Get Involved in Mental Health Advocacy!

Carers Voice is a program for mental health carers to inform service delivery and policy development in the ACT. We do this through supporting carers in; 

See below for our upcoming events and opportunities to influence change in the mental health system!

Integrated Carer Service System (ICSS)
Share your thoughts on a draft model for a future carer services and supports system

Carers ACT ICSS Information Session

The Australian Government is implementing an Integrated Plan for Carer Supports to improve access to information and services for all carers. 
It has been designed with four primary objectives; 

  • to encourage and normalise the use of services that are proven to help carers, earlier in their caring journey
  • to help more carers across Australia to use carer support services
  • to deliver a service carers will value
  • to provide a service carers find easy to access and use.

The draft model has been co-designed in consultation with carers and organisations that support them such as Carers ACT. 

Visit https://engage.dss.gov.au/a-new-integrated-carer-support-service-system/ to view the model.

An update on the Adult Community Mental Health Service

Model of Care
The much anticipated draft ACMHS MoC is ready for external consultation! The framework was initially consulted on in workshops and forums with carers and and consumers in 2014 and has undergone a very detailed planning process in order to develop a model that will best meet the needs of the ACT now and into the future. The full Model of Care can be accessed in the link below, however we have also summarised some key aspects of the Model below; 

  • The Adult Community Mental Health Service sits between primary mental health, (such as seeking a mental health treatment plan from a GP) and tertiary mental health (such as being an inpatient in a mental health treatment facility). It provides mental health treatment and support in community setting, provided by ACT Health. 
  • Currently, services that are considered part of the Adult Community Mental Health Services are The Mobile Intensive Treatment Team (MITT), Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team (CATT) and the services provided by the mental health teams at Woden Mental Health, Belconnen Mental health and more. 
  • As part of the many changes to ACT Health Mental Health Service delivery, it was decided that the ACMHS needed to be further developed in order to improve treatment options in the community, including increased capacity and increased accessibility,and a focus on keeping people well in the community.
  • The Model more closely parallels the important developments of The Mental Health Act 2015 including, supported decision making and including carers in treatment discussions
  • In The Model components are based upon 5 key functions that the service needs to incorporate namely; 
    • Access Assessment and Triage
    • Acute Response and Intensive Home Treatment
    • Community Recovery Service
    • Assertive Community Outreach Service
    • Individual Therapies

We will be providing carers with more information, including a forum on The Model early in the new year. If you would like to read the draft ACMHS MoC click here and if you have any comments to feed into the committee please email them to mhcarers@carersact.org.au

Mental Health Carer Drop In

Mental Health Carers are invited to join us for some lively discussion over a biscuit and a cuppa. Held on the last Friday of each month these sessions:

* Focus on a different topic each month 

* Are driven by carers’ interests and concerns

Our February Drop-in shall be a consultation on the model of care for the new Wellways Women's Mental Health Service. You'll have a chance to learn about the service and what it will offer, as well as provide your feedback about what would make the service better for mental health carers. More details below

When // Friday 24th February

Time // 2:30pm - 4:00pm 

Where // Carers ACT, 2/80 Beaurepaire Crescent, Holt

RSVP // No RSVP necessary, contact mhcarers@carersact.org.au if you would like more information, or call 6296 9952

 Overview

In partnership, Mental Health, Justice Health, and Alcohol and Drug Services ACT (MHJHAD), Wellways will provide a Women’s  Mental Health Service.  The program will provide short to medium term supported accommodation for Women over the age of 18 experiencing a mental health issue.  The program will operate under a gender informed model that understands that the experience and impacts of mental illness will be different for women than for men over the course of the illness.

The Women’s Mental Health Service (WMHS) will aim to fill gaps in service delivery between acute and inpatient unit services and less structure programs that can be provided in the personals usual environment. The period of time between relapse and recovery is known to clinicians as a time of heightened risk when individuals frequently describe demoralisation, depression and alienation if they are not able to integrate and contextualise their experiences.  Conversely, it is a time when proactive support, education and treatment interventions can have specific and heightened potency as a counterbalance to these negative dynamics.

Additional goals of the program will be to:

  • Provide a service that is responsive and inclusive of women with mental illness who are parents and will seek support and build skills where needed in the parenting role
  • Provide culturally sensitive supports
  • Provision of a dedicated safe space

And is responsive to the needs of women:

  • with an experience of trauma and abuse
  • across various life stages
  • who are carers

Founded on recovery principles, the WMHS will aim to support women to transition back to their usual place of residence after a period of increased risk or mental ill health. The focus of the program will centre on minimizing the impact and risks of frequent and long-term acute admissions to the inpatient unit. The program will also support, where appropriate, to assist individuals to remain connected to their community and engaged in education and employment. For families and carers the program aims to assist them to build and maintain a positive relationship with their family member with mental illness. 

Carer Representative Opportunities

Would you like to volunteer your time by working directly with ACT Health to get mental health carers issues heard?

Our Carer Representative program is a group of dedicated volunteers with mental health caring experience that sit on ongoing committees or short term working groups working on various aspects of mental health. We receive invitations from ACT Health for passionate carers who are looking to get to the heart of the systemic issues and work to improve ACT Mental health care for carers. 

A number of opportunities have become available for mental health carers to sit on committees and speak up on carers issues!
Contact us mhcarers@carersact.org.au for more information about these roles and responsibilities.

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