Welcome to the website of the Mental Health Community Coalition of the ACT
The Mental Health Community Coalition of the ACT (MHCC ACT), established in 2004 as a peak agency, provides vital advocacy, representational and capacity building roles for the community managed mental health sector in the ACT. This sector covers the range of non-government organisations that offer recovery, early intervention, prevention, health promotion and community support services for people with a mental illness.
To find out more about MHCC ACT or to subscribe to our e-bulletin for regular sector updates, email firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW WEBSITE COMING SOON!
After many years MHCC ACT is implementing a new website! We are looking forward to sharing the new look with you all!
Quarterly Community Forum - This Monday! 22 September
The Mental Health Community Coalition ACT, the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network, Carers ACT, and Mental Health, Justice Health, Alcohol & Drug Services invite you to our next Quarterly Community Forum on:
Monday 22 September 2014, 5.00 pm – 6.45 pm, Room 6, Griffin Centre
*****(please note early finish due to road closures around the Griffin Centre from 7pm)*****
The agenda for the evening will include;
- A presentation on capacity, coercion and non-discrimination in mental health law
- An information session on Dialetical Behaviour Therapy.
Capacity, coercion and non-discrimination in mental health law; recent observations from Europe
Mariana Oppermann is a Canberra lawyer with a special interest in the rights of people with a mental illness. Mariana has recently returned from presenting in the mental health stream of the Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference in Aberdeen (Scotland).
She will provide an overview of some of the recent research on mental health law discussed at the conference, which had a particularly strong focus on issues around capacity legislation, coercive treatment and non-discrimination within a European setting.
Information Session on Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
According to DBT Self Help, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) combines cognitive and behavioural therapy, incorporating methodologies from various practices including Eastern mindfulness techniques. Two guest speakers will talk about DBT. Dr Florian Wertenauer, clinician from the Division of Mental Health, Justice Health, Alcohol & Drug Services, and Abigail Pittman, who has participated in a DBT program, will provide information about this important therapy – why it’s used; how it works; and some practical strategies. Abigail will also provide a personal account of how DBT has been helpful in her recovery.
There will be time for Q&A after each presentation and your active participation in discussion is welcome and appreciated.
We hope you can join us for this forum. Consumers and Carers are particularly welcome.
Where: Room 6, Level 1, Griffin Centre, 20 Genge St, Canberra City
When: Monday 22 September 2014, 5.00 pm – 6.45 pm
Light refreshments provided.
For questions or to RSVP, please contact MHCC ACT on 6249 7756 or email@example.com . Please provide the following information in your RSVP: Forum/event you are RSVP’ing for, your name, contact phone number, organisation (if applicable) and a contact email.
Executive Officer MHCC ACT - Position Vacant
The Mental Health Community Coalition Inc. (MHCC ACT) is the peak body representing the not for profit community managed mental health sector in the ACT.
The Executive Officer is accountable to the Board and is responsible for identifying and achieving the strategic directions of MHCC ACT by providing leadership and direction to staff and volunteers.
The objective of this position is to lead MHCC ACT in its goal of providing high quality representation and peak body services on behalf of the ACT community mental health sector, which includes community organisations, consumers and carers.
The Executive Officer will have principal responsibility for developing, implementing and leading the provision of high level services to the ACT mental health sector under the broad direction of the Board and President, and in line with the MHCC ACT Strategic Plan.
How to apply
To apply, please send a current CV and a statement against the selection criteria (max 5 pages) by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (Word or pdf format) or by post to Mental Health Community Coalition, 1.06/20 Genge St., Canberra City ACT 2601.
For more information about the position, please contact MHCC ACT President Angie Ingram on (02) 6282 6604, MHCC ACT Secretary Dalane Drexler on (02) 6230 5796.
Applications close COB Thursday 25 September 2014.
Policy and Sector Development Manager MHCC ACT - Position Vacant
The Mental Health Community Coalition Inc. (MHCC ACT) is the peak body representing the not for profit community managed mental health sector in the ACT.
MHCC ACT is governed by a Board of Management and Consumer and Carer Caucus. MHCC ACT aims to enhance partnerships, share information, and engage in sector development and coordination with all stakeholders.
This position is a key operational leadership role in ensuring MHCC ACT provides high quality representation and peak body services on behalf of the ACT community mental health sector and the successful applicant will play a lead role in determining the policy and sector development direction for MHCC ACT in line with the Strategic Plan and achieving strategic outcomes.
The Policy and Sector Development Manager reports to the Executive Officer and leads a small team in implementing sector development initiatives and providing high quality policy advise and positions.
How to apply
To apply, please send a current CV and a statement against the selection criteria (max 4 pages) by email to email@example.com (Word or pdf format) or by post to Mental Health Community Coalition, 1.06/20 Genge St., Canberra City ACT 2601. For more information about the position, please contact A/g Executive Officer Simon Viereck on ph (02) 6249 7756 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications close COB Thursday 25 September.
ACT Mental Health and Wellbeing Expo - Call Out for Stall Holder Registrations
Launch of ACT Mental Health Week 2014!
The ACT Mental Health and Wellbeing Expo is an event to promote positive mental health and wellbeing within the community. It also brings service providers working in the health and community sectors together to promote their services, network and celebrate the work that we do.
Registration for the Expo offers an opportunity for service providers to attend and promote their service, via a stall.
Who should apply?
If your agency runs activities to promote good mental health, promotes mental health throughout its programs or provides support to people experiencing issues with their mental health you are encouraged to complete the attached registration form.
What will it cost?
We are requesting a minimal registration fee of $50 per table to cover costs associated with organising the Mental Health and Wellbeing Expo.
We will provide:
- Table (spaces will be allocated) and table cloth provided
- All stalls are approximately 3m wide, if you require more space please let us know.
All you need to provide is:
- Agency promotional material
- Service brochures, information, referral forms
- Relevant insurances and licences
We encourage stall holders to be innovative with the presentation of their stand to encourage visitor engagement.
There are limited stalls available, so make sure to submit your application ASAP!
The ACT Mental Health and Wellbeing Expo
When: Tuesday 7th October.
Time: 10am – 2pm
Where: Woden Southern Cross Club, 92-96 Corinna Street, Phillip
ACT Mental Health Launch and ACT Mental Health Week Awards
The ACT Mental Health and Wellbeing Expo will be run in conjunction with the Launch of ACT Mental Health Week and the ACT Mental Health Week Awards Ceremony from 10am to 11am which will be followed by the Mental Health Wellbeing and services Expo from 11am to 2pm.
Please return completed registration forms to:
ACT Mental Health and Wellbeing Expo
Room 1.06, Level 1, Griffin Centre
20 Genge Street, Canberra City ACT 2601
Or email email@example.com
Fax (02) 6249 7801
For further information please refer to the ACT Mental Health and Wellbeing Expo registration form or contact Rachel Moore, (02) 62497756 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACT Mental Health Week Awards 2014
MHCC ACT is pleased to announce nominations are open for the ACT Mental Health Week Awards 2014! Please share with your networks!
The ACT Mental Health Week Awards were established to recognise the achievements of individuals and organisations who have worked to improve understanding, awareness, service provision and the general mental health and wellbeing of the Canberra community over the past 12 months.
It is rare in the ACT Mental Health community that we are able to celebrate to wonderful things organisations and individuals do.
Organisations and/or individuals may be nominated under the following nine award categories:
Organisations, Partnerships and Strategic Alliances
1. Service Delivery and Innovation Award
2. Cross Sector Collaboration Award
3. Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention Award
4. Service Delivery and Innovation Award
5. Cross Sector Collaboration Award
6. Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention Award
Consumer and Carer Involvement and Engagement
7. Consumer Contribution to Sector Award
8. Carer Contribution to Sector Award
9. Mental Health Volunteer Award
Closing date for application is 5pm Tuesday September 30, 2014.
Canberra Suicide Prevention Forum
To mark National Suicide Prevention Week, the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network, Carers ACT, and the Mental Health Community Coalition ACT are hosting a forum to discuss a new and innovative project on suicide and contributing factors, funded by the ACT Government. Dr Alison Gee, a member of the research team, will inform forum participants about what is planned for the research and engage with the audience in a discussion about the project.
A key element of this project is the exploration of this issue for the Canberra community in several ways, including interviews with consumers, carers and other community members to gather their views on vulnerabilities to suicide, and what kinds of suicide prevention supports would be helpful. This project is a first for the Canberra community.
At the forum, Alison will present an overview of the project plan and the types of data that she and her team members will be analysing. The forum is designed to provide you with an opportunity to contribute your feedback and ideas about this important research. This forum will also provide you with an opportunity to meet the consumer and carer representatives who sit on the advisory group for the project.
Mr Ben Matthews, Chair of the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network, will be facilitating this event.
Date: Monday 8 September
Time: 5.00pm – 7.00pm
Location: Room 6, Level 1, Griffin Centre, Genge Street, Canberra City
Media Release - Mental Health Service Gaps Cost the ACT Community
Mental Health Service Gaps Cost the ACT Community
In a pre-budget submission to the ACT Government in October 2014, the MHCC ACT identified existing gaps in mental health service delivery. “The ACT Government can deliver significant health savings through investing in the Mental Health Community sector.” said Mr Ian Rentsch, Executive Officer.
A number of commitments were made by ACT Labor and ACT Greens as part of the 8th Legislative Assembly Agreement that have not yet been delivered within the $35 million new funding to include a community based after-hours crisis and assessment team for the ACT community.
ACT Labor also promised $500,000 for an improved suicide intervention program.
The cost of inaction to deliver these vital programs to the community far outweighs the amount set-aside in their promises.
Failure to recognise and repair these gaps may result in an increase in crisis presentations at the emergency departments at the Canberra and Calvary Hospitals placing further strain on the already overstretched system.
The ACT Government can circumvent a mental health crisis by supporting the development of partnerships between the ACT clinical health service and community based organisations.
As identified in the MHCC ACT Budget Submission, there are five critical areas of priority: Extend Crisis and Support Services; Enhance access to Advocacy and Legal supports; Allocate Housing and Accommodation Infrastructure; Expand mental health services for vulnerable groups; Invest in the Mental Health Sector workforce.
As yet there has been no response from the ACT Government. “The ACT community mental health sector is well placed, highly regarded and prepared to deliver these cost effective early intervention services” concluded Mr Rentsch.
As the latest available research shows mental health disorders and suicide account for 14.2 % of Australia’s total health burden1 Social inclusion for people with a lived experience of a mental illness and their carers, and the supports that enable them to contribute make good economic sense. People with well-established social and community connections are more likely to be successful in navigating personal crises’2. This in turn maintains steady employment and reduces the costs of health and other social services.
MHCC response to exposure draft Mental Health Act
The ACT Government recently released the Second Exposure Draft of the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act for public consultation.
MHCC consulted with members and stakeholders and developed a response to the draft legislation, which has been submitted to the ACT Government. MHCC notes in the response our support for the majority of the suggested changes and amendments. It is positive to see the legislation move in the direction of greater recognition of decision-making capacity, as well as additional Objects of the Act aimed at better engagement with and involvement of carers, family and supporters.
MHCC has concerns, however, about the interaction between the Mental Health Act and Guardianship Act and concerns in particular about the new forensic provisions in the Act, which relate to treatment, care and support for people who are alleged to have, or have been convicted for having, committed an offence.
MHCC Sector Development Workshops - Report
In February and March 2013 MHCC hosted three sector development workshops to engage the ACT community MH sector and key stakeholders in collaboratively setting a direction for the future of the sector.
In Workshop One we took a snapshot of the current context, which included current opportunities, challenges, inefficiencies and duplications in service delivery, and the necessity to change business models to accommodate the new world of NDIS.
In Workshop Two we considered a future direction for the ACT community managed mental health service organisations and developed a Principles Document for the sector.
Finally, Workshop Three we focused on strategy development. How do we give life to our vision for the community managed MH sector?
We identified four themes:
3. Choice and co-Design
We have begun to build action plans around these themes and will establish a Steering/Leadership Group to oversee implementation of actions.
MHCC ACT Strategic Plan 2012-2016
MHCC ACT has published its Strategic Plan 2012-2016 outlining MHCC ACT’s Vision, which is for an ACT Community where good quality mental health and wellbeing is available to all, and how MHCC ACT works to achieve this vision.
The Strategic Plan outlines five areas of focus for MHCC ACT for the next four years:
1. Empowerment of the ACT Community Mental Health Sector
2. Quality person-centred care services for people with lived experience
3. An integrated, sustainable mental health sector
4. Awareness and understanding
5. Organisational sustainability
Under each focus area the Plan outlines a range of strategies for pursuing the overall goal of the area, and success indicators, which will tell us whether we are achieving those goals. The goals and strategies of the Strategic
Plan inform MHCC ACT staff workplans and MHCC ACT will be continuingly reporting on progress against those goals to the MHCC ACT Board.
MHCC ACT Position Statement – A smoke-free policy in ACT MH facilities
ACT Health Directorate has decided to introduce a smoke-free policy across mental health facilities in the ACT. Mental Health Community Coalition ACT recognises that there are valid arguments both in favour of and against introducing smoke-free policies in mental health facilities. These include an important responsibility to protect staff and patients from the adverse effects of smoking and the likelihood that a smoking ban will decrease the number of people with mental illness seeking voluntary admission to an inpatient MH facility.
MHCC ACT recommends delaying the introduction of the smoke-free policy in ACT MH facilities to allow adequate time for preparation for the introduction of the policy and to ensure that the welfare and wellbeing of affected consumers is at the centre of all considerations of the implementation of the smoke-free policy.
To read the full MHCC ACT Position Statement on a Smoke-free Policy in Inpatient MH Facilities click here
Information on the proposed smoke-free policy across mental health facilities in the ACT was presented at a forum co-sponsored by MHCC ACt and ACT Health Directorate. This forum heard both ACT Health Directorate and consumer advocate perspectives. There was also a presentation by Senior Lecturer, Flinders University, Sharon Lawn of some of the research evidence on implementation of smoke-free policies in inpatient mental health facilities.
To see the forum flyer click HERE .
To see Sharon Lawn’s presentation click HERE
To see the ACT Health Directorate presentation click HERE
To see MHCC ACT notes from the forum click HERE
To see alternative notes from the forum click HERE
August - September 2014 Training and Professional Development Calendar
The Training and Professional Development Calendar is produced bimonthly by the Youth Coalition of the ACT in partnership with the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA) and the Mental Health Community Coalition (MHCC) ACT.
The Training Calendar provides training and professional development opportunities for workers in the youth, alcohol and other drug, mental health, family support and community sectors. This calendar has an average distribution of over 400 in the ACT and surrounding areas to workers in these fields.
The next Training Calendar will be for October - November 2014. To include your training in this calendar, email email@example.com or call MHCC ACT on (02) 6249 7756 to provide the following details:
- Name of training / course
- Date(s) of training / course
- Contact person / phone number / email addresses for RSVP
- Cost of training / course
Click here to download the August - September 2014 Training & Professional Development Calendar
Paper copies of the Training and Professional Development Calendar are available at the MHCC ACT office.
Standards and Performance Pathways portal
ACT Community Mental Health Sector group subscription
MHCC ACT and BNG NGO Services Online are partnering to provide a subsidised group subscription to this valuable online service to MHCC ACT members. The Standards and Performance Pathways (SPP) is a new product of BNG NGO Services Online and is an integrated online system for the completion of self-assessments, quality improvement and compliance activities related to service and quality standards, including the National Standards for Mental Health Services.
The Standards and Performance Pathways was developed to provide NGOs with an easy, electronic system for completing standards assessments, supported by resources to enable them to complete improvement tasks, and, through its comprehensive cross referencing, a way of completing multiple sets of standards through a single assessment process.
Where NGOs have a single set of standards, SPP provides a simple to use online interactive tool, guiding and resourcing organisations through this process, tracking progress and collating evidence for reporting.
The Standards and Performance Pathways will support ACT Community Mental Health Sector organisations to transition to reporting on the National Standards for Mental Health Services in six monthly contract reports, as required by the ACT MH Policy Unit from July 2013, and provides tools and resources for quality improvement related to the Standards.
For more information on the group subscription CLICK HERE to view SPP Information for MHCC ACT members
For more information on Standards and Performance Pathways CLICK HERE to view SPP Information Sheet
To register to take advantage of this great SPP portal group membership offer go to the online registration form (note: this is a link to an external website): CLICK here SPP Online Registration Portal
For more information on the National Standards for Mental Health Services and MHCC ACT services, please contact MHCC ACT on ph: 6249 7756 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Comorbidity Bus Tours
The Youth Coalition, together with the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA) and the Mental Health Community Coalition, invite you to join us on a Comorbidity Bus Tour. The Comorbidity Bus Tour visits a variety of services in the ACT from the alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD), mental health (MH) and youth sectors. The aim of the bus tour is to increase the capacity of frontline workers to support people experiencing co-occurring ATOD and MH issues (comorbidity). There are currently 3 bus tours operating (Tour A, B & C) with each tour visiting different services.
Services visited on Tour A:
- Karralika Therapeutic Community, Karralika Programs Inc.
- DIRECTIONS ACT
- Adult Mental Health Inpatient Unit, Mental Health Services
- Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team (CATT), Mental Health Services
- Opioid Treatment Service, Alcohol and Drug Services
- Withdrawal Unit, Alcohol and Drug Services
- Canberra Recovery Services, Salvation Army
- Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service
- National Drugs Sector Information Service, Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA)
- Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA)
Services visited on Tour B:
- Brian Hennessy Rehabilitation Centre, Mental Health Services
- Arcadia House, DIRECTIONS ACT
- Calvary Inpatient Unit (Ward 2N), Calvary Hospital
- Lesley's Place, Toora Women Inc.
- Step Up Step Down Program, Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria
- Alcohol and Drug Services, Health Directorate
- Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimimsation and Advocacy (CAHMA)
- The Connection
- ACT Mental Health Consumer Network
- Mental Health Community Coalition ACT
- Women's Information, Resources and Education on Drugs and Dependency (WIREDD), Toora Women Inc.
- CAN Program, Richmond Fellowship of the ACT
- The Rainbow, Mental Health Foundation
Services visited on Tour C:
- Youth Coalition of the ACT
- PALM Program, Ted Noffs Foundation
- STEPS, CatholicCare Canberra and Goulburn
- headspace ACT
- The Cottage, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
- Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation
- Sobering Up Shelter, CatholicCare Canberra and Goulburn
- Court Alcohol and Drug Assessment Service (CADAS), Alcohol and Drug Services
- Needle and Syringe Vending Machine
- CALM Program, Ted Noffs Foundation
- Junction Youth Health Service, Anglicare ACT
Cost (includes resources and snacks, but not lunch)
- $50 - Participants from agencies who are members of ATODA, MHCC ACT or the Youth Coalition, or staff members of a service visited on the bus tour
- $60 - Participants from non-member, non-government organisations
- $70 - Government workers (except those from a service visited on the bus tour)