News for Lived Experience Change Makers

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NEWS Bites:

11/02/20 - [Report]: Social Prescribing

Consumers Health Forum of Australia [original source]


‘CHF has partnered with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), with the NHMRC Partnership Centre for Health System Sustainability as academic partner to host a roundtable on social prescribing in Australia. The report on the roundtable was released on 11 February 2020.

The Australian Government is currently developing long-term plans for both primary healthcare and preventive health. This presents an opportunity to incorporate social prescribing into future health system planning and service delivery strategies.’

To find out more about social prescribing and access other information visit here

30/01/20 - [Updated Report]: Mental Health Services in Brief 2019

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [original source]


Mental health services in Australia (MHSA) provides a picture of the national response of the health and welfare service system to the mental health care needs of Australians. MHSA is updated progressively throughout each year as data becomes available.

To find out more and access other information visit here

05/01/20 - [Opportunity]: Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellowship applications to open February 10th 2020

National Mental Health Commission [original source]


The National Mental Health Commission will be opening a new round of applications for their Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellowship (AMHLF) on Monday February 10th.

To find out more about AMHLF and meet some of our previous participants visit here

04/02/20 - [QLD Announcement]: New body to give voice to mental health system users

QLD Mental Health Commission [original source]


‘The voices of people with lived experience of mental illness will be heard at all levels of Queensland’s mental health system with the creation of a new consumer representative body. …

The new consumer mental health peak body will provide advice and advocacy that represents the interests of those involved in the mental health system and will inform ongoing reform of mental health in Queensland’.

30/01/20 - [Funding Announcement]: Suicide Prevention and Mental Health $64m Package

Federal Government [original source]


‘The Morrison Government is investing $64 million in suicide prevention and mental health initiatives as an early response to initial advice from the National Suicide Prevention Adviser [Ms Christine Morgan], signalling a dramatic reform of the national approach to suicide prevention. …

Ms Morgan said she was pleased to provide initial advice to the Government.

“In talking to individuals and communities over the past six months, it has been clear to me that we need to co-design our suicide prevention approach in a way that is led by those with lived and living experience of suicide,” Ms Morgan said.

“We often think about services and systems and what is available, rather than truly understand what people need and what has worked, and not worked, for them in the past. We need to put people back at the centre of policies and planning.”’

21/01/20 - [Report]: Review of the NDIS Act and the new NDIS Participant Service Guarantee

Federal Department of Social Services [original source]


‘The review looked at changes that could be made to the law to streamline NDIS processes, remove barriers to positive participant experiences and introduce the Participant Service Guarantee. The review did not consider changing the design or intent of the NDIS. …

While there is support for the NDIS across all levels of government and the community, responses to the review often expressed frustration, dissatisfaction and sometimes anger about the way the NDIS has been implemented. It was clear that many of the benefits the NDIS seeks to achieve are yet to be consistently realised. … 

[The Review] found the NDIS Act and its accompanying Rules are broadly fit for purpose but that some areas of the NDIS Act are unnecessarily rigid and do not allow flexibility. The review made recommendations to improve NDIS processes and remove barriers in the law that make it difficult for the NDIA to effectively support people with disability.’

The complete Review of the NDIS Act Report can be read here or an Plain English Summary can be read here.

Additional information about the Royal Commission can be accessed here.

06/01/20 - [Report]: First Progress Report of the The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability [original source]


This First Progress Report of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (the Royal Commission) provides an overview of the work undertaken by the Royal Commission since its establishment was announced in April 2019, and an outline of the Royal Commission’s program for 2020. A significant milestone will be the delivery of an Interim Report by 30 October 2020.

The Royal Commission is the product of tireless and persistent efforts by people with disability, their families, advocates, academics and many others who have long recognised that people with disability in this country are routinely subjected to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. They rightly have high expectations of what the Royal Commission can achieve. We intend to do our best to satisfy those expectations and to do so with empathy, thoroughness and transparency.

The voices and experiences of people with disability are at the centre of this Royal Commission. It is critical to the success of the Royal Commission that people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation feel safe to share their experiences and receive the full range of supports to do so.

The complete First Progress Report can be read here or an Easy Read Summary can be read here.

Additional information about the Royal Commission can be accessed here.

[Report]: Annual Report of the SA Office of the Chief Psychiatrist (OCP)

Office of the Chief Psychiatrist [access the report]


The Chief Psychiatrist under Part 12, Division 2, Section 92 of the Mental Health Act 2009 is required to present to the Minister an Annual Report before 30 September each year which contains:

  • in respect of the administrative functions conferred on the Chief Psychiatrist under this Act – information about how the Chief Psychiatrist has performed those functions;
  • community treatment orders and inpatient treatment orders in force during the preceding year;
  • demographics of the people subject to a treatment order during the preceding year; and
  • use of the cross-border arrangements of Part 10 of the Act.

Previous Annual Reports of the OCP can be accessed here.

[Attend or Speak]: South Australian Public Hearing of the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health

Productivity Commission [original source]


The date for the Productivity Commission’s Public Hearing in South Australia has been announced. They will be in Adelaide Wednesday February 5th. You can register to attend or to speak over here.

[Resource]: NGO Mental Health Peer Supervision Framework

Lived Experience Workforce Program (LEWP), Mental Health Coalition of South Australia [original source]


LEWP has worked with their Reference Group, Lived Experience Workers and leaders within the sector, to co-design a framework that will guide the practice of peer supervision in meeting the needs of the NGO Lived Experience Workforce.

Working alongside line management supervision, effective peer supervision guides and supports lived experience practice and has benefits for the individual, the team, the organisation and those who participate in support.

To download the document and supporting resources visit this link. You are most welcome to use the framework and adapt the accompanying templates to suit your needs – they just ask that you reference their work.

Questions can be directed to: Belinda Brown, Program Manager [0423 213 080 (Mon-Thurs 9am-4pm), ] or Karen McCulloch, Senior Project Officer [0424 983 516 (Mon 9am-3:30pm, Tues-Thurs 9am-5pm), ].

[Video Recording]: No blame. No shame. Surviving Suicide Loss.

The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, UniSA [original source]


Losing someone close through suicide is a devastating experience and can be overwhelming and incomprehensible. While grief is a natural reaction to the loss of a loved one, it may be particularly complex in the case of suicide when the death may have come without warning. Grief can be complicated by feelings of regret about things done or not done while the person was alive, or of anger and disbelief that there was no chance to say goodbye. This Forum will explore and discuss what it means to experience, and survive, the loss of someone close through suicide.

This is a recording of a panel discussion moderated by David Roach OAM, Deputy Chair of the GriefLink Management Committee.


[Interim Report]: Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System [original source] 


‘On the day the Commission was established, the Premier, the Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, said the mental health system is ‘a broken system and until we acknowledge that and set a course to find those answers and a practical plan for the future, people will continue to die, people will continue to be forever diminished’.

The terms of reference require the Commission to report on ‘how Victoria’s mental health system can most effectively prevent mental illness, and deliver treatment, care and support so that all those in the Victorian community can experience their best mental health, now and into the future’. (Appendix A shows the Commission’s Letters Patent.)

The Commission was asked to deliver an interim report by 30 November 2019 and a final report by 31 October 2020. The Victorian Government has made a public commitment to implement all the Commission’s recommendations.’

Read the Interim Report (680 pages) here. Further information about and resources from the Royal Commission can be accessed here.

[Resource]: WHO QualityRights initiative – Improving Quality, Promoting Human Rights

World Health Organisation [original source]


WHO QualityRights aims to improve access to quality mental health and social services and promote the rights of people with mental health conditions, psychosocial, intellectual and cognitive disabilities.

The objectives of QualityRights are to: Improve quality of care and human rights in inpatient and outpatient mental health services; Create community based and recovery oriented services that respect and promote human rights; Promote human rights, recovery, and independent living in the community; Develop a movement of people with mental disabilities to provide mutual support, conduct advocacy and influence policy-making processes; and Reform national policies and legislation.

The WHO QualityRights Tool Kit supports countries to assess and improve the quality of care and human rights conditions in mental health and social care facilities.

[Plan]: SA Mental Health Services Plan 2020-2025

Office of the Chief Psychiatrist and the SA Mental Health Commission [original source] 


‘This is an outcome-based plan focused on the key priorities of personalisation, integration and the safety and quality of services; themes that the plan explains in detail. Expectations are set by the plan, but they will need to be implemented locally by the providers of our services in close consultation and collaboration with consumers and carers.


The Plan seeks to ensure that human rights are honoured and protected. It sets an enduring expectation that those receiving care are engaged as active and valued participants in every interaction. The Plan also seeks to enable staff to deliver best practice in an effective, efficient and rewarding way, and provides for an expanded role for peer workers’.

Access the full plan (108 pages) here or the plan-on-a-page here.

[DRAFT Report]: Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health

Productivity Commission [original source]


‘This inquiry is about the mental health and wellbeing of Australia’s population, the prevention and early detection of mental illness, and treatment for those who have a diagnosed condition. 

This inquiry is about a generational change. Community awareness about mental illness has come a long way, but the mental health system has not kept pace with needs and expectations of how the wellbeing and productive capacity of people should be supported. The treatment of, and support for, people with mental illness has been tacked on to a system that has been largely designed around the characteristics of physical illness. And while service levels have increased in some areas, progress has been patchy. The right services are often not available when needed, leading to wasted health resources and missed opportunities to improve lives.’

An Overview of the Report or Volumes 1 and 2 of the Complete Draft Report can be accessed over here.

Submissions are being accepted until January 23rd and can be made over here.

 Public Hearings are being held around the Australia with dates in early 2020 yet to be announced for South Australia and the Northern Territory. More information about Public Hearings, including recordings and transcripts from other location can be accessed here.

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