COORDINARE is interested to understand more about consumer views on mental health to assist in the development of a regional mental health plan. This month, we asked our Consumer Health Panel about their thoughts and experiences of mental health services within South Eastern NSW.
Responses showed 3 in 10 panel members have used mental health services in the region.
More than half of those who had used services accessed primary care services provided by a GP or private practice psychologist, whilst 3 in 10 people used community mental health services provided through a state government public mental health service. Some had used a combination of both.
Pleasingly, more than 80% of people who had used mental health services in the region did not have trouble accessing any of the services. However, some had trouble accessing social support for complex conditions or didn’t know how to access help initially.
We asked panel members what they saw as the biggest problem for people with mental illness in South Eastern NSW for a regional mental health plan to address, responses included:
Peer workers have a lived experience of mental illness and recovery, yet almost 90% of people were either unaware or did not know about the mental health peer workforce in South Eastern NSW.
Panel members were asked how consumers and carers could be involved in mental health services in the region. While most (67%) said by providing feedback about experience of care on questionnaires or survey tools, more than half of people suggested getting involved through peer support roles or participation on committees to plan and review services.
More than 9 in 10 people said they would ask their GP about finding a mental health service if they or a family member needed one. Half of the panel said they would search online for mental health services, meanwhile others said they would ask family or friends, look up a phone directory or contact their nearest hospital.
Given 7 in 10 people report not using a mental health service it is was not surprising that the most common word to describe these services was ‘unknown’. Looking beyond this, other panel members mentioned:
COORDINARE, as the South Eastern NSW PHN, will use this snapshot to provide a picture of the overall perception of mental health services in the region. Combined with more detailed consultation with service users and stakeholders, the process will help our work on a regional mental health plan. COORDINARE will be in contact with those who expressed interest for further involvement in 2018. Stay tuned!
For more information visit the mental health page on our website.
Your GP should be your first point of contact or there are a range of crisis services you can access if you need urgent care including Lifeline (13 11 14) or Beyondblue Support Service (1300 224 636). For other useful helpline services please click here.
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