Key Themes in Northern Sydney

Analysis for the Sydney North region utilised written notes from the Dee Why (attended by around 24 people) and Chatswood consultations (attended by around 52 people), photos of the butcher’s paper were also available from the Chatswood consultation the following key themes were distilled:

  • Improving collaboration, particularly in terms of suicide awareness and prevention
  • Funding in relation to availability, financial barriers and competitive tendering
  • A lack of access to and availability of services
  • Stigma and discrimination around mental health

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?

Nrt Syd

What is working well in Northern Sydney?

What is working well? Qualifiers/examples 

Suicide prevention working group

Suicide prevention collaborative.

Peer workforce

Peer support workers

Scope of peer workforce

Carer peer workforce.



Increased for psychosocial support

Adolescent treatment.

Connections with young people

Youth services

Local council youth hubs

Youth use of telehealth and web help


Flexible and adaptable frameworks

Consumers leading treatment

Recovery framework

Lived experience

Mindspot program

Stepped care approach.

Community engagement

Seasons aftercare program

Community support group

Carers network

Pioneer club house.

What are the challenges in Northern Sydney?

What are the challenges?  Qualifiers/examples 
Visibility of services

GPs not knowing about services

Access to services

Clarity about what services do.


Community mental health

Accessing people at risk

Services do not know what others services do

Assumption people can access services in private hospitals

Can't access public hospitals



Upskilling and ED culture.


Not recovery focused

Programs losing funding

People needing a permanent disability.


People losing funding

Financial barriers - private psychologists and psychiatrists

Affordability Gap


Competitive tender processes.

Complexity of needs

Eating disorders

People with complex needs need the most  support and often get the least


Older people.


What are the priorities in Northern Sydney?

What are the priorities  Qualifiers/examples 
Workforce culture and training  

Short-term cycles

Bulk billing

Subsiding private mental health care e.g. Psychiatry and psychology

Health insurance limitations

Service model flexibility.


Stigma around mental health

Destigmatisation mental health group

How we talk to each other about mental health


Visibility and shared information of services




Traffic is a barrier

Public transport not good.

Early intervention Early intervention

Download the PDF of key themes in Northern 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.