Region
Murrumbidgee NSW

Lead agency

The Alliance is a formal arrangement between leading partners in services for people with mental health and drug and alcohol problems in the Murrumbidgee region. 

Living Well domain

  • Making it local
  • Better responses 
Murrumbidgee

Challenge

Many organisations are working to improve mental health and drug and alcohol outcomes in the Murrumbidgee region. Service users and providers have described the service system as fragmented, complex and difficult to navigate.

Solution

The Alliance is a contemporary way for regional organisations, as well as people with lived experience and advocates to work together to improve mental health and drug and alcohol outcomes for the Murrumbidgee population.

The Alliance members meet with the following objectives:

  • develop and articulate a shared vision for mental health and drug and alcohol services that meets the needs of the Murrumbidgee population, is informed by people with lived experience and their families and carers and recognises the importance of a whole of life, intergenerational focus
  • develop innovative models and ways of working together across human services that reflect a shared purpose and purposeful collaboration
  • promote recovery as the highest goal for service users, recognising that this involves the whole person with lived experience’s journey 
     
  • develop and implement strategies to improve information exchange and transfer of care across the sector
  • identify opportunities for joint initiatives and work together on joint funding opportunities when available
  • develop a work plan that identifies the priority areas of focus for the Alliance, is reviewed annually and is informed by people with lived experience, carers, families and kinship groups’ feedback and identification of service gaps
  • acknowledge the different cultural and behavioural challenges that some service users experience, especially those that are most marginalised, and recognise these in prioritising strategic directions and initiatives
  • develop and implement a communication and marketing strategy that will promote mental health and drug and alcohol services to people with lived experience, caring, families and kinship groups across the Murrumbidgee population.
  • commit to exploring opportunities for shared education and learning activities that will promote better understanding and skill sharing between members and lead to improved experiences for people accessing mental health and drug and alcohol services.
     

Outcome

The Alliance has already achieved several outcomes. These include successful application as a LifeSpan trial site (Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network lead site) and delivery of education to provider organisations, including media training and confidentiality.

The Alliance has also implemented the Service Integration project as a response to feedback from people with lived experience of mental health issues and caring (Murrumbidgee Local Health District lead site). The integration of mental health and drug and alcohol services is identified as a key area of the health system that would benefit from clinical and system redesign.
The project involves work on three priorities:

  • priority 1: development of an online interactive mental health and drug and alcohol service map, to be widely accessed. This priority is complete.
  • priority 2: common referral and consent form, shared across members
  • priority 3: development of a lived experience led care plan/wellness plan. This is an application (App) that will be available on the person’s own device and shared by them with the agencies they are working with. One care plan will apply across all agencies.
     

Next Steps

A Regional Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Alcohol and Other Drugs Plan has been developed.

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