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    Vern Hughes

    Has Senator Gallagher given any serious thought as to how consumers and carers can shape the mental health reform process? There is no evidence that she has. Labor’s policy approach is top-down, managerial and paternalistic – if consumers and carers have any role to play it is confined to offering feedback to politicians about their experience of provider-centric systems. We have had this tokenistic model of consultation with consumers and carers for decades now, and it is worthless, patronising and demeaning. With no details on precisely how consumers and carers might reshape mental health, we can only assume that Senator Gallagher has in mind more of the same empty consultation which leaves consumers and carers excluded from health care governance, funding arrangements, service design and information systems.

  2. 2

    Robert Pedlow

    I have been the consumer representative with ACT Partners in Recovery Consortium for the last twelve months and took part in a planning day with Capitol Health Network around the new approach to mental health. I strongly agree that more is needed in relation to consumer involvement and have made this point myself. All of those I have been involved with in the past twelve months have a real commitment to consumer involvement but a much greater level of investment is needed. Significant work is needed to move towards real consumer centred design of mental health systems. As a relative newcomer I have only been a consumer representative for just over a year my observation is that the existing approach while better than nothing is very limited.


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