I am honoured to be leading South Australia’s new Mental Health Commission, a role which allows me to enthusiastically champion the rights of people living with mental illness, their families and carers.
Our new Mental Health Commission is a positive step for South Australia which will bring renewed energy and a new focus to mental health issues.
It also means we are better represented on a national level. We’ve seen Commissions in NSW, Queensland, WA and nationally kick goals and achieve important change and now South Australia has a bigger part of that national conversation.
Our Commission will drive ongoing reform towards more integrated mental health services and strengthen the mental wellbeing of South Australians. Its key task is to lead the development of our State’s new Mental Health Strategic Plan.
I personally want to see a more integrated mental health system that better caters for the individual needs of people who use mental health services.
We will work to strengthen mental health care for all South Australians and promote the wellbeing of people with a lived experience of mental illness as well as that of their families and carers.
I strongly believe that the Mental Health Commission belongs to all South Australians and that ideas for reform should come from people with lived experience of mental illness and their families and carers, the community and all sectors including the non-government sector and government housing, education, employment and justice systems.
Mental illness is a community issue, not an individual issue. We must come together as a community to assist those who experience mental illness.
That’s why in the coming weeks and months, I will be out and about learning about the experiences of people living with mental illness, their carers and families, as well as government and non-government service providers throughout metropolitan and regional South Australia. This collective wisdom will help us to develop an effective Mental Health Strategic Plan.
Importantly, South Australians will soon get a say in the development of the new Mental Health Strategic Plan so keep an eye on the website www.samentalhealthcommission.com.au for further information on how to get involved. You can also follow us on Facebook.
The SA Mental Health Commission is new and we are a small team dedicated to working collaboratively with all stakeholders and ensuring the lived experience of people with mental illness is central to all we do.
Thank you for joining us on this important journey.
SA Mental Health Commissioner