On Thursday I attended a facilitated public workshop for the above strategy development. A series of these sessions are being held across Victoria and information collected will be collated and where possible incorporated into the draft plan which will be available in November.
A discussion paper provided the framework for comment and a DHHS staff member was available at each table to record the discussion. The three questions asked were:
What matters most to you?
Thinking of prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery, what do we want people to be experiencing in Victoria in 2025?
What actions can be taken to create those conditions and experiences?
The responses were many and varied and all were heard with respect. Suggestions and grievances ranged from the use of the words ‘carer’, ‘consumer’ and the term ‘mental illness’ through to the importance of education in all areas, fears around the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Medicare funding restraints.
The task of compiling all the information will be momentous and DHHS staff in attendance must be commended for their commitment to ensuring that happens. Ultimately, no matter how well intentioned, the primary requirement to implement any changes is money, and that will determine the outcomes.
Further information is available and comments can be left at http://www.mentalhealthplan.vic.gov.au/.