On 28 November 2019 nearly 100 stakeholders came together to as part of the development of a Gold Coast Joint Regional Plan for Mental, Suicide Prevention, Alcohol and Other Drugs services. The collective effort and input by those who attended is helping to shape regional priorities that will contribute to our shared vision: ‘the people of the Gold Coast live life with meaning and purpose with the help of a compassionate, connected and diverse community’.
Lived experience perspective at the workshop
A range of people with lived experience participated in the workshop and to begin the day we heard from three people with lived experience who emphasized:
Shared challenges and opportunities across the life stages
Throughout the day participants were split into life stage groups: Children and Youth, Adults, Older People, and also explored life stage transitions. While there were specific issues and opportunities discussed within these life stage contexts, there were numerous shared system challenges, applicable across the lifespan. Furthermore, these shared system challenges aligned with findings from the Suicide Prevention Leadership Group and Alcohol and Other Drug sector workshop. Generally, these system issues fit into the five foundations of our strategic framework. Additionally, there was a range of feedback related to evidence-based system and service development for people of all ages. At a system level there is a need to ensure these types of services exist within the region and at a service level, embedding these capabilities and optimising models of care to respond to these priorities. Strategies to increase capacity at a system and service level include: needs assessments, service co-design and re-design, contract requirements, evaluation and professional development. Another theme across the life span was the need for an improved response to people in distress. People seeking support for themselves or someone else experiencing high levels of mental health distress or suicidal crisis should have access to expanded service options.
A draft Joint Regional Plan will soon be available for public consultation.