Co-Design of the National Peak Bodies
On the 3rd of November 2023, we made our submission for the co-design of the national mental health ‘consumer’ and ‘carer’ peak bodies.
We presented the case for our community – people with lived experience in the NT.
We include some of the most vulnerable Australians, yet we have the least resources to participate in systems advocacy. We remain the last state or territory to recognise and support a consumer/lived experience peak body.
Our submission emphasized the importance of diversity, inclusion and empowerment, but above all, EQUITY.
We argued this requires a significant change in approach from traditional systemic lived experience advocacy forums. It requires limiting the strongest, loudest and most privileged lived experience voices so they do not take precedence and speak on behalf of all. It requires searching for ‘who is not in the room’ and proactively engaging with marginalized and isolated lived experience communities to ensure they have a voice too.
When the needs of our MOST vulnerable people are met, the mental health system will be safer and more inclusive for EVERYONE.
Read our submission to find out more.
Review of the NT draft Lived Experience Framework
On the 31st of August 2023, we made our submission for the review of the draft NT Lived Experience Framework.
Our submission argued that the wording in the draft Framework fundamentally removes our community’s right to have a NT lived experience representative body by stating “no single lived experience advisory group or organization can represent all perspectives due to the NT’s diverse population and geographical distribution”.
It also implied that a NT-wide representative body would negatively impact self-determination by remote communities.
Our submission argued both sentiments were simply not true and presented the case that based on our experience delivering peer programs in Darwin region, Alice Springs and Katherine that we can connect with Territorians from all parts of the NT. That we also have a demonstrated track record gathering lived experience perspectives to inform our submissions for the review of the NT Mental Health Act and Disability Royal Commission (referenced below).
Our submission argued that the wording in the draft Framework would only weaken the ability of Territorians with lived experience to have a role in the highest level of decision making affecting their experience of treatment and care because it dismisses our need for a collective voice.
Read our submission to find out more.
Support our ongoing campaign:
We invite people with lived experience, community members and mental health professionals to support our ongoing campaign for the establishment of a NT representative body.
You can sign our petition – CLICK HERE.
Or send us a support letter. We have created a support letter template to download and adjust – CLICK HERE.
Disability Royal Commission
The Disability Royal Commission was established in April 2019 in response to community concern about widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of, people with disability. These incidents might have happened recently or a long time ago. Submissions closed for Royal Commission on the 31st of December 2022.
In December 2022, the NT Lived Experience Network made a submission to the Royal Commission using the online survey that was created for three purposes:
- The Review of the NT Mental Health and Related Services Act (1998);
- The Disability Royal Commission; and
- Our ongoing advocacy.
Our submission to the Royal Commission included our prior submissions for the review of the Act and the national consultation for the Adult Mental Health Centers (see below).
Our submission additionally included updated data from our online survey. This was reorganized and categorized into survey responses by:
- People who work for mental health and alcohol and drug treatment services;
- People with individual lived experience, i.e. ‘Consumers’;
- People with lived experience as family members, i.e. ‘Carers’; and
- People who have both individual and family lived experience, i.e. ‘Consumer-Carers’.
The above data sets are linked below. However, please note that the survey responses linked below includes information that some people will find distressing. We advise caution to people who find it distressing to read about other people’s experience of distress.
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.
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: