Authors: Sam Battams, SA
Event: 2008 TheMHS Conference
Subject: CONSUMER ROLES, ADVOCACY,MANAGEMENT, ADMINISTRATION, POLICY,RESEARCH, EVALUATION, QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: This paper presents the findings of a study which examined NGO and consumer participation and representation within policy processes in South Australia over the Mental Health Reform period (2000-2005). The focus was on the development of policy aimed at housing outcomes for people with a psychiatric disability. The study found a number of barriers to people with a psychiatric disability, carers and NGOs participating in and influencing policy agenda setting and development processes. The study recommends a range of strategies to enhance community participation and representation in policy processes and policy agenda setting for housing outcomes. These include the development of cross-sectoral policy networks outside of government contracting arrangements, representation of people with a psychiatric disability in ‘other sectors’, cross sectoral policy development and forums involving service users, cross-sectoral accountability mechanisms, challenges to ‘consumerist’ and ‘medical discourses’ affecting the scope of participation activity, and strategies to address stigma affecting this policy environment.