The Mental Health Commission of NSW welcomes this opportunity to pause and reflect on our first five years of work toward better mental health for people living with mental health issues, their families and carers, and the whole NSW community.
The commitment of Commission staff, Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners, the Community Advisory Council, partners across government and the community, and the many passionate individuals who inform the Commission’s work, is reflected in the finding of the Review that the Commission has fulfilled its functions under the Mental Health Commission Act 2012.
In this document, we set out our response to the Review. The Commission endorses 16 of the Review’s 17 recommendations, noting that Recommendation 2, to change the name of the Commission, was not supported by the NSW Government. We have responded to the recommendations thematically, addressing how they will affect our work, our approaches and our governance. We have also highlighted where we seek clarification on a recommendation, or where we have accepted recommendations with some qualification.
In the Commission’s work to implement the recommendations, we will enhance our partnerships and co-production with people with mental health issues and their families and carers, government, workforce groups and the community sector. We will review and strengthen the ways we engage with young people and people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) and the other groups of people already named in the Act – people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and people living in rural and remote NSW. Led by Aboriginal people, we will establish a new governance and engagement mechanism and support the work of others to improve the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal communities.
The recommendations of the Review place a greater focus on improving outcomes for people in NSW. Improving outcomes is not a task the Commission can tackle alone. This will take leadership across government and in all our communities. Everyone must play their part and the Commission looks forward to stronger cooperation and collaboration with all partners in our next five years of work.