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National Mental Health Commission Update
22 December 2021

Looking to 2022 with hope

As 2021 comes to a close and the holiday season is upon us, it is a perfect time to take a break and reach out to those across our communities.

It’s been a difficult year for many, with COVID restrictions having a significant impact on our mental wellbeing. We’ve all been challenged and it’s been more important than ever that we take proactive steps to maintain our wellbeing and offer support to others when we can, and to recognise that our mental health is of equal importance to our physical health.

This holiday season, the teams at state and territory mental health commissions have joined with the National Mental Health Commission to reflect on the moments, the actions and the inspiration that supported Australians most throughout the year. We’re encouraging the community to get involved in the social media communication program by sharing #GreetingsOfGratitude and tagging people, services and communities that you found to be a great source of support. You will find these posts on each organisations social media channels.

Now is the time we need to reach out to each other to offer support and encourage those within our communities to connect with support services when they are needed.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for your concerted efforts and dedication to mental health and suicide prevention throughout this challenging year.

As a sector and a nation, we continue to move towards all Australians having the best mental health possible. This year we have seen some incredible steps towards this goal as we welcomed a record budget announcement with $2.3 billion committed to developing a more preventive, compassionate and person-centred mental health and suicide prevention system, as well as the release of the National Suicide Prevention Final Advice, the announcement of the National Suicide Prevention Office and work commencing on the National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy.

The voices of lived experience are pivotal to the development of all our projects and throughout the year the Commission is proud to have collaborated with hundreds of Australians with lived experience, as well as clinical and academic experts, peak bodies, governments and researchers to develop strategies and frameworks to improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes. These include The National Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, Lived Experience Workforce Development Guidelines, the Safety and Quality Engagement Guide, and the National Workplace Initiative first Draft Blueprint and a series around industry-led mental health initiatives for the workplace.

I look forward to a new year where each Australian, regardless of severity of illness or need, can receive support for their mental health and wellbeing through a person-centred approach to delivering system reform.

I hope you all have a safe and compassionate holiday season and have time to relax and recharge.

Lyndall Soper

Acting CEO


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National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy

The Commission has commenced work on the development of this Strategy with the aim of setting out a long-term vision for an Australia where stigma and discrimination on the basis of mental ill-health are no longer barriers to people living long and contributing lives. The Commission has already undertaken a series of workshops with people with lived experience, but there are more opportunities to be involved. Find out how you can get involved and learn more about the Strategy in the link below.

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IASP 10th Asia Pacific Conference Bursaries

The Commission is partnering with the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) in May 2022 for the 10th IASP Asia Pacific Conference and sponsoring bursaries for Australian residents with a lived experience of suicidal ideation, attempt or are bereaved by suicide or have cared for a person experiencing suicidal ideation to attend. The partnership builds on the collaborative success of the 31st IASP World Congress. The conference is a key regional forum offering opportunities to share expertise, knowledge and insights among peers within the field of suicide prevention, to make new connections and engage with new practices to ensure the implementation of prevention strategies and practices is informed by high quality research.

Early bird registrations and bursary applications open on the 15th January 2022.

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Lived Experience Workforce Development Guidelines

Earlier this month, the Commission launched the National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines with a webinar attended by over 600 people, including representatives from across the sector, many of whom have a lived experience.

These Guidelines are primarily intended to inform decision makers, including employers and funding bodies and to support change across the mental health sector by improving understanding of the benefits of the Lived Experience workforce. The Guidelines assist employers to assess their local readiness and prioritise activities that support successful implementation.

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Mentally Healthy Workplace Industry Initiatives

The National Workplace Initiative has produced a series to showcase current industry-led initiatives supporting mentally healthy workplaces and to encourage others to take collective action.

This series includes practical guides on how to build an initiative, case-studies describing the experience across a variety of industries and tools to guide strategic thinking when planning an industry initiative.

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National Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

In October, the Australian Government launched the world’s first National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

The Strategy provides a framework to guide the development of a comprehensive, integrated system of services to maintain and support the mental health and wellbeing of children aged 0-12 and their families.

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Have Your Say

The Commission has launched a new engagement platform called Have Your Say, so we can hear your feedback and ideas on the development of our projects and strategies. Register here if you wish to be notified of upcoming public consultations.

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University of Sydney study open for input

Do you have lived experience of mental ill-health? Are you a friend or family member? or are you working in an advocacy or service organisation?

The University of Sydney have been funded by the National Mental Health Commission to conduct a study to understand more about what stops some people, or makes it difficult for some people, to apply for the psychosocial disability stream of the NDIS.

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