Mental health providers in central western Queensland will initiate a number of actions to support better connection and greater cross agency advocacy to drive better health outcomes for the region after a RAPAD and Western Queensland Primarily Health Network round table discussion.
RAPAD Chairman and Barcaldine Regional Council Mayor Rob Chandler says every mental health provider in the central west attended.
“It’s our job to broker these sorts of meetings to improve mental health provision for our community,” he said.
RAPAD is made up of the seven local government areas of the central west Queensland and it wants mental health funding and service delivery to be targeted so it reaches the right people at the right times, are well planned to avoid duplication and be based on researched needs of the community.
“We need to be confident our community is getting value and service from a well-coordinated service and in turn we can advocate very strongly on behalf of the WQPHN and hospital boards with state and federal governments,” Councillor Chandler said.
“I have no doubt when we meet again in 12 months we will have much better communications and working relationship between service providers. When someone gets in strife we will know exactly who to call,” Councillor Chandler said.
The day provided a unique opportunity for representatives from RAPAD, Department of Agriculture, Rural Financial Counsellors and mental health service providers to explore key barriers and practical steps that can be undertaken to improve the performance and collective impacts of services on the ground.
The roundtable discussions were facilitated by the WQPHN and CEO Stuart Gordon says it enabled an important exchange of ideas and information from all organisations and highlighted a number of key areas where there can be improvement.
“As an organisation that commissions services in the Central West, bringing stakeholders together to consider practical solutions that increase access to the right care at the right time is central to achieving better quality for the people of the Central West,” he said.
“We will be actively working to improve our collective impact to address mental health stigma, workforce challenges, funding and communication, including how non-clinical support by trusted local advocates can be incorporated into the local mental health support networks,” Mr Gordon said.
Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic attended the meeting and encouraged local networks to do more to ensure better integration of services locally.
“When service providers collaborate, remove barriers to seamless integration, improve communication and advocacy across networks, we create a system that is easier to navigate and access.
“This is what consumers want and expect and the Commission strongly supports the Roundtable discussions and commends the WQPHN and RAPAD for hosting this important event in the Central West,” he said.
Service providers will continue to work on collaborative operational improvements and a commitment was made to meet with RAPAD in 12 months’ time.