Queensland Alliance for Mental Health (QAMH) hosted another ‘Supporting Community Wellbeing’ regional Queensland event series in late May. This time the event took place in Mackay, where participants had the opportunity to learn, connect and collaborate for improved community wellbeing in the local area. It was an intimate gathering of community mental health providers, funders and members of the public, with mental wellbeing initiatives and programs presented by local organisations.

Over the past few months, QAMH’s Supporting Community Wellbeing events have taken place in Townsville, Bundaberg, Toowoomba and Mackay. The next regional event will be held in Rockhampton on 25 June.

The following is an overview of the local presenters and topics covered at the  Mackay event.

Sarah Childs , QAMH Director – Engagement and Partnership 

Sarah outlined the QAMH strategic direction and current advocacy and project work. This included the Community Workforce Project. This project seeks to build on the sector’s current understanding of the workforce in Queensland and examine current and emerging challenges facing the sector. 

Leanne Kelly, QAMH Project Lead

Leanne presented an overview of the Mental Health Service System Changes: Experiences of COVID-19 Project. The Project aimed to understand and map the specific changes that have occurred across the mental health service system through both the initial and longer-term impact of COVID-19 across the Brisbane South region, and to understand people’s experience of these. The presentation covered an outline of the process, and key findings of the Project to date.

Reannen Ryles, Neami National – Clinical Lead/ Clinical Support Coordinator

Connect to Wellbeing is a service offered by Neami National that  provides streamlined access to mental health services for people in northern Queensland.  Reannen spoke about following a ‘no wrong door’ approach, Connect to Wellbeing provides a single point of entry to psychological services, while also supports people to access and engage with agencies and programs within their community and beyond. Connect to Wellbeing aims to connect people with ‘the right service at the right time’.

Stephanie Naunton, Wellways -Coordinator of Community Engagement & Volunteers

Stephanie provided an overview of the Carer Gateway. This service supports a family member or friend who has a disability, mental health condition, chronic health condition, terminal illness, or is frail aged. Free  supports can be accessed via the Carer Gateway. It is a national support service funded by the Australian Government.

Gayle CliffordMind Australia Service Manager Mackay SUSD/IRSP & GBRSP, Sub Acute Resi QLD

The Crisis Support Space started in Mackay in December 2020 and is staffed by one clinician and 2 Mind peer workers per shift. Mind has a large contingent of lived experience peer workers and have peer workers in all 4 Mind services (Mackay Step Up Step Down Service, Mackay Individual Recovery Support Program, Mackay Group based Peer Recovery Support Program and Crisis Support Space (or The Space)) in Mackay. Gayle explained Mind have a very strong framework for peer workers and this has been extremely valuable to have been a part of encouraging the peer workers in their services.

Stacy Irwin, selectability – Care Navigator – Mental Health Hub & Horizon Clubhouse (Mackay)

Stacy covered a number of commonly asked questions including;

What does recovery mean in mental health?

Psychosocial supports – what does this mean?

An overview of the selectability psychosocial programs – including the Mental Health Hub, Horizon Clubhouse and Bike Shed was shared with the audience. Benefits of psychosocial support options with a focus on resilience was also discussed.

 For more information on the organisations that presented at the Mackay event, please visit the links below:

Neami National


Mind Australia


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