The Youth Mental Health Consultation Report documents the outcomes of a youth mental health consultation and research project which was undertaken during 2015-16 by Health Consumers AllianceSA (HCA) in collaboration with the Health Economics and Social Policy Group (HESPG) at the University of South Australia.
The aim of the project was to speak with young people about their experiences of mental health care, and hear their perspectives on how pathways to care and service design could be improved. The project highlighted a diverse range of views about the experience of careand focused on participant’ssuggestions and ideas of how services may be better designed and promoted in the future.
HCA and HESPG would like to acknowledge and thank the young people who participated in this project and generously shared their experience. We also thank the many organisations who connected with us to help the young participants to be involved. The full report is available below.
Health Consumers Alliance (HCA) Strategic Directions 2012-16 and SA Health Service Agreement 2013-16 identified a need for HCA to develop a processes for the effective engagement of members of vulnerable communities in its representative and consultative functions. In response to this need HCA has undertaken a research project ‘A Framework of Engagement Practice with Vulnerable South Australian Communities’. The findings are outlined in the report, available below.
In 2015, staff from the University of South Australia and Health Consumers Alliance started talking with young people (12-25) about their experiences of using mental health services in South Australia. The goal was to make recommendations on how to build a mental health system that was better suited to the needs of young people. as the project is finishing up read what we have learnt so far.
Reducing the gap between research, policy and practice - report available
The latest report from the Reducing the Gap Breakfast Conversation which focused on including consumers’ voices in designing, undertaking and translating research. This interactive event encouraged exchange between researchers, clinicians, policy makers and consumers about their personal and practical challenges experienced in addressing research-policy-practice gaps.
The summary report is available here
SA Mental Health Commission HCA Forum - report available
Stephen Christley, the interim Mental Health Commissioner was the key speaker at this forum and provided an overview of the Commission's role and opportunities before it. Michael Cousins, HCA Chief Executive led an interactive session of questions, suggestions and advice from the participants. We had over 50 people attending; representing consumer, carer, government, non-government, service delivery, clinical and research sectors.
A copy of the summary report on the forum is available here
HCA is working with the Women’s and Children’s Health Network to develop an innovative and evidence-based Consumer and Community Engagement Strategy for the Network. This will be a strategy and plan that contains many quality improvement activities to encourage consumers and community representatives to participate in decision making.
A wide range of research indicates that involving consumers in their own care, as well as in the design of services, results in improved health outcomes.
The project has been guided by a Project Advisory Group (PAG) which includes consumers, community members, WCHN staff and project leaders. There is also a Project Management Group (PMG) consisting of HCA and WCHN staff to complete the detailed work of developing the Strategy. The Project Sponsor is Adjunct Associate Professor Naomi Dwyer, Chief Executive Officer of the WCHN. Dr Anne Johnson, well known to many HCA members, is a consultant to the project and working alongside Michael and myself within the HCA team.