On 10 July 2013 the Minister for Health, the Honourable Lawrence Springborg MP, welcomed Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck as Queensland Mental Health Commissioner at an event held by the Mental Illness Fellowship of Queensland. Here is an extract from the Commissioner's speech.
It is a great to see community settings where people from all sorts of backgrounds can come together as equals. I particularly like the concept in your strategic plan of assisting individuals to live the life of their choice
The right to make choices and accept the risks that come with choice should not be underestimated.
I’ve started to get out and meet as many people in the mental health sector, but it’s only been seven days and this work will continue for many months.
The mental health and substance misuse sector in Queensland is made up of a large and varied community of consumers, professionals, volunteers and carers.
They all have an important story to tell and wisdom that we need to capture and use for the future.
I’m not here to reinvent the wheel for the way Queensland needs to approach mental health and alcohol misuse.
Quite simply, there’s enough knowledge, passion and stories in the people who are consumers of and already working in the industry to see me through years of conversations and meetings.
Our job at the Commission is to listen to the many voices that are out there and harness that collective wisdom.
On a practical level, we have some of the important but background business to do first, and that is to create our Mental Health and Drug Advisory Council and get them working by late 2013.
We will also report back in 100 days with a clearer picture of where we think we need to be focussing our greatest attention. But that in itself is a mammoth task, because every consumer, carer and professional has an important story to tell; but there will have to be some priorities.