The QAMH Annual Report for 2021 is now available.
An excerpt from the QAMH Annual Report for 2021
MESSAGE FROM THE CEO | JENNIFER BLACK
In reflecting on my first full year as the CEO of QAMH, I am proud of the achievements of our members who have demonstrated agility and resilience, adapting to the increasing demand for their services as communities struggle living with COVID-19. The expertise and unique contribution of the Community Mental Wellbeing Sector has never been more needed by Queenslanders. That need, in part, has driven the creation of QAMH’s bold vision for the sector, laid out in our landmark report, Wellbeing First. This work pushes for a future in which the Community Mental Wellbeing Sector is the gateway to mental health services, in a broader system where early-intervention in episode and person-led approaches are the bedrock. It calls for a fundamental shift from simply managing illness to actively supporting wellbeing.
The launch of Wellbeing First in July 2021 was the culmination of a year in which QAMH hit the ground running with our new strategic direction. It forms the foundation for QAMH to influence government and other stakeholders, to foster innovation and share knowledge and expertise.
Building stronger connections with our members has also been a particular focus this past year for QAMH. We have consulted directly with memberorganisations throughout the state, both via in-person forums and online meetings. We have also held Supporting Community Wellbeing events in Townsville, Bundaberg, Toowoomba and Mackay and hope to hold more in coming months, as lockdowns allow. These discussions have allowed us to better understand members’ successes and challenges, especially in adapting to the new restrictions placed on us all by the COVID-19 pandemic.
These consultations have also helped inform two QAMH projects funded by Queensland Health in response to the challenges of the pandemic. The Mental Health Service System Changes: Experiences of COVID-19 Project, focused on mapping the service system changes that occurred during the pandemic and understanding the experiences of people accessing services. The
Community Mental Health Workforce Project sought to understand the workforce challenges of the sector in and around the pandemic, and the findings are guiding our work in the coming
year, for example, developing stronger pathways into the sector through educational institutions.
Building on the work of QAMH over the past year, we are partnering with the Queensland Mental Health Commission to gauge capacity and the future needs of the Community Mental Wellbeing Sector. This will lead to a strategy to build and prepare the sector for the future. The results of this crucial work will also be a roadmap to success which will give QAMH more leverage in arguing for more funding and support for our member services in the months and years ahead.
In direct response to feedback from our membership, this year QAMH has restructured and created a team better prepared to advocate for the sector. We have had some success so far in our advocacy work, working with other peak bodies and the Queensland Disability Minister opposing the introduction of independent assessments under the NDIS. We have heard from our membership about the emerging homelessness issue and are actively pushing for rental reform through our involvement with the Make Renting Fair in Queensland Alliance. We are also delighted to have signed an agreement with the peak body for community sport, QSport, which we hope will become a useful resource for our members, easing the pathway for people accessing Community Mental Wellbeing Services to connect with local sporting clubs whether it be to play, volunteer or simply connect with their community.
With a successful year behind us, we look ahead to 2022 with a new brand and a reinvigorated team to ensure the recognition, growth and development of the Community Mental Wellbeing Sector in Queensland.