The NSW Government released the Review of the Mental Health Commission of NSW - Report to Parliament 2018.
A five-year review of the Mental Health Commission was a requirement when it was established in July 2012 under the Mental Health Commission Act (the Act).
The review was 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.
To encourage broad awareness, participation and engagement, the review conducted comprehensive public and stakeholder consultations. This included a call for public submissions through an online survey and face-to-face meetings with peak groups and key organisations. The final consultation was a one-day collaborative multi-stakeholder forum.
NSW Health encouraged individuals and organisations to take part in the review through an online consultation survey conducted by independent research company ORC International. The survey aimed to identify stakeholder perceptions on the work of the Commission over the last five years, and early views on the future role, functions principles and priorities for the Commission.
Results of the survey were used to inform the Review of the Mental Health Commission of NSW. The survey closed on 7 November 2017.
Individuals and organisations were also able to make written submissions against the Review Terms of Reference. Submissions closed on 7 November 2017.
A number of targeted stakeholder interviews and roundtables with the reviewer, Dr David Chaplow were conducted between October 2017 and February 2018. Interviews were undertaken with individual organisations, or in small groups with a similar focus, to seek views on the work that the Commission had undertaken over the last five years, exploring the role and function of the Commission ongoing.
A one-day collaborative multi-stakeholder forum was held on 12 December 2017, bringing together stakeholders across organisations, to consider an approach to the future role, functions, principles and priorities of the Commission. The forum built on the feedback received through the earlier consultations, and sought to integrate the insights and perspectives of stakeholders representing a cross-section of the mental health system.
The Mental Health Commission is an independent statutory agency responsible for monitoring, reviewing and improving the mental health and wellbeing of the people of NSW.
It works with Government and the community to promote and improve mental health and wellbeing of the community, support Government service planning and provide strategic advocacy.
The review assessed whether the work of the Mental Health Commission met the objectives, policies and principles of the original Act, in the context of the ongoing implementation of Living Well: A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW 2014-2024 which set the overarching direction for mental health in NSW.
The review identified what further efforts are needed to strengthen the role of the Commission in the context of the broader reforms needed to ensure that the mental health system in NSW is well placed to meet the demands of the future.