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Minutes 11 - 12 May 2016

National Mental Health Commission Meeting
11 - 12 May 2016


Commission Attendees
Professor Allan Fels AO Chair
Mr David Butt Chief Executive Officer and ex-officio Commissioner
Mrs Lucinda Brogden Mental Health Commissioner
Ms Jackie Crowe Mental Health Commissioner
Professor Pat Dudgeon  Mental Health Commissioner

Professor Ian Hickie AM

Mental Health Commissioner
Ms Nicole Gibson Mental Health Commissioner
Mr Rob Knowles Mental Health Commissioner
Hon Dr Kay Patterson Mental Health Commissioner
Commission Staff

Ms Sally Goodspeed

Executive Director
Ms Kim Eagle Chief Operations Officer
Ms Trinette Kinsman A/Director, Policy, Reporting and Analysis
Ms Catherine Brown Director, Projects (from 30 May 2016)
Mr Peter McDermott Secretariat and Project Officer

Item 1 Welcome and Apologies

Chair Allan Fels welcomed Commissioners and staff. There were no apologies.

Item 2 Meeting with the Western Sydney Primary Health Network

In Attendance:
Associate Professor Walter Kmet, CEO
Mr Bill Campos, Head of Mental Health

Senior staff of the Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WSPHN) met with Commissioners to discuss the successes and challenges for the WSPHN. Associate Professor Kmet discussed their aim to change the structures and systems of the services they are commissioning, with a particular focus on training, developing teamwork and improving data management. Two focus areas for the WSPHN in mental health are care packages and ensuring a stepped care approach to mental health.

Item 3 Preliminaries

3.1 Register of Interests

No changes to the Register of Interests were noted.

3.2 Previous Minutes and Actions Arising

The draft Minutes of the Commission meeting on 15 March 2016 were APPROVED without amendments and the Actions Arising were NOTED.

Item 4 CEO and Commissioner Updates

4.1 CEO Update

Mr David Butt introduced Ms Catherine Brown, who will start in the role of Director of Projects on 30 May 2016. Mr Butt noted that the Commission is now operating in accordance with caretaker conventions.

Mr Butt provided an update on the work of the Commission, including:

  • The work to produce guidance documents for PHNs on consumers and carers and the peer workforce as well as supporting the Department of Health’s establishment of lead sites;
  • The Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance will be meeting within the next month and will discuss their governance model. Commissioner Brogden is interim chair; and
  • A workshop of key stakeholders is being held jointly with the Australian Bureau of Statistics to discuss recent reports from the data linkage project, the policy questions they raise and gaps in the data.

Mr Butt also discussed the Fifth National Mental Health Plan, which is currently being developed.

4.2 Commissioner Updates

Commissioners discussed the 2017 International Leaders in Mental Health Conference, which is being held in Australia, the impact of the introduction of the PHNs and NDIS on mental health services, and recent correspondence.

4.3 Upcoming Commission Meetings

The focus of the next Commission meeting in July was changed to focus on best practice in early childhood mental health, and will take place in Melbourne.

Item 5 Commission Planning

5.1 Commission Planning Update

In Attendance:
Mr Robert Griew, Principal, Nous Group
Davina Thomas, Senior Consultant, Nous Group

Mr Robert Griew provided an update on the Commission planning process, and sought feedback on the current draft of the Commission’s work plan. 

5.2 Advisory Group for Suicide Prevention

Mr David Butt discussed the proposal to establish an Advisory Group for Suicide Prevention, the proposed membership and plans to also hold workshops with a wider group of stakeholders. Commissioners recommended inclusion of someone from a rural or remote background to also be part of the group. They also discussed attendance of other Commissioners.

5.3 Research and Evaluation: Project on Providing Evidence about the Benefits of Using Digital Technology to Address Stigma for People with Severe Mental Illness

In Attendance:
Mr Jack Heath, CEO, SANE Australia (by phone)
Ms Sarah Coker, Director of Programs, SANE Australia (by phone)

Mr Jack Heath and Ms Sarah Coker discussed the SANE online forum project that will develop evidence on online peer support that reduces stigma for people living with severe mental illness, their carers and other support people, particularly in rural and regional areas.  The project will develop the capacity of the online community to provide effective peer to peer support. The project will be running through the year, with a final report due in December 2016. 

Item 6 2016 National Report

Ms Sally Goodspeed and Ms Trinette Kinsman provided an update on the progress of the 2016 National Report. The Report will be released after the July election, when caretaker period ends.

Item 7 Meetings

7.1 Survey of High Impact Psychosis (SHIP): Whole-person recovery for people with psychotic illness

In Attendance:
Professor Vera Morgan, Head, Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Research Unit, UWA School of Psychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences
Dr Amanda Neil, Senior Research Fellow (Health Economics), University of Tasmania

Professor Vera Morgan and Dr Amanda Neil discussed the findings of the 2010 Survey of High Impact Psychosis, including changes in mental health outcomes and costs since the last study was conducted in 1997-98.

7.2 Meeting with the Western Sydney Partners in Recovery

In Attendance:
Ms Allison Kokany, Consumer Consultant, Western Sydney Partners in Recovery
Ms Eileen McDonald, Carer Consultant, Western Sydney Partners in Recovery
Mr Bill Campos, Head of Mental Health, Western Sydney Primary Health Network
Mr Brian Maruzia, Partners in Recovery/National Disability Insurance Scheme Transition Manager, Western Sydney Primary Health Network

Representatives from the Western Sydney Partners in Recovery met with commissioners to discuss the successes and challenges of the Western Sydney Partners in Recovery program.  They discussed the particular challenges of working in a multicultural area, including the different concepts of mental health and what constitutes a consumer or a carer.

Ms McDonald discussed the role of carer peer workers in Western Sydney and Ms Kokany discussed the support PIR provides to people with little to no support. They also discussed the impact of recent reforms, including the NDIS.

7.3 Meeting with Happy Body at Work

In Attendance:
Ms Anna-Louise Bouvier, Director

Ms Anna-Louise Bouvier discussed the Happy Body at work program, which is focused on prevention for both physical and mental health, in the workplace. Ms Bouvier discussed the challenges of work based programs, including how to encourage people to invest in their physical and mental health, as well as the reasons that businesses invest in these programs. Commissioners were interested in the research that has been conducted and the technology that engages people effectively.

7.4 Investment in Mental Health

In Attendance:
Mr Ben Gales, CEO, SEFA
Mr Rod Owen-Jones, AMP Capital
Ms Louise Walsh, CEO, Future Generation Investment Company

Representatives from SEFA, AMP Capital and the Future Investment Company discussed their different approaches to social investment in mental health. SEFA provides funding for mental health organisations which may not be able to get finance from banks. AMP is developing their investment in mental health, both as an opportunity for growth and as important for social development. The Future Global Fund donates 1% of investments to youth mental health organisations. They discussed what can be done to support further private investment in mental health. 

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