Authors: NSW Consumer Advisory Group – Mental Health Inc; Ministry of Health and INFORMH
Event: 2013 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: NSW
Award level: Gold
Award category: Special Achievement
Abstract: The Mental Health Consumer Perceptions and Experiences of Services (MH-CoPES) places consumers at the very centre of continuous improvement within mental health services. From its inception in 2004 to now, strong partnerships have been forged between consumers and service providers in their shared goal to improve services. The 4 steps of the MH-CoPES Framework, which includes an ‘Action and Change’ step, single out MH-CoPES as a continuous improvement process, actively involving consumers, rather than just collecting data from consumers. MH-CoPES benefits include: meaningful consumer participation; consumers and staff working as partners; building better relationships between staff and consumers and more transparent services. NSW CAG was funded by NSW Health from July 2004 to June 2012 to work with consumers and other stakeholders to design, implement and support the MH-CoPES Project. MH-CoPES is now fully operational, functioning in all NSW Public Mental Health Services. All stages of MH-CoPES were underpinned by consumer participation, from planning through to evaluation. Description of Facility/Organisation: NSW CAG is the independent, state-wide peak organisation for people with a lived experience of mental illness (consumer) in NSW. We work with consumers to achieve and support systemic change. NSW CAG’s vision is for all consumers to be able to participate meaningfully in society and to experience fair access to quality and recovery focused services which reflect their needs. We work from the premise that the participation of consumers results in more effective public policy and facilitates individual recovery. NSW CAG currently has 6.8 FTE Staff, 200 members and 1341 Network NSW Subscribers. NSW CAG is governed by a Board of Trustees which currently consists of 7 consumers and 1 carer. NSW receives core and project funding through the Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Office (MHDAO), NSW Ministry of Health. In 2011-12 our annual income was $ 982,324.