Authors: NSW Health, Older People's Mental Health Policy Unit Aged and Community Services NSW & ACT Inc, Aged Care Association of Australia - NSW
Event: 2011 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: NSW
Award level: Special Judges Award (Aged Care Focus)
Award category: Mental Health Promotion or Mental Illness Prevention Program or Project
Abstract: The Positive Living in Aged Care Awards (PLAC) utilises a partnership approach to promoting mental health and wellbeing of residents in NSW residential aged care facilities (RACFs). It is an initiative of the NSW Older Peoples’ Mental Health Working Group, in partnership with the two NSW peak bodies for residential aged care. The Project, implemented in response to high prevalence of mental health problems in RACFs, aims to: • identify, showcase, and promote innovative strategies that have a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of residents by building supportive, inclusive environments; and • improve capacity by promoting partnerships between RACFs, specialist mental health services/initiatives for older people and national initiatives including beyondblue. The PLAC awards are open to all Commonwealth funded residential aged care facilities in NSW They are now in their 4th year and are presented and shared with the aged care and mental health sectors annually at a positive ageing seminar. The project partners are currently working with organisations such as beyondblue and Mental Health Coordinating Council to develop the project nationally. Description of Facility/Organisation: The PLAC project is managed through Aged & Community Services Association of NSW & ACT (ACS) in partnership with Aged Care Association Australia – NSW (ACAA-NSW). ACS and ACAA-NSW are the two peak bodies that represent and advocate for the residential aged care sector. ACS represents over 300 organisations providing over 1,600 services to more than 100,000 people. ACS members range from very large multi-site organisations to very small rural and remote stand-alone facilities. The PLAC project, funded through NSW Health is overseen by the NSW Older Peoples’ Mental Health Working Group. This broad stakeholder group which provides advice to the Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Office, NSW Health was established to support the implementation of the NSW Service Plan for Specialist Mental Health Services for Older People (SMHSOP) 2005-2015 and other strategies to improve older people’s mental health.