Summary of progress by priority area January to December 2010

Summary of progress by priority area January to December 2010

The Deputy Premier and Minister for Health established the Queensland Mental Health Reform Committee (QMHRC) in February 2010 to oversee the statewide implementation of the Fourth National Mental Health Plan (Fourth Plan) and related state and national mental health reform agendas. QMHRC met quarterly in 2010 and is comprised of senior representatives from Queensland and Commonwealth Government departments, the private sector, the community sector and consumer and carer representatives.

Priority area 1: Social inclusion and recovery

The Queensland Government made significant progress in respect of social inclusion and recovery for people with a mental illness throughout 2009–10. This includes an investment of $8.5 million over four years (2010–14) for the development of a statewide stigma reduction strategy. The focus of the strategy will be a social marketing campaign, supported by community engagement and targeted actions at the local level.

Work commenced to renew the Queensland approach to recovery through updating the statewide framework, Sharing Responsibility for Recovery: creating and sustaining recovery oriented systems of care for mental health. The commitment to a recovery oriented service system has also been realised through the elevation of carer and family issues in a series of Carers Matter workshops, the inception of the Carers Matter website and the delivery of statewide training for mental health staff in carer participation.

Social inclusion and recovery has also been advanced through an investment of $6.477 million in the Time Out housing pilot. This initiative supports young people aged 18–25 years who are experiencing early signs and symptoms of mental health problems through providing safe, friendly accommodation in a recovery focussed environment for periods up to three weeks, with follow up community support for up to three months. This period also saw the continued expansion of a number of successful programs to promote the social inclusion of people with a mental illness, including the Housing and Support Program and the Employment Specialist Initiative which co-locates employment specialists from Disability Employment Services within public mental health services.

In addition, the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Hub for Mental Health (the Hub) was established in July 2010, to provide leadership and oversight of development of service models, workforce and partnerships in collaboration with the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health Queensland. The specialist hub will provide support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers in the development and delivery of clinical services. Top of page

Priority area 2: Prevention and early intervention

As one of five priority areas in the Queensland Plan for Mental Health 2007–2017, Mental Health Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention received $9.35 million over four years to support activities aimed at strengthening collaborative action to build individual and community resilience and wellbeing; effectively target key risk and protective factors; and facilitate early intervention in known high risk groups. To this end, the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention is leading the development of the Queensland Framework for Mental Health Promotion, Illness Prevention and Early Intervention. The framework will outline key principles and actions for a whole-of-government, whole-of-community approach to enhancing mental health; and preventing, detecting and intervening early with mental illness in Queensland. The development and implementation of a Queensland Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) Framework is also being progressed.

A range of actions to enhance mental health literacy across Queensland, including actions to enhance individual and systemic capacity across sectors are also underway. The Queensland Government has prioritised improving access to Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training for non-clinical workers in key government and non-government services. In 2009–10, a total of 72 participants from key government agencies and district mental health services have been trained as MHFA instructors.

Implementation of the Queensland Ed-LinQ Initiative continues in 12 regions across the state in partnership with the Department of Education and Training, Independent Schools Queensland, the Queensland Catholic Education Commission and General Practice Queensland. Ed-LinQ supports child and youth mental health services, the education sector and the primary health care sector to work collaboratively and enhance the early identification and treatment of mental disorders affecting school-aged children and young people.

Finally, the Queensland Government is developing a new suicide prevention action plan. The action plan will align with the National Living is for Everyone Framework, and provide a whole-of-government approach to suicide prevention across the state, with a focus on enhancing coordination of services to those in need and reducing suicide risk and mortality. Top of page

Priority area 3: Service access, coordination and continuity of care

Through the Queensland Plan for Mental Health 2007–2017, a total of $632.4 million has been invested to date to improve the Queensland mental health service system. This includes $528.8 million over four years in 2007–08, $88.6 million over four years in 2008–09, $6.5 million over three years in 2009–10, and $8.5 million over four years in 2010–11. Under this funding, 17 ongoing capital works projects across Queensland will deliver more than 270 new, redeveloped or refurbished inpatient mental health beds by 2011–12. By the end of 2011–12 it is expected that Queensland will have a total of 1,569 mental health beds, 86% of the number of beds required to meet a target of 40 beds per 100,000 population by 2017.

In addition, service access, coordination and continuity of care have been significantly enhanced through initiatives such as the Care Coordination program and the Queensland Framework for Primary Mental Health Care. The Care Coordination program improves the coordination of mental health service delivery across government, non-government and private sector services for consumers with severe mental illness. Twenty Service Integration Coordinator positions have been established in public mental health services across the state.

The Queensland Framework for Primary Mental Health Care, revised and relaunched during Mental Health Week 2010, identifies strategies at the local and state level to support a more integrated and effective primary care system for people with a mental illness. Initial implementation of the Framework is occurring through the Partners in Mind (PIM) initiative which aims to increase the capacity of general practitioners to meet consumer needs, and better integrate public mental heath services and general practice. PIM is implemented in partnership with General Practice Queensland and the divisions of general practice across Queensland. Top of page

Priority area 4: Quality improvement and innovation

Service quality improvement and innovation in Queensland is supported by a range of current and planned activities. Foremost during this reporting period Queensland joined other states and territories in endorsing the new National Standards for Mental Health Services 2010 (the Standards). Queensland is committed to the full implementation of the Standards with current work focussed on ensuring they are integrated into all services in the mental health sector in a meaningful way. Other quality improvement activities include the development of a Statewide Clinical Auditing Framework. The Clinical Auditing Framework provides a consistent approach in clinical auditing activity and will enable services to benchmark against like services and assist in the building of evidence for accreditation.

This period also saw the formation of a new Mental Health Clinical Governance Steering Committee to drive the development of an evidence-based, sustainable approach to improving the safety and quality of Queensland's public mental health services, which supports the needs of consumers, carers and the community.

Recognising the value of the consumer and carer contribution to clinical and community support settings, in August 2010 Queensland launched the Consumer, Carer and Family Participation Framework. This took place alongside the further expansion of the Consumer Companion Program with the recruitment of a statewide coordinator to manage the consumer companion workforce in Queensland. There are currently 76 casual consumer companions employed across all 17 acute adult inpatient units in Queensland. Top of page

Priority area 5: Accountability - measuring and reporting process

Queensland is committed to using comprehensive and accurate information to improve service quality, support patient safety, drive service reforms and inform policy development.

Towards this goal, the Queensland Government has enhanced the collection of clinical and administrative data through initiatives such as implementation of a statewide clinical information system (the Consumer Integrated Mental Health Application), and the Mental Health Establishments Collection Application, which streamlines the collection, validation and reporting of the Mental Health Establishments National Minimum Data Set.

Improved information and performance measurement is being utilised to inform individual and systemic evaluations, including a formal evaluation framework for the Queensland Plan for Mental Health. The Mental Health Performance Management Framework currently being developed will articulate a clear governance structure and escalation protocol. This will allow for greater accountability and sector ownership of performance. These and other enhancements are reinforcing improved performance measurement in Queensland.