The National Mental Health Commission will conduct a meeting at Green Point as part of its Making Connections for Your Mental Health and Wellbeing program (Connections2022).
Connections2022 is an outreach program seeking to connect with people where they live, learn and work across diverse Australian communities in every state and territory.
The Commission wants to hear from everyone, and Connections2022 will provide a platform for all to share.
This will include listening to people’s everyday experiences of the mental health and suicide prevention systems and discussing what improvements look and feel like for them.
Connections2022 will help the Commission deepen its understanding of the current status of national systems and provide it with critical insights as it develops a National Outcomes Framework.
“Understanding the impact of changes being made by all governments to the mental health system is critical to ensuring we are on the right track,” a spokesperson said.
“There is no substitute for understanding the reality of people who are engaged with the system, particularly from consumers and carers and service providers.”
Over the next three months, people from communities across Australia will have the opportunity to participate in Connections2022 through in-person community meetings, group meetings with the Commission team, the National Connections2022 Survey and an interactive online portal for sharing stories and experiences, and having conversations with the Commission.
“Connections2022 is an important connecting point for people to contribute their personal experiences,” Commission Co-Chair, Lucy Brogden, said.
“The program reaches beyond the key national data points such as those reported in the 2021 National Census, where mental illness was identified as Australia’s highest experience of chronic illness, to provide opportunities for everyone to share their life experiences in the context of their community.
“People’s experiences are vital when seeking to understand what is and isn’t working.
“These experiences will help shape the outcomes we are all looking for in our unwavering pursuit of a mentally healthier Australia.”
In addition to in-person community meetings, Connections2022 will also include meetings with sector and community leaders and a series of special focus webinars with key focus areas including accessibility to mental health care and services, lived experience participation, experiences of mental health and wellbeing across a range of sectors, including housing, education, justice, and employment, experiences of stigma and discrimination and the barriers to seeking help and the quality of care and the experience of recovery, for individuals, families, and communities.
In 2019, the Commission’s inaugural Connections program informed the development of Vision 2030.
More than 3,000 voices participated in Connections2019 and contributed to the design of a conceptual shift in how mental health and suicide prevention services are delivered in Australia.
“Significant changes and investments have been made at national, state and territory levels since Connections2019 and the subsequent development of Vision 2030,” Commission CEO, Christine Morgan, said.
“For current and future commitments to have the greatest effect we need to assess the impact of those commitments on the ground.”
The Connections2022 program will connect with all people and include a particular focus on the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The Commission and community-based organisations, family Elders and leaders are working together to ensure a deeper understanding of their experience of the mental health and suicide prevention systems.
“Recognising the diversity of experience as much as the common grounds for remote and metropolitan communities will be critical to informing how improvements can be measured,” Commission Co-Chair, Professor Ngiare Brown, said.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people draw on thousands of years of healing knowledge that is deeply informed by culture, land, family and community.
“These diverse experiences across our nations can and should be incorporated into our community systems reform, to enable change that is lasting and effective for our peoples.
Originally scheduled for July 8, the Central Coast event has been rescheduled for October 18 from 5-6.30pm at Greenpoint Community Centre, 96 Koolang Rd.
To register to attend visit www.making-connections-gosford.eventbrite.com.au.
Everyone who had already registered for the July 8 meeting will be invited to participate on the new date.
Media release, July 5
National Mental Health Commission