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EO Musings: June 2019

This piece from our Executive Officer Simon is included in our ‘Inside MHCC ACT’ newsletter. You can subscribe to this newsletter here.

Welcome to the inaugural ‘Inside MHCC ACT’ newsletter! This monthly newsletter aims to inform you of some of the key work that MHCC ACT, your peak body, is engaged in, and to highlight opportunities for you to inform and contribute to this work.

The launch of this newsletter comes as MHCC ACT enters into a new three year contract for our role as the ACT peak body for NFP community based mental health service providers

The word “flux” is what first comes to mind when I reflect on the immediate past. defines ‘state of flux’ as a ‘state of uncertainty about what should be done (usually following some important event) preceding the establishment of a new direction of action’. For me this really captures the experience of our sector over the past few years, an intense period of policy reform and change, including:

  • the introduction of the NDIS and associated end to much of the block funding for service providers
  • the winding down and end of some valuable services such as Partners in Recovery, Day-to-Day Living, Carers Respite Program and Personal Helpers and Mentors as their funding was moved into the NDIS pool
  • the introduction of the Primary Health Networks (in the ACT, Capital Health Network)
  • appointment of the first ACT Minister for Mental Health
  • establishment of an ACT Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • establishment of an ACT Recovery College
  • almost wholesale disruption and restructuring of the ACT Health portfolio
  • a new Model of Care for ACT Adult Mental Health Services
  • opening of the new UC hospital for mental health rehabilitation
  • countless changes in leadership at the Federal level

All of this change and uncertainty has made it challenging to plan for the future. It was made even worse by the tremendous amount of time and energy required on all our parts to adjust to the changes: new business models; new ways of working with service users; attracting and retaining suitably qualified staff; and so on, while all the time keeping the focus on delivering the best possible outcomes for people needing services and support and their families and carers.

So, after the tumult of the last several years, we are taking a breath and planning and strategising for the coming years. Our immediate focus is on developing a Stakeholder Engagement Plan and a Sector Development Strategy. To do this well we need your input.

In doing so we want to listen to you to better understand where you are now, what your needs are, how you see the future unfolding, and what role you think MHCC ACT can most usefully play in getting there? What should MHCC ACT do more of? Less of? Are there new areas where we should be engaging? How do we best keep in touch with you and the sector?

To achieve this we will be engaging with you in a variety of ways over the coming months. We encourage you to be proactive and enthusiastic in sharing your perspectives – so feel free to give us a call, send an email or organise a meeting in addition to the opportunities we will be making for you to do so.

I hope you enjoy the newsletter and look forward to engaging with you in the coming months.

Simon Viereck – EO, MHCC ACT

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