National talk on mental health at Safety Beach

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ALL aspects of the mental health system will be the main topic this week at a meeting in Safety Beach.

The public meeting is part of the National Mental Health Commission’s nation-wide Connections Project to eventually provide “a new system [that] will essentially respond to a person’s individual needs in their community”.

The commission is visiting Safety Beach as part of a 26-city national tour that began in July and ends this month.

The mental health commission’s CEO, Christine Morgan, said the commission was committed to ensuring people with “living experience of mental health and suicidality were supported in the best way possible”.

“We know everyone’s experience of the mental health system is different and we want to hear from people about what has worked for them to date, their challenges and any barriers, and what they envision for the future,” she said.

“This is about ensuring that the voices of those with a living experience of mental health and suicidality are involved in Australia’s 2030 Vision for mental health, and are contributing to the design of an improved approach.”

Ms Morgan said changes in financing mental health services over the past few years, new programs and services had led to “new and exciting opportunities for doing things differently”.

“What is needed now is a unified mental health system that takes a whole-of-person, whole-of-life, whole-of-community approach to mental health. A system which is accessible in-community, is easy to navigate, and delivers meaningful outcomes for the individual.”

The Health Minister, Flinders MP Greg Hunt, encouraged everyone involved in mental health and suicide prevention, “especially those with living experience, carers, families and supporters” to attend the meeting.

“Delivering the world’s best mental health system – stigma-free and focused on prevention, is the major focus of the Australian government’s long term national health plan,” Mr Hunt said.

“We know everyone’s experience of the mental health system is different. The National Mental Health Commission wants to hear from the community of its triumphs and challenges.

“The Connections Project provides a unique opportunity for those with lived experience to be part of the conversation and I urge all interested locals to join with me in attending.”

The National Mental Health Commission’s meeting will be at Safety Beach Sailing Club, 185 Marine Drive, Safety Beach, 4.30pm-6.30pm Thursday 5 September.

Register at makingconnections-safetybeach.eventbrite.com.au, call 1800 220 246 or email community@nmhcconnections.com.au

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 3 September 2019

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