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QMHC eNews - Issue 15

16 Dec 2014

2014 3331  IMAGE_LVS and Richmond Fellowship Choir members at Christmas morning tea  December 2014

Commissioner's update

This is the last eNews for the year, and an appropriate time to reflect on the highlights of a busy 12 months for the 15 staff of the Commission. A snapshot of the 2014 year’s key events appears below. The first QMHC Annual Report outlines in detail the activities of the 2013-14 year, for those who want to know more about the work of the Commission.

Of course, it is impossible to reflect on the events of the year without some serious self-assessment. In April we started a project to help us measure our performance, including our first stakeholder survey. Thank you to those of you who provided feedback through the survey this year, the QMHC Evaluation Baseline Report provides helpful insight to guide our ongoing improvement.

Unquestionably, none of our work to bring about change is possible without the voices of people living with mental health or drug and alcohol difficulties. I have met personally with a number of consumers and family members and thank each of you for the insights you have provided into systemic barriers you have faced on your journeys to recovery.

Thank you to everyone who has worked with us, and a personal thank you to members of the Advisory Council and to Commission staff. Best wishes for the festive season.

Lesley van Schoubroeck
Queensland Mental Health Commissioner

Snapshot: Year in Review

  • Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan — finalised and released the five year strategic plan which sets the scene for a combined effort to reform the mental health, drug and alcohol sector.
  • Grants program — launched the $500,000 Stronger Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Grants Program in October to support implementation of priorities in the strategic plan. The 90-odd applications received are currently being assessed.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agenda — kept a focus on the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through our Advisory Council Committee, worked at the national level, and supported the on-going development of the nationally-recognised empowerment project at Cherbourg and Kuranda.
  • Social housing — commissioned The University of Queensland to research Systemic issues for social housing clients in advance of the release of the Commission’s first Ordinary Report, which makes recommendations to the Queensland Government about systemic improvements to social housing for people with complex needs. Watch this space.
  • Least restrictive practices — finalised a report that addresses a gap in the current research relating to recovery-oriented and least restrictive practices in acute mental health wards. The Options for Reform report looked at the question of locking doors, as well as the environment, support, culture, policies and procedures on the wards.
  • Rural and Remote mental health — participated in the Minister for Health’s series of Rural and Remote Roundtables about access to mental health services in rural and remote areas. We published an issues paper capturing concerns raised, and a submission on telehealth services. The Communique for the meeting in Stanthorpe on 11 December will be available on the website shortly.
  • Perinatal and Infant Mental Health — released a discussion paper that identified areas for improving perinatal and infant mental health and published a final paper that captured your views of what’s needed.
  • Mental Health Act 2000 review — the Mental Health Bill was introduced to Parliament in early December. The Commission consulted stakeholders, developed a discussion paper and then a submission on reforms to the previous Act.
  • Mental health in schools — completed an independent evaluation of the Ed-LinQ Initiative, which links the mental health and education sectors to improve early detection and intervention of mental health issues for children and young people. In 2015 we will develop options for reform to enhance responses in this important area.
  • Suicide prevention — continued to support initiatives across Queensland, commenced reviews of the effectiveness of some, and in 2015 will assess how and where our investment can be most effective.
  • Interaction of policing and mental health — commenced engagement with Queensland Police and the Department of Health about improving interactions between people with mental illness and police.
  • Mental health and work — engaged Tony Coggins from Maudsley International in February and November on workplace mental health, individual and community mental wellbeing. Toolkits and other resources are available on our website.
  • Consumers, families and carers — established mechanisms to better support the Commission and the Advisory Council engage with consumers, families and carers in 2015 and structure the work agenda in this area.

Your views

The Commission will seek your feedback on a range of activities and work it produces. We have created a feedback page on our website with all our current surveys so can tell us your thoughts.

Current surveys include:

Sector news