Industry peak bodies take the lead on addressing destabilising impacts of ongoing mental health reforms

Emily Roser Media Release

The Mental Health Community Coalition of the ACT (MHCC ACT) will host a forum on Thursday to
bring together mental health and community sector peak bodies, as well as senior decision-makers,
to discuss the impacts of recent systemic reforms threatening to undermine efforts to improve
mental health services for Australians.

The introduction of the NDIS and other significant mental health reforms have transformed the
service environment and created challenges for providers and consumers of mental health services.
Thursday’s forum is an opportunity for mental health peaks to explore their role in fostering improved
cooperation between services and a more streamlined, integrated approach to mental health service
provision.

The forum will be opened by Shane Rattenbury, ACT Minister for Mental Health. Other speakers
include:

 Dr. Peggy Brown, AO, CEO, National Mental Health Commission
 Frank Quinlan, CEO, Mental Health Australia
 Amanda Bresnan, ED, Community Mental Health Australia
 Angie Ingram, CEO, Mental Health Foundation ACT, and
 Michael Burge, OAM, National Mental Health Consumer Advocate, Board Director at World
Federation for Mental Health

“The introduction of the NDIS and the Fifth National Mental Health Plan sought to establish a more
coordinated approach to mental health care, with greater choice and control for consumers,” said
MHCC ACT Executive Officer, Simon Viereck.

“But what we are seeing is increased fragmentation within the sector that threatens to undermine key
principles of consumer-focused service delivery. If Government and community don’t act now to
address this, the long-term result will be poorer outcomes for consumers,” Mr Viereck said.

The pace of change is forcing existing providers of mental health services to adapt their operations to
a more competitive environment. At the same time, an increasing number of new and independent
providers are entering the servicescape. This opens a space for state and national peak bodies to step
in and lead the way in establishing a comprehensive, coordinated approach to service delivery
between all players to ensure optimal outcomes for consumers.

The forum takes place this Thursday 15 February 2018, 8:45am – 2:00pm at the QT Hotel on London
Circuit.