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Friday, 21 June, 2019,01:39

Shire seeks community input for future of mental health services


Maybe it’s you that has been affected, or maybe it’s someone you love, most of us have seen the damage mental health issues can cause.

You can have your say on what services are needed and how the mental health system can be improved.

Murrindindi Shire Council Mayor Sandice McAulay said Council has been working hard to secure improved mental health services from the State and Federal Government for our communities.

“You may be aware that a Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system is currently underway. The State Government’s Commission is focused on identifying and solving system-wide issues with the aim of improving mental health services,” Cr McAulay said.

“The Commission is calling for individuals and organisations to share their experiences accessing and using Victoria’s mental health system. Now is the time to have your voice heard on this important issue.

“By sharing your thoughts, you can inform the findings and recommendations for change the Commission will make to the State Government.

“To do this, you can make a written submission and send it in by post or email, or attend one of the upcoming community consultation forums.

“There are forums happening in both Healesville and Seymour on Tuesday 14 May.

“I really encourage you to take this opportunity to contribute to meaningful and lasting change to Victoria’s mental health system.

“Council will be making a submission to the Commission in the coming months on how we can support mental health service providers in Murrindindi and what needs to be improved for our communities. The more voices we have speaking up though, the more chance we have to be heard,” Cr McAulay said.

“We know that mental health issues can affect us all, but one of the most vulnerable groups in our communities are our young people.

“So, in addition to our ongoing advocacy initiatives, Council is working with schools, youth services and health networks and providers (including the Lower Hume Primary Care Partnership, Murray Primary Health Network and the Australian Mental Health Alliance) to co-design a sustainable model for supporting our young people’s mental health.

“More than 20 people attended a planning day, which was held at the Yea Council Chambers on Thursday 2 May, to kick off the development of this model. The planning day was a chance to discuss the current needs and existing programs in the youth mental health space here in Murrindindi Shire.

“We also looked at electoral promises and future funding opportunities, and how we can work together to design a system that empowers the community to support young people through mental health challenges.

“This might mean improving schools’ capacity to provide mental health support, as well as improved networks between existing mental health service agencies. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this day. 

“I think what we have learned so far is that we’re all on the same page about how critically important accessible and effective mental health services are. If we all put in a little bit of effort now, together we can create a better future,” Cr McAulay said.

For more information about the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, to make a submission or to register for one of the community consultation forums, see https://rcvmhs.vic.gov.au.

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