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Senior Contributor

Uncommonly Hopeful

Most of my time on these forums is spent bellyaching. It's not that I like being a sourpuss, it's just that I don't really have much positivity to give these days. But yesterday/today, I found myself with an unusual cause to be hopeful and I couldn't think of anywhere better then this forum to share how pleased I am.

 

I don't know if anyone here realized that the government released it's productivity commission report into the mental health system on monday? (finally! Man Frustrated) Well, yesterday, I finally sucked up the initiative to start digging in to it. I've only read the introductory summary thus far and I don't know how deeply I will ultimately proceed into it at this time. But what I've read thus far has really amazed me.

 

They've actually heard us.

 

The key takeaways I've read thus far is that they want to remodel the system so that it's the patients - not the therapists - who are controlling the direction of their treatment. They acknowledge that they need an achitecture for a system that treats peoples' broken lives, not their brains, when it is the unpleasantness of their life that is making them depressed, anxious, or suicidal. And they acknowledge the need for a strong patient advocacy system to keep the mental health system in-check and prevent/limit abuses in the future as much as possible.

 

Quoting: "Put simply, Australia’s mental health system is not ‘person-centred’. It should be."

 

Wow.Smiley Surprised

 

But it goes beyond merely acknowledging what needs to be done - I read it as a serious commitment to actually bring these changes into effect!

 

Granted, it all still needs to be signed off on by the politicians in parliament, and we have to hope the government can implement all this without taking the fast, easy & cheap route and making a complete balls-up of everything (*eyeroll*Smiley Indifferent) So maybe I'm getting way too ahead of myself, getting all excited about this. But I can't help but wonder if maybe this could lead to something that's good. Not just 'better' - but genuinely good!

 

Ever since therapy, I've basically resigned myself to the reality that I was going to die in this hell. Now, it's almost starting to feel like I might have a chance of getting out of here.

9 REPLIES 9
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Re: Uncommonly Hopeful

@chibam  Hey chibam your statement :

 

"Ever since therapy, I've basically resigned myself to the reality that I was going to die in this hell. Now, it's almost starting to feel like I might have a chance of getting out of here.".

 

Resonates with me on a daily basis.  Thank you for keeping us in the loop .... I had no idea this was happening. Will be interesting to see how this all pans out. peax

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Re: Uncommonly Hopeful

Thank you @chibam for that really positive summary. I knew the report was out but hadn't ventured far into it. I'm so glad to here that it is ringing a bell for change. And so glad to hear that it gave you hope.

Hey @greenpea 

Go well today you two, and anyone passing this way.

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Re: Uncommonly Hopeful

wow thats good news hopefully it all go well so it can be implemented its much better that we choose our treatment and supports to help us get out the rut of feeling this way than the doctors always playing geussing games of what they think we need

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Re: Uncommonly Hopeful

Thanks for sharing, @chibam Heart

 

This is a nice reminder that, although progress can be slow, the general direction of supporting people with MI has gotten better (compared to historically), and will continue to get better with time!

 

That really resonates - we do need "a system that treats peoples' broken lives, not their brains, when it is the unpleasantness of their life that is making them depressed, anxious, or suicidal."

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Re: Uncommonly Hopeful

Great news!

But I do have to disagree with the comment......

That really resonates - we do need "a system that treats peoples' broken lives, not their brains, when it is the unpleasantness of their life that is making them depressed, anxious, or suicidal."

so it's saying that those of us who have a Brian dysfunction ie: Bipolar, Schizophrenia etc, etc, can suddenly get help with their current life situation and hey presto your fixed!  You no longer need to be supported by the govt. just go out now and get a job!!

I don't know about you, but it's my brain that's the problem!

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Re: Uncommonly Hopeful

good point @Always-hope, I could have have added to that more. I guess a better way of rephrasing it might be that external causes can influence mental health and need to be addressed (e.g. poverty, secure housing, etc.) - but MI can also have biological causes. So: external conditions should be addressed where they can to help those who would benefit from it, but it also wouldn't address/prevent all mental illnesses.

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Re: Uncommonly Hopeful

Thanks, @greenpea , @frog , @LostAngel , @girasole , @Always-hope .Smiley Happy

@LostAngel wrote:

wow thats good news hopefully it all go well so it can be implemented its much better that we choose our treatment and supports to help us get out the rut of feeling this way than the doctors always playing geussing games of what they think we need


So true! That was one of the things that has really impressed me: that the report acknowledged the incredible fallability of therapists, which the therapists and broader community have historically always failed to recognize. So much harm has been needlessly drawn out over the years because everyone has maintained this attitude that the mental health system and it's therapists can do no wrong.

 

But now, finally, the government seems to be acknowledging very explicitly that this is not the case at all. Smiley Very Happy It's amazing - in a good way.

 


@Always-hope wrote:

Great news!

But I do have to disagree with the comment......

That really resonates - we do need "a system that treats peoples' broken lives, not their brains, when it is the unpleasantness of their life that is making them depressed, anxious, or suicidal."

so it's saying that those of us who have a Brian dysfunction ie: Bipolar, Schizophrenia etc, etc, can suddenly get help with their current life situation and hey presto your fixed!  You no longer need to be supported by the govt. just go out now and get a job!!

I don't know about you, but it's my brain that's the problem!


Yes, there are two sides to the coin, aren't there, @Always-hope ? For some people, assigning them a job would actually be harmful; for others, it is what they desparately need.

 

Just on a side note, with regards specifically to employment, their apparently planning to enact a program that takes special care to assign "mentally ill" people the job that best suits their needs. Not sure yet what's going to happen for those of us who are not "mentally ill" - I haven't gotten that deep into the report yet. But at least it's a step in the right direction.

 

But to address your broader point about people who's "brains are the problem", my understanding is that there will still be a system oriented towards treating brains. As far as I can see, the truly mentally ill community don't lose anything with this report. The report just wants to correct the currantly-widespread problem of healthy brains being attacked by the system, when the patient's crisis is in their life, not their brain.

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Re: Uncommonly Hopeful

Thanks @chibam ! This report sounds like they're 'getting it'. There was an interesting article in the Guardian the other day about mental health: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/nov/21/why-mental-health-is-the-legacy-defining-figh...
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Re: Uncommonly Hopeful


@Gwynn wrote:
Thanks @chibam ! This report sounds like they're 'getting it'. There was an interesting article in the Guardian the other day about mental health: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/nov/21/why-mental-health-is-the-legacy-defining-figh...

Hmm. A bit concerning that one. Particularly in terms of the way they intend to insert suicide prevention measures into peoples' lives with clandestine tactics; hiding the fact that suicide prevention programs are suicide prevention programs, ect. Gives the impression that these "experts" haven't really learned anything at all. The amount of con-artistry and deceptive manipulation going on in the mental health system is one of it's biggest problems. I would've hoped they would be trying to steer away from tactics like that in the interest of building a more open & ethical future.

 

I'm also curious/concerned as to why they would suspect that the PM might want to avoid consumer input on the basis that it might hinder his ability to save money (i.e. "rip the money out of mental health services"). Most of the grievances I've heard that are common amongst patients/former patients of the system don't demand expensive solutions; in fact, most lean towards restructuring that should ultimately make the system cheaper to run.

 

I'm also a little concerned about how they must define "consumer involvement" if they are concerned about it bringing "very noisy debate from well-organized and highly-respected stakeholders"...

 

To me, "consumer involvement" should mean drawing input from regular Joes and Josephines, who happen to be past or present patients of the system. There should be nothing "well-organized" or "highly-respected" about it, because it should be coming from virtual nobodies who nobody has ever heard of before - you know, the actual people who's lives are impacted the most by mental health policy?

 

Input from "well-organized and highly-respected stakeholders" suggests the presence of formal organizations and "experts" - both of which tend to have agendas of their own. I certainly hope that nobody in the government decides to rebrand this sort of input as "consumer participation". Smiley Frustrated

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