MHCC ACT Submission: Public Exposure Draft of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2022

MHCC ACT supports the following recommendations:
1. That the ACT Government introduce a standalone ‘reasonable and proportionate’ test based on the Victorian provisions which requires the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’) to consider whether an eviction order would be reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances of each case, taking into account a mandatory list of considerations, including issues relating to the mental health of the tenant.
2. That the ACT Government limit the grounds for eviction rather than introduce a raft of broad grounds for eviction and set out the grounds in the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
3. That the proposed ‘behavioural grounds’ for eviction (new Section 51A) be removed from the Bill.
4. That any new termination provisions should ensure that the landlord is required to apply to ACAT for an eviction order before a tenancy can be terminated (except where the tenant vacates the premises).

MHCC ACT Submission: ACT Drug Strategy Action Plan 2022-26

MHCC ACT supports the principle of harm minimisation and commends the ACT Government for its demonstrated commitment to approaching drug use as primarily a health issue, adopting evidence-based policies and minimising the involvement of th justice system as much as possible.

MHCC ACT also commends the government for its associated commitments to eliminating stigma and discrimination against people who interact with Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs services and to recognise the invaluable contribution of lived experience and the peer workforce to this sector. The recognition in the Action Plan of the importance of the non-governmental sector and of the effective collaboration and integration supporting the provision of AOD services in the ACT is noted and reiterated.

This submission is focused on those elements of the Action Plan that relate to the interaction between the AOD sector and the wider community-managed mental health sector.

MHCC ACT Submission: Inquiry into the Legislative, Workplace Governance and Clinical Frameworks of DHULWA

MHCC ACT understands the serious safety concerns of staff that led to this Inquiry being initiated and of course acknowledges the importance of a safe and respectful environment for staff, consumers and carers within the Dhulwa Mental Health Unit.

IMHCC ACT believes there needs to be dedicated and supported consultation with consumers and carers to ensure that their input is considered alongside the vital input from Dhulwa staff.

Along with greater inclusivity in decision-making, greater transparency around policies, processes and procedures should assist in promoting constructive relationships between all stakeholders.

MHCC ACT - ACT Budget Submission

The Mental Health Community Coalition of the ACT's (MHCC ACT) purpose is to foster the
capacity and capability of the ACT not-for-profit community mental health services to support
people to live a meaningful and dignified life. The specialist services these organisations
provide are referred to as psychosocial support services. This submission focuses on the key
issues that our member organisations have identified as crucial to their ability to deliver best
practice and fit for purpose psychosocial support services to Canberrans who need them.

MHCC ACT Submission - Feedback to the draft National Mental Health Workforce paper

MHCC ACT welcomes this draft mental health workforce strategy and sees it as a
significant initial step in addressing the misalignment and shortages in the mental
health workforce. However, if the draft Strategy does not include the community
mental health sector, it will hamper any attempt to improve the mental health
workforce in Australia.

MHCC ACT Submission - Feedback on the NDIS proposed legislative changes to the NDIS Act

The Mental Health Community Coalition ACT (MHCC ACT) welcomes the opportunity to
provide feedback on the proposed legislative changes. However, the short timeframe to
provide feedback may be a hindrance to some. We would suggest a lengthier timeframe for
any further proposed changes to allow and encourage positive feedback. MHCC ACT would
also like to raise the extensive changes that are needed to be reviewed in this tight
timeframe and note that as a peak, we have the ability to meet this timeframe, but many
members of the community, who these changes will directly impact, may not have the ability
to understand or respond to such extensive changes within the tight timeframes. Although
MHCC ACT welcomes the decision to enable the sector to provide feedback on these
significant changes, we note there is a global pandemic currently in play, with many states
dealing with lockdowns and ongoing outbreaks of COVID19. This is an incredibly stressful
time for participants, their carers and providers continuing to support participants.

MHCC ACT response to House Inquiry around Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

MHCC ACT thanks the Commonwealth Government for the opportunity to respond to its
recent inquiry into Mental health and suicide prevention. We refer to the previous and recent
inquiries and reports around mental health and suicide prevention1 as reference tools for the
Government to develop a comprehensive and well-designed mental health system that will
support all Australians' mental health and wellbeing.

MHCC ACT response
to Senate Inquiry
around Jobseeker

MHCC ACT joins the chorus of organisations shocked by this Government’s new
measures around jobSeeker. As a Mental Health Peak Body, we are dumbfounded by
the Government’s decision to push people $145 weekly under the poverty line,
condemning vulnerable people to hardship and mental distress. This during a time when
COVID is still playing havoc on the job markets.

MHCC ACT Submission - Response to the NDIA on
Independent Assessment

MHCC ACT’s overarching concern is that the structure of IA’s and the mandatory nature will
negatively impact people with psychosocial disabilities. The needs and capacity of people
with psychosocial disability can fluctuate depending on the cyclical nature of mental illness
and where they are in their recovery journey. The proposed design of IA does not seem to
reflect an understanding of this which leaves people with psychosocial disability in danger of
not receiving the support they need to reach their goals and live a meaningful life.

MHCC ACT Submission - National Building
Code Consultation

MHCC ACT’s submission will focus on why and how people with psychosocial disabilities
should be included when discussing housing accessibility. The submission will also address
the benefits of well designed and constructed housing on the wellbeing and mental health of
the general population.

MHCC ACT Submission - National preventative
health strategy

The key points MHCC ACT makes in this submission can be summarised as following:
1. We strongly endorse the need for a national preventative health strategy with attached
funding to achieve the changes needed. This will improve outcomes for Australian’s quality
of life and government budget bottom lines.
2. To optimise outcomes the strategy needs to be grounded in a broad social and economic
determinants of health and wellbeing framework – to confine it to health systems will limit
its success. In this regard, and in relation to point 4 below, MHCC ACT recommends the
development of a national wellbeing index.
3. The importance of mental health is missing from the current strategy: (1) in terms of its
prevalence and burden of disease in Australia; (2) in recognition of the relationship between
mental and physical health; (3) as a key early focal area for strategy actions; (4) in light of the dramatically increasing prevalence of mental distress following the events of 2020; and (5) in representation on the Expert Steering Committee.
4. We recommend a goal be added to the strategy to make it a whole of government
responsibility: “All government policies and decision making will account for the impact on
peoples’ health and wellbeing”’. This will capture the impacts on health and wellbeing from all policies, including social welfare, housing and climate.
5. We recommend an additional enabler: “Systems enable equitable access”
6. We ask for deeper engagement and broader consultation in the development of this
strategy, including once it starts to be implemented.

MHCC ACT Submission - NDIS Supported
Independent Living

MHCC ACT welcomes the consultation paper on Supported Independent Living (SIL) and
hopes it will lead to a better framework that will benefit participants. MHCC ACT looks
forward to contributing to the second phase of consultation around SIL in 2021.
MHCC ACT wants to take the opportunity to thank our stakeholders for their input into this

MHCC ACT Submission - Position paper on the
National Disability

MHCC ACT welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on the consultation paper on new
the National Disability Strategy (NDS). As a peak body for mental health service providers,
we approach the consultation paper with a lens on the inclusion of people with psychosocial
disabilities and mental health issues in the Australian community. For that reason, MHCC
ACT wants to encourage DSS to incorporate the relevant findings of the report of the
Productivity Commission on mental health (once released) into the new NDS. The report
addresses accessibility and inclusion of people with psychosocial disabilities in various
domains of their lives.

MHCC ACT Submission - Response to NDIS support coordination discussion paper

MHCC ACT welcomes the discussion paper on support coordination and hopes it will lead to a better understanding and recognition of support coordination and what it can mean for participants. As a peak body for mental health service providers, we approach the discussion paper with an aim of support coordination meeting the needs of people with psychosocial disability within the NDIS framework.

MHCC ACT Submission - Inquiry into NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

MHCC ACT would like to thank the Standing Committee for the opportunity to make a submission on the performance of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. This submission is based on feedback from our members regarding their dealings with the Commission. We will be limiting this submission to points from the terms of reference in relation to the input received from our member organisations. We also note that our member organisations primarily provide services to people with psychosocial disability (PSD) and consequently our comments are from that perspective.