Summary of progress by priority area January to December 2010

Summary of progress by priority area January to December 2010

Priority area 1: Social inclusion and recovery

Statewide & Mental Health Services (SMHS), through its assertive case management model, is working to re-orient service delivery to a recovery focus. Improving employment outcomes for people experiencing mental illness is an important aspect of recovery. Tasmania has adopted a national model which embeds a specialist employment consultant within community mental health teams. SMHS has established the Individual Placement Support for Competitive Employment model in Hobart. The project has been successful with eight consumers gaining competitive employment, five entering formal study and seven in vocational activities. An Integrated Employment Implementation Framework has been developed and will be rolled out to community mental health teams in 2011. Tasmania has maintained a whole of government focus on homelessness and in 2010 SMHS worked with Housing Tasmania to progress the Specialist Intervention Tenancy Service (SITS). SITS teams, made up of professionals with a background in homelessness; mental health; alcohol and other drugs, assist clients to develop skills to increase their capacity to live independently and address issues that have previously led to homelessness, as well as reconnect with family, community and other networks. Building the Foundations has a strong focus on increasing awareness to reduce discrimination and social exclusion. In 2010 the Government funded the Mental Health Council of Tasmania to develop mental health literacy and stigma reduction strategy. The State Government's Refugee Health Funding has provided additional support to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Tasmania. These projects include the Mental Health Early Intervention Project and the Tasmanian Mental Health Network. Tasmania also supports the rollout of "Stepping out of the Shadows" stigma reduction training for culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Inter Agency Support Teams are cross agency teams through which young people identified at high risk are able to benefit from cross agency solutions to emerging problems. Teams are located within each Local Government Area in and continued to provide support throughout the state in 2010. SMHS is also working with the Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) Program providing referrals and support. Top of page

Priority Area 2: Prevention and early intervention

In October 2009 the Tasmanian Government released Building the Foundations for Mental Health and Wellbeing, a Strategic Framework and Action Plan for Implementing Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention (PPEI) Approaches in Tasmania (Building the Foundations). The primary goals of Building the Foundations are to enhance mental health and wellbeing of all Tasmanians; reduce the prevalence of mental ill health; and minimise the impact of mental illness by employing a coordinated whole of government, whole of community approach. In July 2010, SMHS began work on a Strategic Framework for PPEI activities in relation to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATODs). This Framework is designed to complement both Building the Foundations and the Fourth Plan. In December 2010 the Government launched Tasmania's Suicide Prevention Strategy (the Strategy). The Strategy, a sub-strategy to Building the Foundations, takes a 'community action approach' to addressing risk and protective factors. The Inter Agency Working Group for Mental Health, established to oversee implementation of Building the Foundations across Government and service sectors. One of the priority actions of the IAWGMH is to increase awareness and understanding of the risk and protective factors for mental health and wellbeing across all sectors. Through a partnership with Aspire, the rollout of the training module Understanding Mental Health and Wellbeing has commenced across the State. Part of this program is the delivery of a 'train the trainer' workshop that will increase capacity across government and community sectors through the development of two year regional training plans. MindMatters and KidsMatter are implemented through Project Officers based within the Department of Education. There is also a state wide Mental Health in Schools Reference Group, with representatives from public, catholic and independent schools. Significant progress has also been made towards the rollout of the National Perinatal Depression Initiative. Training in the use of the Edinburgh Depression Scare and Universal Psychosocial Assessment and depression screening is being rolled out in maternity services across the State in line with regional plans. Top of page

Priority area 3: Service access, coordination and continuity of care

Ongoing implementation of the Statewide and Mental Health Services Collaboration Strategy has enhanced opportunities for cooperation across Government. The Inter Agency Working Group for Mental Heath, established in 2009, continued to work to strengthen cross-government partnerships. In September 2009, the Tasmanian Government launched the Consumer and Carer Participation Review to identify an optimum model for mental health consumer and carer participation within Tasmania and to inform the implementation of Tasmania's Consumer and Carer Participation Framework. A priority of the Framework is the establishment of a new consumer organisation and the process to appoint board members commenced in 2010. The involvement of consumers and carers is an essential component in planning accessible, coordinated care that provides optimal outcomes. The Community Sector Interface Group, established in 2008/09, continued to meet throughout 2010, providing a valuable resource to support planning for a more integrated service system and to enhance coordination of effort across sectors. The Tasmanian Care Coordination Model uses Maximizing Recovery Panels (MRPs) as a single point of entry in order to assess and determine the most suitable community sector services for mental health clients. The MRP model was reviewed in 2008/09, and consultations continued throughout 2010 to explore options for the future. In line with the Fourth Plan's commitment to coordinating the care system, in 2010 work continued towards the establishment of a Primary Mental Health Clinical Network (the Network). The Network will enhance patient outcomes by bringing together clinicians, carers and consumers to in the planning and improvement of Primary Mental Health services in Tasmania and facilitate promotion, prevention and early intervention for people at risk. Following recommendations of the Suicide Prevention Strategy, three suicide prevention discharge coordinator positions and four peer support positions have been created to provide seamless support in transition from inpatient care back into the community. The Tasmanian Comorbidity Steering Committee and Working Groups have continued to meet to progress development of a new Comorbidity Framework to provide an agreed set of principles and priorities for Tasmania. The underlying principle is that there should be 'no wrong door' for clients seeking mental health and substance use treatment. Top of page

Priority area 4: Quality improvement and innovation

In line with the National Standards for Mental Health Services (NSMHS), Tasmania is strengthening clinical governance through a state-wide committee and clinical specialty groups for each clinical area. A Project Officer has been engaged to progress state-wide implementation of the NSMHS to state agencies and community sector organisations. Statewide & Mental Health Services is seeking accreditation through the Australian Council on Health Care Standards. This process formally began in 2009 and significant progress has been made across all service and corporate areas in 2010. In 2010 Tasmania completed its workforce development strategy in line with the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy. Work continues to increase consumer and carer employment in clinical and community support settings through progress towards the Consumer and Carer Participation Framework. The process of drafting new Mental Health Act continued in 2010. The new legislation is being drafted using clear language so that it will be accessible and easy to utilise. It will appropriately balance consumer rights with the need for treatment, and will recognise the important role played by carers and family members of persons with a mental illness. The legislation is rights focussed and reflects notions of consumer autonomy. In particular it will not enable a person with capacity to be treated against their will and provides special protections for patients who are children. The drafting process is nearing completion and consultation on the draft legislation is expected to commence in early 2011. In 2010 work continued towards the development of cross-border arrangements to provide guidance for the transfer of clients between jurisdictions. Top of page

Priority area 5: Accountability – measuring and reporting progress


The focus on improved information management and the development of a single reporting system continued to progress in line with the development of a new Mental Health Services Information System to guide service planning, funding models and data collection. In 2010 the implementation phase of the Client Management and Clinical Information Systems Project for Statewide and Mental Health Services formally commenced. The initiative will facilitate appropriate transfer of clinical information to ensure continuity of care for all consumers. Work commenced to review the governance structures overseeing the implementation of Building the Foundations and the Suicide Prevention Strategy. The intention is to develop a streamlined monitoring and reporting process to ensure momentum is maintained across strategic priorities.