The Minister for Mental Health, the Statewide Consumer, Family and Carer Engagement Framework Steering Committee, and the Mental Health Commission released the Working Together: Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Engagement Framework 2018 – 2025 and Toolkit in November 2018.
The co-designed Engagement Framework and Toolkit aim to assist government, non-government organisations (including private enterprise), and the community to effectively engage and work together to achieve better outcomes for people whose lives are affected by mental health issues and/or alcohol and other drug use. Consumers, families and carers can also use the Engagement Framework and Toolkit as a guide to what they can expect from services in relation to their participation in the service.
The Engagement Framework and Toolkit has been co-designed with a variety of stakeholders including a Steering Committee comprising consumers, support persons, peak bodies and service providers. Comprehensive feedback during the consultation period from government agencies,
non-government and community organisations, consumers, families, carers and the general community was invaluable to informing the development of the Engagement Framework and Toolkit.
The Engagement Framework is based on the interrelated guiding principles of Safety, Authenticity, Humanity, Equality and Diversity. These principles along with associated strategies have been identified by key stakeholders as fundamental to effective engagement. The Engagement Framework also outlines the benefits of meaningful and genuine engagement; what engagement looks like at individual, service, sector and system levels; and describes different ways to engage within these levels.
The accompanying Toolkit aims to provide a process to planning, developing, actioning and reviewing engagement strategies and practices in line with the five guiding principles and includes Checklist for Effective Engagement Practices. The Toolkit also provides examples of the principles and strategies in action within the Western Australian context and showcases ten successful programs and projects to date.
The Engagement Framework and Toolkit meets actions 70 and 71 of the Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015 – 2025 and is intended to be meaningfully incorporated, lived and breathed as part of organisational culture. Whilst the Engagement Framework and Toolkit have been successful in building the Mental Health Commission’s lived experience engagement capacity; there is now an appetite to build on this work to strengthen the culture of sector and agency engagement. Furthermore, new system governance arrangements at the Mental Health Commission (including establishment of the Mental Health Executive Committee and Community Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Council), and current internal strategic and operational planning processes have highlighted the need to enhance the engagement capacity of the Mental Health Commission to ensure that it increases its engagement commitments across a broader range of stakeholders.
To action this, the Mental Health Commission has developed an overarching Stakeholder and Partnership Engagement Framework which places the original 2018 Engagement Framework at the forefront, ensuring the principles can be consistently applied. As part of this work, a number of internal actions and initiatives have been developed to ensure the Mental Health Commission leads the way in stakeholder engagement. The full suite of documentation including an overview of the Mental Health Commission’s actions and initiatives is provided in the below links.
Revised Mental Health Commission Consumer, Family, Carer and Community Paid Participation Policy
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