The Northern Territory Mental Health Coalition originally began in 2007 as a Project Officer role under the auspices of NTCOSS. The Coalition formed in response to a need for a more cohesive response to the specific and complex needs of the NT mental health sector, characterised by a highly remote and dispersed population with limited access to services.
Six members from the community mental health sector came together and formed a working group, developing a Strategic Plan with a vision for better promotion and advancement of community mental health.
These members – MHACA, TEAMhealth, GROW, TEMHCO, Arafmi, NTCOSS – continued as an unfunded advocacy group meeting regularly to develop strategies to improve the community mental health sector in the NT.
Promote and influence the development of the non-government mental health sector
Represent the interests of NT non-government organisations at local, state/territory and federal levels
Develop and implement strategies to raise community awareness and reduce stigma
In 2011, NTMHC moved to being fully incorporated with a full-time Executive Officer as a result of a need for peak representation across the NT for the community mental health sector. Policies and procedures were progressively developed with priorities and strategies identified to respond to key policy issues.
After initial challenges to secure ongoing funding and to permanently fill the role of EO, funding issues were resolved and the position EO was filled in 2015. This was followed by a very busy year with a reinvigorated membership, website and a newsletter and regular e-bulletins and alerts sent across the sector. A full-time EO enabled effective networking and the development of several workshops for NDIS, participation in the Suicide Prevention Strategic Action Plan 2015-18 and two forums in relation to opportunities in Community Mental Health.
By 2016-2017 the NTMHC purpose was amended, and 6 objectives created. Membership was increased to 55 organizations across the NT.
2019 saw the creation of a strategic plan for 2019-2024 with a revised vision, purpose and objectives, and guiding principles created.
The Mental Health Peer Support Workforce Needs Assessment project was later funded by the NT PHN with a final report submitted in Oct 2019.
From 2019 – 2021 the Coalition was funded by the NTPHN to deliver a peer-led education pilot.
In 2021 the Board reviewed and revised the Coalition’s purpose and objectives and constitution. Read our strategic plan.
In recent years NTMHC has supported NT community mental health providers through collective efforts in developing coping strategies mitigating the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic. The Coalition is also now largely focussed on supporting the NT community mental health workforce and in continuing its delivery of NT Mental Health Week annually – a key campaign in mental health advocacy and awareness and reducing stigma.
While NTMHC are not a service provider, we can point you in the direction of services that can support you.