COVID-19 Update - ACT Mental Health Sector - 14 April 2020

In wake of the large amount of COVID-19 information flying around MHCC ACT has decided to reduce the frequency of this newsletter to fortnightly for the foreseeable future, alternating with our regular newsletter. However, if there is news that just cant wait we will send it out in a special edition. (Alternatively, if you feel we should keep it weekly for a while longer, do let us know.) Update from MHCC ACT Some of the key issues MHCC ACT and the other peaks have been working on this week are:

  • MHCC ACT and other peaks continue to work with ACT Government on different aspects of the response to COVID-19 and the needs of NGO providers. Current issues being discussed include:

  • Defining 'Essential Services' - A broad and inclusive list of services was presented to human services Ministers. More work is required to refine the list to better cover the range of health services and justice health & corrections supports. More work is also required to refine the list in regards to what services must be maintained, even in a worst case scenario.

  • Identifying vulnerable cohorts - a draft matrix of vulnerable groups and risk factors has been prepared as well as draft tools to asses vulnerability. The aim is to be able to identify the most vulnerable and prioritise tailored mitigation interventions. This is a very challenging piece of work. There is a plan to engage with providers as part of refining this work.

  • Planning for crisis responses in the NDIS context - This work is coordinated by NDS and includes looking at possible ways government and NGO providers can work together to provide timely supports to people with disability who can't be supported in their home due to COVID impacts to themselves or their carers. Another aspect being looked at is maintaining supports to participants if their provider is unable to continue supports due to impacts of COVID-19 on their workforce. 

  • Emerging needs - Along with other peaks, MHCC ACT is maintaining and updating a list of emerging needs. We are keen to hear about any emerging needs providers are seeing, which will require a response in the coming weeks and months. We will continue to feed this information into peaks' discussions with ACT Government, CHN and NDIA.   

Reliable sources At the bottom of the newsletter is a section with links to reliable sources of information, tools, checklists and other resources. We will continually update this as we come across new sources.  We urge you all to take good care and maintain physical distancing in any interaction with other people. 

During this period MHCC ACT staff will be mostly working from home. The best way to contact us is via email (

Read the full newsletter here.