Key themes

Analysis for the South Western Sydney region utilised written notes from four consultations in Campbelltown (attended by around 44 people), Tahmoor (attended by around 29 people), Bowral (attended by around 26 people) and Bankstown (attended by around 17 people). Photos of the butcher’s paper were also available. From the materials available the following key themes were distilled:

  • Funding cycles, a lack of funding available, tendering and competition
  • Access to services, increased awareness of services, availability and access to services in non-clinical settings
  • NDIS, access, uncertainty and funding
  • Workforce, peer workers, the importance of the unpaid workforce, and workforce competency and diversity
  • Collaboration and connection in terms of service providers working together and the co-location of services

In addition, the following key themes emerged in response to the questions: what is working well, what are the challenges, and what are the priorities?

West Syd

What is working well in South West Sydney?

What is working well? Qualifiers/examples
Connection and collaboration

Local support services - networking and collaborating;

Increased collaboration between GPs and service providers

in mental health; Co-location of services; Collaborative approaches

between services; Holistic approach to services


Increased awareness of services available; Non-clinical settings

for care; Increased local clinical services;

More diversity of clinical care

Peer workforce

Increase in the peer workforce and peer work

training lived experience; Peer workforce,

volunteers and paid peer workforce growing


CALD; Targeted services for community catering

for cultural differences; Bilingual workers; Stigma

a big challenge in CALD communities

Increased use of technology and alternative therapies

Apps - mindfulness, online mental health resources,

YouTube, online counselling


What are the challenges in South West Sydney?

What are the challenges? Qualifiers/examples
Access to services

Waiting times; Difficulties with transport;

Lack of mental health beds in hospital;

Fragmented nature of services

Service gaps

Not enough focus on middle age and older people;

In-school support; Weekend services; Waiting in ED for a counsellor;

Follow-up after discharge; Support for family


Access; Uncertainty; Funding; Case management;

Lack of coverage, some people don't apply as they don't think they are eligible


Funding cycles; Changing funding cycles; Things that are evidenced based

and show value funding stopped; Funding, lack of or discontinued funding;

Funding, the ability to keep services going; Tendering; Competition

Stigma Conservative thinking; Flashing lights/stigma when emergency services are called

Need a diverse workforce, different types of allied health qualifications;

Peer work is not fully integrated into mental health service delivery;

Volunteer workforce is important; Voice of those with lived experience; Competency


What are the priorities in South West Sydney?

What are the priorities? Qualifiers/examples

How can it be made better; Reform to address psychosocial rehabilitation

and support; More affordable services; Recommit to NDIS roll out


Peer workers; Build capacity of local workforce; Training for first responders;

Properly trained professionals/youth workers; Diverse workforce

Address service gaps

24 hour care; Early intervention; Family focused supports;

Increased aftercare and post-vention services (post suicide attempts);

Physical health activities; Wrap around services; Carer support services;

Decrease waiting times

Social determinants of health

Housing; Employment; Training; Education; Transport;

collaboration/engagement with broader health sector


Minimum 3 years funding cycle; Funding arrangements; Secure funding

which will allow services to expand; Stronger emphasis on collaboration

rather than competition for funding

Collaboration and cooperation

Community mindset - work as a family/community system; Co-location of services;

Centres of excellence; 

Download the PDF of key themes in South Western Sydney

The Mental Health Commission of New South Wales acknowledges the contribution of The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), who were engaged to conduct a qualitative data analysis for the mid-term review of Living Well.