On this page
- What is the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network?
- What is Systemic Advocacy?
- What do we do?
- What don’t we do?
What is the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network?
The ACT Mental Health Consumer Network is a peak organisation that is run by consumers for consumers.
A ‘consumer’ is defined in our Constitution as an individual with lived experience of mental illness.
The Network is funded by ACT Health to be the peak systemic advocacy body for mental health consumers in the ACT. It is one way in which consumers can directly feed back their recommendations about how to improve the mental health system in the ACT.
What is Systemic Advocacy?
Systemic advocacy is the process of advocating for change in the systems that guide the delivery of mental health services in the ACT.
What we do?
As a systemic advocacy organisation, the Network works towards improving mental health services and programs so that they work for all people when they need them. The main way we achieve this is through training and supporting consumers to become Consumer Representatives who bring the broader consumer voice to government and the community to achieve change through:
- Participating on government and non-government committees;
- Participating in and assisting with research programs;
- Lobbying government and mental health service providers where inadequacies or improvements are identified; and
- Facilitating education programs for consumers and the broader community.
Through our representation of consumers we are working:
- To advance consumers’ dignity, knowledge and respect;
- Proactively together to ensure provision of appropriate and timely support, assistance and treatment to mental health consumers; and
- Toward meaningful inclusion and quality of life for consumers in our society.
Our aims as an organisation are
- Accurately representing the interests of mental health consumers to service providers, community and government at all levels;
- Facilitating meaningful communication between mental health service providers, carers and consumers;
- Increasing mental health literacy amongst consumers and service providers through participation and education;
- Giving a voice to ACT mental health consumers through consumer representation, lobbying and education; and
- Supporting the empowerment of consumers by valuing their experiences of the mental health system in the ACT.
Our organisation is extremely committed to the rights of mental health consumers. We promote a respectful and accepting system that involves Consumers, Carers and Professionals listening to and respecting one another in an active healthy relationship. We also promote the development of support structures for all these groups.
What we don’t do
The Network does not operate as a clinical or crisis mental health support service and does not provide:
- Individual advocacy;
- Mental health treatment and care; or
- Counselling services for mental health consumers.
On these matters we can only provide general advice and details of relevant services. A list of services can be found on the Useful contacts page.