August 31, 2020
The ACT Government and Capital Health Network will today launch the region’s five-year Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan which aims to improve the integration of services and promote collaboration on service planning across the region.
The ACT Plan outlines the challenges facing us as a community and what we will do, working in partnership over the next five years to improve mental health outcomes for people in the ACT.
The Capital Health Network (the ACT’s Primary Health Network ), ACT Health Directorate, Canberra Health Services, the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing and local peak organisations, consumer and carer representatives have committed to work together under the ACT Plan to plan and commission mental health services and deliver capacity building and system improvement activities in the ACT.
People accessing mental health services sometimes describe them as siloed and difficult to navigate, while multiple funding streams create complexities for service providers. Through the ACT Plan, these systems of care will be considered together as one comprehensive system with clear roles and responsibilities and clear, accessible pathways between services.
Comments attributable to Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury:
“Around one third of Canberrans will need mental health care at some stage in their lives.”
“The challenges of COVID-19 have reinforced just how important it is that our community has access to a mental health and suicide prevention service system that works – providing those in need with the right services, in the right place, at the right time. Services are receiving increasing requests for support, including requests from people who have never accessed mental health support services before. The issues that people are presenting with are often more complex, requiring multi-agency responses.”
This Plan represents a truly collaborative piece of work. To date, planning has been led by Capital Health Network and supported by the Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan Working Group including representatives from the ACT Health Directorate, Canberra Health Services and mental health peak agencies representing, consumers, carers and our community workforce.
The Plan follows an extensive consultation process, including insights from those who have shared their lived experiences, as mental health service users.
The development of the joint Regional Plan is a requirement of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan and is supported by funding from the Capital Health Network through the Australian Government’s Primary Health Network Program.
Megan Cahill, Chief Executive Officer of Capital Health Network, said the five-year Plan identifies local mental health and suicide prevention programs and service planning priorities and actions.
“The ACT Plan outlines the challenges facing us as a community and what we will do in partnership to improve mental health outcomes for Canberrans. We will ensure that services are person-centred and integrated”, Ms Cahill said.
The Plan was developed to improve mental health outcomes for Canberrans and people in our region in consultation with key local peak organisations, ACT Mental Health Community Coalition, ACT Mental Health Consumer Network and Mental Health Carers Voice.
“The ACT Government, Capital Health Network and local peak organisations will work together under the ACT Plan to plan and fund mental health services and deliver capacity building and system improvement activities in the ACT.”
“Ongoing collaboration is a feature of the Plan and having all key stakeholders at the table presents an exciting opportunity to promote the planning and development of services that align with these priorities,” Ms Cahill said.