cohealth’s contribution to the Victorian Government’s consultation on these services emphasises the importance of meaningful and ongoing involvement of local communities. These Local Services must be accessible to everyone and barriers to access must be eliminated or reduced.
The questions below are those asked by the Victorian Government’s consultation Local Adult and Older Adult Mental Health and Wellbeing Services organisational survey.
4. How can Local Services provide the best possible experience for consumers and carers? What would that experience look like? What would happen or not happen? How would the service be different to other services available? (max 1,000 characters)
Underlying approach: lived experience at centre; ‘what can we do with you’; draw on client strengths to deliver programs
Ensure accessible for everyone:
Lived experience workers, including bi-cultural workers, central: providing welcome to the service; running groups; support across the spectrum of needs; being a bridge to mainstream programs
Service promotion that normalises caring for mental health.
Resource carer support services: counselling, peer support, funding, respite.
5. How can Local Services provide the best possible experience for consumers and carers from diverse backgrounds and those who have specific needs? What would that experience look like? What would happen or not happen? How would the service be different to other services available? (max 1,000 characters)
Local community partnerships:
Embrace cultural differences:
6. What are the top three things we have to get right to make the Local Services the best they could be? (max 1,000 characters)
1. Active, meaningful & ongoing involvement of the local community to ensure Locals respond to their needs, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Locals must reflect the local community & have the flexibility to change.
2. Ensure Locals are accessible to everyone, regardless of ability, cultural or socioeconomic background, gender, ability etc. All barriers to access must be eliminated or reduced: cost, language, opening hours, outreach, online, integration with other services.
Simplify access into the service to overcome complexity, including being a responsive service, limited wait times & streamlined pathways to/from acute care.
Located services in areas of greatest need & highest barriers to accessing other care.
3. Ensure Locals are fully integrated, ideally on site, with relevant services & supports, including those that address the social determinants of mental health. Housing is critical, as is physical health care, employment, education, advocating against racism, etc.