The Mental Health Commission is an independent statutory agency responsible for monitoring, reviewing and improving mental health and wellbeing for people in NSW. A five year review was required when the Mental Health Commission was established in July 2012 under the Mental Health Commission Act (the Act).
Under the Act, the Commission developed Living Well: A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW 2014-2024, setting the direction for how services and investment support people in NSW that experience mental illness.
This review will assess whether the work of the Mental Health Commission has met the objectives, policies and principles of the original Act, in the context of the ongoing implementation of Living Well. The review will also identify what further efforts are needed to strengthen the role of the Commission and improve mental health in NSW.
The review will be led by Dr David Chaplow, a former National Director of Mental Health and Chief Advisor, Ministry of Health, Wellington, New Zealand, reporting to the Minister for Mental Health.
The Minister for Mental Health will table a report in Parliament on the outcomes of the Review by 30 June 2018.
Terms of reference
The review’s Terms of reference set out three key activities:
- Part A - Review of the work of the Commission, including the strategic plan and its implementation, service planning and programs, research, education, innovation and advocacy.
- Part B - Make future state recommendations, including the future role, functions and priorities of the Commission.
- Part C - Review of the Act, including whether policy objectives and processes to achieve them remain valid going forward.
The review will undertake a broad range of information gathering activities, including:
- a desktop review and analysis of the Commission’s work
- public and stakeholder consultations to ensure comprehensive feedback from the community, mental health stakeholders and government on the role of the Commission, undertaken in three phases:
- a call for written submissions through a public online survey, with invitations to all key stakeholders across the mental health, broader health and Government sectors
- face to face interviews with key individuals and organisations identified
- a targeted workshop with stakeholders across organisations
To build the widest possible public and stakeholder awareness, participation and understanding during and after the review process, a proactive communication strategy will work across a broad range of platforms and opportunities to:
- engage the public, patients and their families, carers, and key stakeholders about the review
- promote opportunities for input to the review to help inform its outcomes
- ensure the public and all stakeholders are properly informed about the review’s considerations, findings and final recommendations.
Further information is available by calling the Mental Health Branch at the Ministry of Health on 9461 7658, or emailing MHC_Review@doh.health.nsw.gov.au.