This week, a travel committee will meet in the Australian capital to hear from people with experience in Australia’s mental health support system.
Became the fifth stop on a three-month tour of the country to understand how Australians interact with mental health and suicide prevention services, and how they can be improved. increase.
The National Mental Health Commission hopes that the Connection 2022 Tour will provide important insights in developing a framework that includes recommendations to the federal government.
The Commission has already visited Lismore, Dubbo and Burke in New South Wales (NSW), and the community has been shaken by droughts, floods, rat plagues and pandemics.
The Commission visits the town of NSW South Coast in Batemans Bay on Monday before heading to Canberra on Tuesday.
Despite being in the early stages of the tour, common themes have already emerged from each community, Committee Head, Christine Morgan, told AAP.
“One of the positive things we’ve seen is that it’s easy for people to generally recognize that mental health is as central to overall health as physical health,” she said. ..
“I think it’s the result of a pandemic where more people started talking about how they deal with mental health.”
The community is still free from the requirements of blockade and quarantine, Morgan said.
“The effects of COVID-19 on mental health do not end with vaccines,” she said.
“People talk about the horrors and amputations they felt when schools, businesses, and the entire town were blocked and locked up in their homes.”
The committee holds roundtable meetings with community leaders, mental health providers, and experienced people at their respective locations, as well as direct community meetings.
According to Morgan, the tour has so far been eager for locals to share their views, which is important to inform future policies.
“Major changes and investments are being made at the national, state and territory levels,” she said.
“For current and future commitments to be most effective, we need to assess the impact of these commitments on the ground.
“Real change can only be measured by the reality of a person’s experience and the improvements it brings to mental health and well-being.”
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