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Minutes 2 - 3 February, Adelaide

National Mental Health Commission Meeting
3 - 4 February, Adelaide


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 Dana Kordusic Manager, Policy, Analysis and Reporting

Item 1 Welcome and Apologies

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

Item 2 Preliminaries

2.1 Register of Interests

Commissioner Jackie Crowe provided some changes for the register of interests including membership in the Reducing Restrictive Interventions Working Group, a Community Visitor with the Victorian Office of the Public Advocate, Co-Chair of the Lived Experience Committee for the Centre of Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention and owner of Baker’s Table.

2.2 Previous Minutes and Actions Arising

The draft Minutes of the Commission teleconference on 15 December 2015 were APPROVED without amendments and the Actions Arising were NOTED.

Item 3 CEO, Commissioner and Other Updates

3.1 CEO Update

Mr David Butt gave an update to the Commissioners including:

  • Recent staffing changes in the Commission.
  • Commissioner appointments. It was noted that Commissioner’s appointment are currently set to expire on either 31 March 2016 or 30 April 2016.
  • Work on the Mental Healthy Workplace Project is progressing, with a positive meeting of the Mentally Health Workplace Alliance in 2015. The Alliance is in the process of selecting a chair.

3.2.1 Reporting Update

  • Ms Sally Goodspeed provided an update on the 2016 National Report. Work on the Report is progressing. Ms Penny Gregory from the Nous Group joined the meeting by phone to discuss the Nous Group’s work to develop case studies for the 2016 National Report. Ms Gregory advised that Commissioners are currently being interviewed regarding the case studies that will be part of the Report. Commissioners will be asked to provide feedback on chapters of the Report shortly.

3.2.2 Meeting with the National Health Performance Authority

  • Ms Di Watson CEO of the National Health Performance Authority, joined the meeting by phone and discussed their planned report on mental health. The report will focus on supporting Primary Health Networks in developing their mental health strategies. Ms Watson also discussed opportunities to work collaboratively with the Commission.

3.3 Planning Process

In Attendance:
Mr Robert Griew, Nous Group (by phone)

  • Commissioners discussed the planning process including outcomes and timeline and their engagement in it. The process is aimed at refreshing the corporate and work plan following the release of the Australian Government Response to Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities - Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services.

3.4 Commission Updates

  • Professor Pat Dudgeon gave an update on the work of ATSIMHSPAG and NATSILMH.
  • Ms Jackie Crowe advised that she was being portrayed as a member of the Steering Group of the National Campaign for Consumer Centred Care whereas she had never been involved with the group.

Item 4 Consumers and Carers

4.1 Meeting with the Mental Health Coalition of South Australia

In Attendance:
Mr Geoff Harris, Executive Director
Ms Heather Nowack, Peer Worker
Mr Nicholas Schmidt, Peer Worker
Mr Janne McMahon, Consumer Advocate

  • Mr Geoff Harris briefed the Commissioners on the work of the Mental Health Coalition of South Australia. Ms Janne McMahon provided an overview of statistics and relevant policy related to the South Australian mental health system and in particular support for people with Borderline Personality Disorder.
  • Ms Nowack and Mr Schmidt discussed the work they do including successes and challenges. Some challenges include the lack of suitable education opportunities in South Australia and issues with career progression for peer workers.

Item 5 Implementing Reforms

5.1 Meeting with the South Australian Mental Health Commissioner

In Attendance:
Dr Stephen Christley, South Australian Mental Health Commissioner

  • Dr Christley discussed the formation of the South Australian Mental Health Commission and its immediate priorities. These include driving change through data and information, improving coordination and support for groups such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people.
  • He spoke about his focus on getting people together and finding and fixing gaps in the system.

5.2 Meeting with South Australian PHNs

In Attendance:
Ms Deb Lee, CEO, Adelaide Primary Health Network
Mr Kim Hosking, CEO, Country SA Primary Health Network

  • Ms Lee and Mr Hosking from the South Australian PHNs discussed the work they have been doing since 1 July 2015.
  • They discussed a focus on capacity building, particularly in mental health. They also discussed the challenges of duplication and disconnection in services, particularly in rural areas.
  • The representatives discussed their goal of seeing workers in the field with broad skills which enable them to can provide an integrated service.

5.3 Meeting with Common Ground Adelaide

In Attendance:
Mr Michael Lennon, CEO
Ms Julie Duncan, General Manager
Mr Rob Martin, Client Services Manager

  • Commissioners visited Common Ground in Adelaide and were provided with an overview of the program. Commissioners met with case workers and discussed an integrated approach to mental health services, connecting participants with other services they need and were shown a tenant suite.

Lunch with the Mental Illness Fellowship of South Australia (MIFSA)

  • Commissioners met with MIFSA staff, volunteers and consumers and discussed their different experiences.     

5.4 Children and Youth

Meeting with local organisations developing policy and providing services addressing the mental health of children and youth

In Attendance:
Ms Kirsten Soyland, Director, Helping Young People Achieve (HYPA)
Ms Naomi Dwyer, Chief Executive Officer, Women’s and Children’s Health Network
Mr Phil Robinson, Executive Director, Women’s and Children’s Health Network

  • Representatives from HYPA and the Women’s and Children’s Network discussed the current work being done to improve and better integrate mental health care for women and children in South Australia, focusing on early intervention and building partnerships.
  • The representatives also discussed their focus on vulnerable groups including people who are culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Item 6 Next Meeting

  • The next meeting will be held on 15 - 16 March 2016 in Sydney

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