Wellways CEO Elizabeth Crowther, and our Wellways advocacy teams from Melbourne and Canberra, were recently in the ACT as part of Mental Health Australia’s (MHA) Parliamentary Advocacy Day and to deliver the second Wellways community advocacy forum.

The Parliamentary Advocacy Day brought 50 member organisations together at Parliament House with a united voice to advocate for better mental health. The day included addresses from the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Health Minister and Shadow Minister for Ageing and Mental Health, as well as smaller group meetings with senators and MPs. The clear message to #fixmentalhealth focused both on increasing funding levels for mental health services and addressing the gaps in services.

While in Canberra, Wellways staff had the opportunity to speak with the National Mental Health Commission about key concerns around the NDIS, including the defunding of individual support packages, the lack of care coordination (as a support item under the NDIS), and how the NDIS falls short in meeting outcomes for families and carers.

Additionally, the advocacy team asked for the individual states to continue to fund community managed psychosocial rehabilitation and for ongoing funding of Partners in Recovery as a critical support for people with complex psychosocial disability.

The Canberra Wellways advocacy forum, following on from last month’s Melbourne forum, attracted strong attendance, with dedicated people keen to have their say on the issues that matter to them personally and to their communities. Wellways is compiling summary reports on each of the forums as they take place across the country throughout the year.