Asia Pacific Expert Forum on SMI Policies- the Present and the Future

January 9, 2017

In Dec 2016, the Hong Kong Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation invited professionals from South Korea, Australia and Taiwan to participate in the Expert Forum on Serious Mental Illness Policies.

Looking at community care models that have been developed in our countries over the past 25 years, and identifying influencing factors for policy change, the presentations involved practical experience in both clinical leadership, and directing mental health service development.

St. Vincent’s Chair of Psychiatry, Professor David Castle and Mental Health Manager, Ms. Bridget Organ were invited to speak about recent changes in Australia’s mental health services.  Co-production and co-design was highlighted, shifting approaches to government policymaking from seeking involvement or participation after an agenda has already been set, to seeking it at the outset.  Released last year, Victoria’s 10 year Mental Health Plan states that “Co-production requires a shift in how government, services and professionals work with service users, recognising that positive outcomes cannot be delivered effectively to or for people; they can best be achieved with people.”

In Victoria, accessing the lived experience of mental health issues and recovery through consumer and carer peer workers has provided unique services with peer workers, working as team members alongside mental health workers in all public services in Victoria. The Mental Health Workforce Strategy reflects these opportunities, building a strategy for the system of care to be highly responsive to the changing needs of service users, new models of care and service delivery, ()

The picture emerging was hopeful, with community mental health now being established in many more provinces in all nations.  There has been a significant investment in community resources and social welfare, and much focus on building workforce to match these changes.



Expert Forum on SMI Policies

December 2016, Hong Kong