Review of the NT Mental Health and Related Services Act (1998)
The NT Mental Health and Related Services Act (1998) is the law that describes how and when peoples human rights can be restricted if they are experiencing mental distress. The NT Government has commenced a process expected to take several years to update the NT Mental Health Act. The first stage of the review closed on the 31st of May 2021 and the NT Lived Experience Network made a submission to represent an independent voice for people with lived experience in the NT.
Our submission was informed by a lived experience consultation that we ran on the 3rd of May 2021 in Palmerston and an online survey. The consultation informed the development of the online survey, which was used to seek broader feedback from the NT lived experience community in response to our proposed changes to the Act. (Note: Our online survey will remain live until the 31st of July 2021 to inform a submission to the Disability Royal Commission.)
Our full submission included:
1. A literature review to summarize rights-based recovery-oriented practice and peoples experience of treatment and care in the NT.
2. The findings from our Lived Experience Consultation.
3. The results of our online survey.
4. Our position in relation to changes to the NT Mental Health and Related Services Act (1998).
The full responses to our online survey includes information that some people will find distressing. Therefore, we have included two versions of the online survey findings: one with comments and one without comments. We urge people who find it distressing to read about other peoples experience of distress, to NOT read the survey with comments.
Full Submission by the NT Lived Experience Network in relation to the review of the NT Mental Health and Related Services Act (1998).
Note: Survey results in the Appendix are to be downloaded separately.
Online survey responses to 6 June 2021. All comments are included in this version of the survey.
Caution: The information shared in this version of the survey may cause distress to some people.
Summary of the NT Lived Experience Network’s position in relation to changes to the NT Mental Health and Related Services Act (1998).
Adult Mental Health Centre
On the 23rd of July 2020, the NTLEN convened a Lived Experience Consultation in relation to the new Darwin Adult Mental Health Center.
The new Darwin Adult Mental Health Centre is one of eight to be established in Australia from July 2021 and funded by the Commonwealth Government. The four core elements of the Centre’s service operation include:
- Provide a central point to connect people to other services in the region, including through offering information and advice about mental health and AOD use, service navigation and warm referral pathways for individuals, and their carers and family;
- Provide in-house assessment, including information and support to access services;
- Provide evidence-based and evidence-informed immediate, and short to medium term episodes of care, including utilisation of digital mental health platforms; and
- Respond to people experiencing a crisis or in significant distress, including people at heightened risk of suicide, providing support that may reduce the need for emergency department (ED) attendance.
The purpose of the NTLEN Lived Experience Consultation was to gather the experience of local people finding and accessing mental health supports, and to record the lived experience perspective of how to develop and operate the Center so it provides a safe, effective and valued service for our community.
Arising from the Darwin Lived Experience Consultation, the NTLEN:
- Made a submission to the Australian Government national consultation (download the submission)
- Developed a detailed report from the Darwin Lived Experience Consultation (download the Full Report)
- Created a summary document of the findings from the local consultation (download Summary A3 poster)