Input Requested To Improve Mental Health Services

Richmond Fellowship WA (RFWA) is seeking community input after having emerged as the lead agency in the Federal Government’s ‘Partners In Recovery’ (PIR) initiative for the Bentley/Armadale Medicare local region.

PIR is a new Federal Government initiative that aims to facilitate better coordination of, and more streamlined access to, clinical and other services that support people with severe and persistent mental illness, their carers and families.

Under this new program, RFWA would steer a collaborative approach between the region’s health services to promote collective ownership and innovative solutions for approximately four hundred mental health consumers in the area.

RFWA CEO, Joe Calleja, said it is a significant step forward in ensuring effective and timely access to critical services.  The organisation wants to now hear from mental health consumers, their families and friends and other interested people and services to better understand gaps that might exist in the system.

“The PIR program is about integrating existing networks of service providers to better support a person’s recovery journey and better serve the mental health consumer,” Mr Calleja said.

“There are many agencies undertaking excellent work in providing services.  Sometimes there are overlaps or gaps and the PIR program will help ensure the best services and resources are applied most efficiently.  This will ensure agency resources are used to best effect and that consumers will receive more targeted services.

“It is an innovative Government response to what has been a somewhat disjointed, and no doubt frustrating, system.  However, under the PIR, RFWA would effectively work to improve communications and strengthen collaborations to support a person’s journey to mental health recovery.”

RFWA is a leading mental health service provider and ‘thought leader’ in Western Australia, having been instrumental in increasing awareness and understanding of mental health Recovery and person-centered support in the State.

PIR would work by getting multiple sectors, services and supports that a person may come into contact with to work in a more coordinated, and integrated way.

Having recently completed an extensive period of consultation with local agencies, RFWA has received considerable support to lead the program in the Bentley/Armadale Medicare local region.

“The support we have received from local agencies is overwhelming and testament to the work we have been doing in the mental health sector for four decades,” Mr Calleja said.

“The PIR speaks directly to RFWA’s ethos and ongoing direction.  We believe it will greatly enhance the service delivery in the area and, as part of the tender process, we are eager to better understand the experiences people have had in navigating the system to further demonstrate to Government the improvements that need to be made.”

RFWA is the sole agency tendering for the pivotal lead role in the Bentley/Armadale region and, if successful, will be one of four agencies working in the Perth metropolitan area, and one of eight in the State.

The Bentley/Armadale Medicare local region encompasses seven shire boundaries, including Gosnells, Armadale, Victoria Park, Belmont, South Perth and Serpentine/Jarrahdale.

The Government is expected to announce the successful agencies in March 2012, with the program scheduled to commence in April/May 2012.

Community feedback and personal experiences can be submitted by visiting www.rfwa.org.au or phoning RFWA on 9350 8800 and is requested by Friday 21 December 2012. 

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