"Mental Health Consumer and Carer engagement/information"

About: Lower Great Southern Mental Health Service

(as a carer),

I came to live in Albany with my adult child who has had numerous involuntary contacts with mental health services over many years.

Recently in Mental Health Week 2017 I picked up a CAG (Client Advisory Group) package of information for consumers and carers. This package was widely available on stalls in the community throughout Mental Health Week.  I  was surprised to find that 4 pamphlets were related to the 1996 Mental Health Act and the information about involuntary admission and rights , contact details and names of services were 2 years out of date and no acknowledgement of the 2014 Mental Health Act. The contact details for CAG were also out of date.

I think this highlights the need for a new vision locally in meeting the accreditation criteria of engaging with consumers and carers in accordance with WA health Service policy and the Mental Health Comission engagement policies.

I believe Bunbury have been assisted to develop an independent CAG where they have WACHS (Western Australia Country Health) approval and CHORUS (Community First Support.)

Carers and Consumers in the Great Southern need to have access and education about changes in the Mental Health System, the services available and the more contemporary approaches to Mental Health Care.

The precedent in Bunbury seems an appropriate model for a rejuvenation of the Consumer and Carer Advisory Group in the Great Southern Mental Health.

Future plans


Responses

Response from Janette Kostos, Manager Mental Health, WACHS - Great Southern

Thank you Pippin for your feedback, and for alerting me to this situation. The Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) Swag is put together by a group of volunteer Mental Health consumers using resources provided by Great Southern Mental Health Service. Maintaining the CAG Swag as an up to date resource has always proven a challenge.

It seems out of date packages have accidentally been distributed at the Mental Health Week event, for which I apologise.

I will investigate the error, and will ensure all out of date swags are withdrawn. The Great Southern Mental Health Service CAG is approved by WA Country Health Service as a consumer group. Currently at a Great Southern regional level there is a project being initiated to provide an electronic platform to house consumer and carer information. This will make the CAG Swag obsolete, and in future ensure that the information available is always up to date.

If you have any interest in being a participant in the Consumer Advisory Group and working on initiatives such as this, please feel welcome to contact me on 9892 2440. New members are always welcome.

Kind regards

Janette Kostos

Manager, Great Southern Mental Health Service

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