the debate and to articulate, educate and promote to Tasmanians on an alternative approach.

Collectively, the group developed a three-point action plan to demand a better way to provide safe and seamless mental health services for Tasmanians – a unified approach to deliver mental health support in homes and within Tasmanian communities.
It is important to our members that there is recognition of the skills and capability within our Community Managed Mental Health Sector and that they continue to provide high quality mental health supports and services and continue to do this in partnership with both the public and private sector health services. Striving for a world class mental health care system that provides an integrated, contemporary, responsive services to ensure the best mental health outcomes for all of us.

Read more about ‘A Better Way – Unifying the Tasmanian Mental Health System’ in our 4 September 2018 media release.

October 2018 Update on ‘A Better Way’ three-point action plan:

  • Invite all providers across the mental health sector to work together, to be unified, to work towards genuine codesign delivery, to provide the best mental health services for the Tasmanian People. Update – Public endorsement of our platform has been received from Primary Health Tasmania (PHT), the Minister for Health and valued community members. Additionally, we are seeing more discussion around the Peacock Centre and acknowledgment of plans to design it as an integrated health service model at the centre. MHCT do acknowledge there are more clear steps that need to be taken towards setting up integrated practical programs and services in the community, but we have now received a commitment to work towards delivering it. MHCT will continue to work with the TMHLF to demand more tangible changes and outcomes
  • We urge the Government to publicly commit to working towards preventative health and early intervention (Stepped Model of Care). Update – MHCT and the TMHLF continue to publicly endorse and call for a system that promotes wellness, prevention and early intervention over treating the unwell. We have received public endorsement of our platform from PHT, the Minister for Health, CMMH Services and valued community members. This action has paved the way for ongoing community education and we are seeing more and more people experiencing an “ah ha!” moment of realisation that the key to improving the mental health system is in treatment and supports for community members before acute care is required. As a sector, we will continue to promote early intervention and empower the Tasmanian community to expect the same. MHCT will continue discussions with PHT around the development of the Stepped Model of Care and we look forward to the publication of the Integration Task Force report anticipated in December outlining the framework.
  • It is essential that Governments commit to the development of a centralised service that enables the community, General Practitioners and primary care providers mainstream services to seek advice, information and referral pathways to all available services, anywhere at any time. Update – Limited discussion has been observed around this centralised service and MHCT and TMHLF will continue to review the best avenues to advocate for positive change in this space. We hope to see the Integration Task Force announce some tangible change in December 2018.

Joining the Dots: Future directions in community managed health policy

In June 2018 MHCT was successful in securing agreement with the Primary Health Network, National Disability Insurance Agency and the Tasmanian Department of Health (DOH) to develop and deliver regional forums.

The forum provided opportunity for agencies to provide an update on current information, the direction of mental health and what this means for services coordination and program delivery. The aim of this forum was to join the dots between agencies and organisations working together with the CMMH sector.

The Joining the Dots: Future Directions in Community Mental Health were scheduled and delivered on 22, 23 and 24 October in Launceston, Devonport and Hobart.

 

If you have any questions about Sector Development, the Tasmanian Mental Health Leaders’ Forum (TMHLF) or our current initiatives, please contact us on 03 6224 9222.

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