Policy position statements
These statements will remain informed by industry best practice and an evidence-based approach. Our positions are the following:
Elevate and embed lived experience participation in policy development, design, delivery, andevaluation of all mental health services.
- Meaningful and equal partnerships must be grown and nurtured between people with lived experience, mental health services, and government in all local NT communities.
- People with lived experience to have access to peer education and employment pathways in all mental health services.
- Designated peer work roles in all mental health services and programs.
All clinical health services to operate as a team with peer workers embedded as equals in recognition of their unique insights and knowledge crucial to the recovery of service participants.
Mental health and wellbeing go hand in hand with the experience of suitable housing, food security, physical, psychological and cultural safety, meaningful education and employment, and freedom from racism and discrimination.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities continue to experience disproportionally limited access to these basic social determinants that allow us to thrive. To create genuine and long-lasting change, these issues must be addressed in an equitable and focussed way for all Territorians. Focussed efforts for positive change must include:
- Long term planning and commitment from all tiers of government to work together to
dismantle structural disadvantage, and to maximise opportunities for all to enjoy mental health and wellbeing.
- Legislation, policy development and targeted funding that is deeply informed and genuinely led by the communities they affect.
- Growth and nurturing of effective working partnerships across sectors to improve the social determinants of service participants along their road to recovery.
Invest in, develop, and support a stable, collaborative, community-based workforce in regional, rural, and remote communities that provides culturally secure, best practice mental health services.
- Long term planning and investment in education, training, and employment pathways for local people in rural and remote communities to create and sustain a stable local workforce that aligns with community need.
- Development and support for increased entry pathways for First Nations people including assistance in addressing the barriers to employment such as literacy, childcare, and housing.
- Create multiple pathways and supports for people with lived experience to be employed at all levels of mental health services in designated Peer roles in both clinical and community settings.
- Planning and investment in upskilling the mental health sector and other sectors in mental health specific education.
- Support for continual professional development for all service staff, including locally based cultural education, training on the impact of social determinants and expertise in trauma-informed care.
- Support flexible, child-friendly workplaces that offer worthwhile incentives and supports in regional, rural and remote areas including appropriate housing, remuneration and professional supervision.
- Create increased opportunities for student placements in rural and remote communities.
- Provide opportunities for the community mental health to grow supervision skills to support staff and students on placement.
- Support and develop accredited rural generalist pathways for clinicians, allied health workers, and First Nations health workers.
All Territorians need to be able to access culturally secure and supportive services where they live.
The mental health system in the NT is skewed towards supporting people when they are acutely unwell and the majority of services are provided in Darwin and regional centres.
- Funding needs to be distributed based on need, rather than population.
The footprint of mental health supports and services in remote communities must be
- Local services are to be co-designed and delivered in partnership with local communities.
- Long term, secure investment in local services that keep people well.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must lead all policy development, service design, implementation and evaluation of mental health and social and emotional wellbeing programs servicing First Nations communities.
- All service development, design, delivery, and evaluation to be led by First Nations people according to local community need.
- First Nations perspectives of mental health, social and emotional wellbeing and healing to be embedded throughout all services.
- Support and implement the Gayaa Dwuhi Declaration.
There are many Territorians who aren’t eligible or aren’t able to access the supports they need from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
- Some people experience disabilities arising from their mental health issues and need
supports to live well. These supports help people to regain their independence, practical living skills, stay connected and manage their mental health.
- When people receive the psychosocial supports they need, there is a decreased risk of prolonged distress and lifelong disability. This leads to cost-savings to the health system and to the NDIS, decreased dependence on services, decreased risk of unemployment and homelessness and decreased interactions with police, justice and corrections.
- Provide targeting funding for all people in need of supports and aren’t able or are not eligible to access the NDIS.
- Promote better understanding of mental health and mental illness across NT communities.
- Remove self-stigma among those experiencing mental ill-health and those who support them.
- Encourage and validate help-seeking behaviour.
- Remove structural stigma and discrimination for people with lived experience of mental ill-health within the mental health system, housing, social services, disability, education and training, employment and income support, financial services, insurance, and law.