Our current mental health practices are deeply embedded in structures that have taken decades to develop – buildings, funding mechanisms, organisational hierarchies and professional boundaries. Some of these structures need to change if we are to unlock the promise of reform.

This is a 2015-18 priority because

  • Fundamental system change is necessary to allow NSW to develop modern mental health responses that meet the needs of people and support their recovery. This will take years to complete; the sooner we get started, the better.
  • People who work in the mental health system do exceptional work and they are our greatest resource. They have told us they want to know what reform will mean for them, and how they can help bring about positive change. When we listen to everyone who provides mental health services and support, and communicate clearly with them, we can honour their contribution now and into the future.

We do not know enough about the functioning of support services for people who experience mental illness. We know some things about how many people receive services, and what type, but much too little about whether they are contributing to positive changes in people’s lives.

This is a 2015-18 priority because

  • In determining what to measure and how to measure it, we create a clear and objective understanding about the core elements of mental health reform in NSW
  • By focusing on measures explicitly linked to improving mental health consumers’ journey through the system and supporting their recovery – including their own views about the support they receive – we orient the reform process from the outset towards the things that matter most.
  • In reporting directly to Parliament on issues that affect the lives of people who experience mental illness, the Commission has a unique opportunity to shine a light on particular problems and nurture a consensus for change at the highest levels.