The impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of people has been felt deeply across communities in Queensland. This rapid change led the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health to develop a new vision for how the community mental health sector responds, adapts and delivers mental health supports in the community and how the sector can shift from an illness focus toward a wellbeing focus.

To achieve this, the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health has undertaken the Future Visioning Project to envision the necessary transformations and adaptations to be made to support the future of the community mental health sector.

As the ongoing effects of COVID-19 have caused significant changes to our daily lives including the ways in which we work and socialise, it is highly important that the sector develops a strong vision for the future to ensure that people requiring mental healthcare will continue to have their needs met throughout these uncertain times and that the sector is equipped to handle the impacts of the current public mental health crisis.

Change has been needed in the community mental health and wellbeing sector for many years and these impacts from COVID-19 have further highlighted the need for systemic and cultural transformation in this space.

The project has been undertaken in collaboration with futurist Jose Ramos, Director at Action Foresight, and has involved frequent consultation with other organisations and peak bodies within the community mental health sector such as the Queensland Mental Health Commission, Mental Health Australia, PHNs and Community Mental Health Service Providers.

This consultation has so far identified the potential impacts of COVID-19 on community mental health and has assisted QAMH in working toward developing a preferred vision for the future.

A variety of exciting ideas for systemic and cultural transformations within the sector have been envisioned throughout this process. These ideas along with many others will be collected along with further research and consultation with members of the public to outline the future vision for the community mental health sector in Queensland.