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Navigating Mental Health Services Forum and Market Place

June 25, 2019

There was an overwhelming response to the forum held on Wednesday 19 June 2019 at Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club. More than 150 delegates from a variety of different services and many TAFE students enjoyed the guest speaker presentations and the popular 2 minute Power Pitches from the market place service providers.

Local Elder, Uncle Gerald Brown, from the Illawarra Koori Men’s Group gave a Welcome to Country and spoke about the mental health challenges faced by Aboriginal people, especially the men and boys he sees at the group.

Deputy Commissioner Pamela Routledge spoke about the NSW Mental Health Commission’s Living Well policy document and the current review. She encouraged everyone to visit the website (https://nswmentalhealthcommission.com.au/) to contribute comments to the review. She congratulated Community Industry Group on organising the forum and agreed that one of the biggest issues for sufferers and carers is navigating the system.

Dr Alex Haines, Regional Manager of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative, (www.suicidepreventioncollaborative.org.au) spoke about the work of the group, gave some alarming statistics on local suicide rates and highlighted the important role the media can play with an emphasis on positive stories of recovery.

Dr Vanessa Lee, Chair of RUOK’s Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Committee also had many distressing statistics from the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander community and how historical trauma is deeply entrenched. RUOK has recently launched a campaign and toolkit ‘Stronger Together’ (https://www.ruok.org.au/strongertogether).

Sally Stevenson AM, General Manager of Illawarra Women’s Health Centre (http://womenshealthcentre.com.au) spoke passionately about the high levels of domestic and family violence in this area and the long term impacts of trauma both socially and economically. There is a committee dedicated to promoting the establishment of a Trauma Recovery Centre in the Illawarra and Sally asked for more volunteers to join the campaign.

Acting Inspector Lee Ingmire, Mental Health Officer, Lake Illawarra Police District spoke about the training she provides to police officers and explained the legal responsibilities of police when responding to mental health crisis situations.

All the speakers have very generously agreed to provide their slides from the day. Please remember to credit the source if you are quoting from them or using the information for assignments.

  • Presentation: Dr Alex Haines, Regional Manager of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative
  • Presentation: Dr Vanessa Lee, Chair of RUOK’s Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Committee, Stronger Together
  • Presentation: Sally Stevenson, Illawarra Women’s Health Centre
  • Presentation: Acting Inspector Lee Ingmire, Mental Health Officer, Lake Illawarra Police District

 

 

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