Purro Birik - 19

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Purro Birik - (Healthy Spirit)



7. Recommendations for Implementation of an Improvement Strategy


The recommendations for the implementation of an improvement strategy focus on identifying steps to further progress work on the Purro Birik Koori Mental Health Project.


Four main areas emerged from the consultations, namely:

  • the need to address the social, emotional and cultural wellbeing service and workforce development issues identified throughout the 'consultation process;

  • the need to establish local partnership agreements between Koori community controlled health services and mental health services;

  • the need for better coordination of social, emotional and cultural well being resources; and

  • the need to develop a training strategy that addresses the training needs of Koori health services staff in delivering 'social, emotional and cultural wellbeing services, and of mental health services staff in providing mental health services to Koori people;

The identification of these areas has led to the development of the following twelve recommendations. It is acknowledged that excellent work, particularly in relation to training and local partnerships already occurs in some locations.


Recommendations in relation to service development


Recommendation 1

That an ongoing community controlled, social, emotional and cultural wellbeing service development position be established and located at VACCHO.


Recommendation 2

That VACCHO and relevant funding bodies give priority to the development of the 'healing place' concept.


Recommendation 3

That the development of a vision for the delivery of social, emotional and cultural wellbeing services be given priority.


Recommendations in relation to the development of partnership agreements


Recommendation 4

That the development of local partnership agreements between community controlled Koori health service providers and mental health services be given priority, and that the Victorian Mental Health Branch resource VACCHO to provide support to Koori health services to establish agreements.


Recommendation 5

That the relationship between the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service Mental Health Network and mainstream mental health services be further developed to clarify roles and responsibilities and to ensure an effective, culturally appropriate response to the mental health needs of Koori people.


Recommendation 6

That the Victorian Mental Health Branch in consultation with VACCHO identify key issues to be addressed through local partnership agreements, and that Mental Health Branch examine options to encourage mental health services to participate actively in the partnership strategy.


Recommendation 7

That the Victorian Mental Health Branch in consultation with VACCHO develop a strategy or guidelines for the provision of mental health services to Aboriginal people.


Recommendation 8

That mental health services be required to establish a Koori portfolio which reports annually on how they are developing a better response to the Koori community.


Recommendation 9

That Koori health services identify a key worker/portfolio holder for liaison with mainstream mental health services. This person should provide a report to the local Koori community controlled health service management committee annually.


Recommendations in relation to improving coordination and planning


Recommendation 10

That a Planning Group be developed (coordinated by VACCHO), consisting of VACCHO and relevant State and Commonwealth funding bodies. This group could establish principles to direct social, emotional and cultural wellbeing-related funding allocations. A sub-committee consisting of VACCHO executive and members should be formed to consult on and coordinate VACCHO's position on funding distribution issues.


Recommendations in relation to training


Recommendation 11

That the curriculum development for the Regional Training Centre, currently being developed by VACCHO consider the training needs identified in this discussion paper.


Recommendation 12

That the Victorian Mental Health Branch encourage mental health services staff (including administrative staff and doctors) to take part in VACCHO endorsed ongoing Koori cross-cultural training programs.




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