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Thank you: Members helping Tasmanians with their mental health & wellbeing
TODAY the CPSU gives a shout out to those working to help and support Tasmanians with their mental health in many ways.
Among others they help
The older generation
- At the Roy Fagan Centre
- Through community teams and
- Dementia services
- With Child and Adolescent Mental Health services
- In patient care at hospitals
- On the Mental Health Helpline and
- Adult Community Mental Health Services
People with alcohol and drug issues
- In the inpatient withdrawal management unit
- Though the Opioid pharmacotherapy program and
- With the help of community teams
These are the men and women who work, often without thanks or recognition, to make sure Tasmanians are happier, healthier and able to cope with the hurdles of life.
Mental health issues are often at the heart of other social issues too.
And in Mental Health Week we’d like to say thanks. These mental health employees often under resourced, have taxing, stressful jobs dealing with issues that society often doesn’t want to know about, all this in an environment of job cuts and increasing pressure.
They work to
- Protect children
- Prevent issues becoming more serious and harmful
- Help those who’re struggling with addictions
- Support families
- Listen and advise Tasmanians who are struggling
- Rehabilitate people so they’re able to get on with their lives
- And in many other ways
We spoke to one of these employees who’s a CPSU Member this week. Jane Austin is the Principal Policy Officer in the Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Directorate.
Jane agreed that public sector employees in these jobs were often quite low profile and didn’t receive much recognition – often the nature of mental health work.
“We tend to beaver away behind the scenes,” she said.
Often people who provide public services don’t recognise the important role they have in mental health with Jane using the example of our accommodation support services, and people who work in school environments, whose role in providing access to safe and secure housing, or learning opportunities and building relationships, are actually supporting the development of better mental health.
“I see mental health as a community issue. I’m of the belief that if someone needs a hand it’s up to everyone to be ready to help,” she said.
Jane’s been busy supporting the development of the new Rethink Mental Health plan, as well as leading the charge on the state’s first Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy and the second Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy.
Of course, it goes without saying that developing a plan for suicide prevention for the whole state, and specifically for our young people, is important to get right, with lives genuinely in the balance.
“It’s challenging work but knowing it may help prevent a family losing someone they love, it’s definitely worth it,” Jane said.
Jane said this has meant consultation and talks with many groups who have the knowledge about what works and how to implement it, like the Mental Health Council of Tasmania, the youth Network of Tasmania, and the Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Community Network, as well as looking at what other states are doing and what the evidence tells us about the effectiveness of interventions.
The team Jane works with to tackle this vast and complex area is small. “It can be a very emotional area to work in and you need a really good, supportive team.”
From all of us here at the CPSU, we’d like to say thanks to all of you who help Tasmanians with their mental health and wellbeing.