Building service capacity within a Regional District Mental Health Service: Recommendations from an Indigenous Mental Health Symposium

Eley, Diann and Hunter, Keith (2006) Building service capacity within a Regional District Mental Health Service: Recommendations from an Indigenous Mental Health Symposium. Rural and Remote Health, 6 1: 1-9.

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Author Eley, Diann
Hunter, Keith
Title Building service capacity within a Regional District Mental Health Service: Recommendations from an Indigenous Mental Health Symposium
Journal name Rural and Remote Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1445-6354
Publication date 2006-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 6
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Editor Paul Worley
Place of publication Deakin West, ACT, Australia
Publisher Australian Rural Health Education Network
Language eng
Subject 321207 Indigenous Health
321204 Mental Health
Formatted abstract Context:
In response to recent developments within the mental health services of south-east Queensland, the Toowoomba District Mental Health Service (TDMHS) has developed a Model of Service Delivery, which outlines the range of services provided for consumers across their lifespan. Indigenous consumers of the TDMHS come from a wide area of communities in the surrounding shires (Rural, remote and metropolitan areas (RRMA) 4-7). It was recognised by the service that Indigenous mental health consumers have unique needs and, because of these needs, this area of service delivery required greater attention and further development. In December 2004, a symposium was organised by the service to bring together a range of speakers and delegates working in the area of Indigenous mental health to discuss issues and work towards developing strategies to enable the service to better meet the needs of Indigenous consumers in this region of south-east Queensland.

The symposium program consisted of keynote speakers and invited papers and culminated with an afternoon workshop that collated the symposium’s main issues and themes around building service capacity for Indigenous mental health consumers. The objective of the workshop was ‘Identifying ways to meet Indigenous mental health needs’. This workshop gave the delegates a chance to reflect, discuss and brainstorm the major issues of concern relating to this question. A group facilitator guided the discussion and organised the delegates into groups to evaluate, debate and propose recommendations for each of the major issues that emerged.

Lessons learned:

The feedback and discussion arising from the workshop is presented. Sixteen major themes emerged from the workshop. Seven of these were voted by the participants as being dominant and in greatest need of discussion: (1) communication; (2) cultural respect; (3) culturally appropriate clinical tools; (4) supportive management; (5) patient compliance; (6) career structure; and (7) empowerment. These seven themes are discussed and recommendations arising from the workshop are noted.
Keyword Indigenous mental health
Regional health district
Service capacity building
References 1. Australian Health Ministers. National Mental Health Plan. Canberra AGPS, 1992. 2. Queensland Health. Queensland Mental Health Policy Statement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. Brisbane: Queensland Health, 1996. 3. Queensland Health. The Ten Year Mental Health Strategy for Queensland. Brisbane: Queensland Health, 1996. 4. Toowoomba District Mental Health Service. Model of Service Delivery. Toowoomba: Toowoomba District Mental Health Service, 2001. 5. Eley D, Hunter K, Baker P, Young L, Hunter E, Hannah D. The tools and methodologies for investigating the mental health needs of Indigenous consumers: it’s about communication. Australasian Psychiatry 2006; 14:(in press). 6. Hunter E. Communication and Indigenous Health. Australian Doctor 2004; 4 June: 35-42. 7. Toowoomba District Mental Health Service. Indigenous Mental Health Needs Analysis Project Final Report. Toowoomba, Qld: Toowoomba District Mental Health Service, 2003. 8. Hunter E. ‘Best intentions’ lives on: untoward health outcomes of some contemporary initiatives in Indigenous affairs. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2002; 36: 575-584. 9. Hunter E. Staying tuned to developments in Indigenous health: reflections on a decade of change. Australasian Psychiatry 2003; 11: 418-423. 10. Aleksandar J, Bullen C. The Aboriginal concept of time and its mental health implications. Australasian Psychiatry 2003; 11: 40-44.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2007 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Nursing and Midwifery Publications
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Created: Wed, 12 Apr 2006, 10:00:00 EST by Diann Eley on behalf of School of Nursing and Midwifery