In a first for northern Queensland, the Torres and Cape, Cairns and Hinterland, Townsville, and Mackay Hospital and Health Services (HHSs), in partnership with the Queensland Health Mental Health Branch and Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) have developed a Joint Regional Wellbeing Plan (the Plan).
The Plan is a foundational strategy that encompasses mental health, alcohol and other drugs, and suicide prevention, with a collaborative focus to identify service gaps, shared priorities, and improved utilisation of existing resources to meet regional needs.
The Plan identifies six major priority areas:
- workforce, including the peer workforce
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partnerships in healing
- service access and coordination
- alcohol and other drugs harm reduction
- physical health of people living with mental illness
- suicide prevention.
The Plan will be further developed over the next two years, with a final fully integrated plan due by 30 June 2022.
Regional plans are one of the key components of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Plan, endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in August 2017.