Reflections on 2020
These last few months have been tremendously challenging for all of us in different ways. I would like to acknowledge that people who are vulnerable - financially, health-wise, socially or emotionally - have once again been the ones who are most impacted, and these have indeed been tough times for many, and it's not over yet by a long shot. They have also been challenging times for those on the front line, including providers of mental health and disability supports, and I want to acknowledge the work and resilience of our member organisations and everyone who works for them. Amid the disruption I have mainly been struck by the commitment of everyone to keep supporting participants as best possible and to minimise the impact for them.
For MHCC ACT the last few months have been very busy as well, as we have sought to adapt and to do everything we could to support our members as best possible first with the bushfires and then with COVID-19. A key focus during this time was information exchange and to bring people together, including with government representatives, to facilitate as much as possible the ongoing provision of services by our member organisations. The NGO Leadership group was also active in its advocacy with government on issues important to stakeholders.
Circumstances meant that we needed to postpone our normal training program. In July we re-started with a face-to-face Lifeline ASIST training workshop, but given what is happening in Victoria and NSW our forthcoming training on Co-design will be online/Zoom training. We'll continue to keep an eye on developments and adjust as necessary. This is the new normal we all live in and we might as well get used to it!
The pace of work around responding to the impacts of COVID has lessened in the last month or two, but we are still involved in and advocating around work such as the COVID Health Plan for People with Disability, the CSD COVID support funding package and checklists for a COVID outbreak in shared accommodation.
Business as usual is also returning in other ways with submissions on the NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission and the Australian Building Code in production, and Mental Health Month preparations well underway.