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MHCT asks, “So what now?”

Thu, 01/09/2016

PIR has funded the Mental Health Council of Tasmania (MHCT) to conduct a project, ‘A new mental health system – what now?’

In January 2016 the MHCT identified a need to bring together the three agencies responsible for the implementation of mental health reform in Tasmania – the state government’s Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Directorate (MHADD), Primary Health Tasmania (PHT) and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) – together with the community mental health sector to plan how best to maximise opportunity and minimise risk in the shared journey of creating a coordinated, integrated and person-centred mental health system.

On 18 February 2016 MHCT ran a Seminar Planning Day at the Hobart Function and Conference Centre, attended by members of the Tasmanian Mental Health Leaders Forum (TMHLF) and senior representatives from MHADD, PHT and NDIA. The group workshopped ideas about the structure and content of the seminar with reference to: seminar objectives, reform timelines, key facts and ambiguities, knowledge gaps, system integration, sustainability and future planning. Priorities identified through the course of the day formed the basis for the seminar agenda.

This was followed by a seminar, ‘A new mental health system – what now?’, which was held on Wednesday 9 March 2016.   During the course of the seminar facilitator Andrew Hollo identified six ‘big opportunities’ for the community mental health sector to take forward – aligned intent, client interface, collective funding, reference points, support network, and futureproofing of services – and for the MHCT to take the lead on as it negotiates the changing landscape of reform.

MHCT has since elaborated on these six priority areas, considering how they might relate to the individual imperatives of the three reform platforms and identifying discrete pieces of work that can be undertaken by MHCT and other stakeholders where appropriate, to advance the objectives of the sector as a whole.  The MHCT has identified the next steps and we will watch their progress with this exciting new initiative.