Living Well in Focus 2020 – 2024 identifies three whole-of-government priorities that inform the direction of mental health reform over the next five years. These strategic priorities, which are underpinned by seven focus areas, will provide the best opportunity for good mental health and wellbeing of all people in NSW. The strategic priorities set out in this plan will:
- strengthen community recovery and wellbeing
- strategically invest in community wellbeing and mental health
- ensure the right workforce for the future.
Living Well in Focus 2020 – 2024 aligns with the NSW Premier’s Priorities and directions of the Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in NSW 2018–2023. It also assists NSW to deliver on its commitments under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan and the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan (Pandemic Response Plan).
The Pandemic Response Plan is of critical significance given the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has already demonstrated in increased psychological distress in the community. It has three priorities:
- Reduce the mental health and wellbeing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Have clear guiding principles, that can flexibly address local community need
- Introduce clear governance and coordination, including improved data collection and sharing.
Principles for implementation of Living Well in Focus 2020-2024
Two principles underpin implementation of this strategic plan:
- People with lived experience of a mental health issue and caring, families and kinship groups will be included in service design, delivery, monitoring, reporting, research, evaluation and improvement activities.
- The actions apply to all people living in NSW, and across all communities. It is in the adoption and implementation of the actions outlined in this plan that the needs and attributes of diverse communities in the state will be brought forward.
Given the unique position of Aboriginal people, Living Well in Focus 2020-2024 includes a specific focus area and recommends actions that aim to improve the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people.