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A message from our CEO - March 2024

There is no argument that there are not enough community based supports for people with lived experience of a complex mental health issue. That was a clear message of the Productivity Commission’s 2020/2021 mental health inquiry, and what people tell us directly. And, we know that such supports help people stay well and connected, and to achieve their recovery goals, as shown in Kevin’s and Alison’s stories this month, and in our new Women and Children’s program video, which is featured.

A good example of that is Flourish Australia’s Resolve Program which supports people who have used hospital based Services extensively in the period before their engagement. These peer delivered, community based supports demonstrate amazing impact –

> a 54% reduction in hospital admissions;

> a 68% reduction in hospital bed days;

> a 30% reduction in average length of stay; and

> a 40% reduction in emergency department visits.

In addition, at a personal level, people have been able to go back to education, get jobs, obtain drivers licenses and become parts of their local communities; to take up their social citizenship.

Over the last few weeks, some of the Flourish Australia team have been attending briefings from State and Territory Governments and the Commonwealth Government outlining progress in relation to the unmet needs gaps analysis and assessment of psychosocial supports currently funded. Undoubtedly, this overall process will highlight the lack of community based supports for people with lived experience (and their families and carers) - and give clear evidence of the urgent need to address the gap.

We are hopeful that the States and Territories and Commonwealth Governments will use this information, gathered for the first time, to take immediate action. Not action some time down the track. People need supports right now.

Growing and enhancing specialist psychosocial support focused mental health services must become a priority of Governments nationally. This priority would be consistent with our National commitments to the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disability. It would also be a tangible demonstration of our collective belief in a fair go for all. 

I hope you enjoy the newsletter this month.

Mark Orr AM

Chief Executive


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