The MHCC took part in a range of activities in support of Mental Health Week (7–13 October) and World Mental Health Day (10 October). These initiatives aim to overcome the stigma that continues to be associated with mental illness and engage the community in discussions about mental health.
 
Commissioner Lynne Coulson Barr spoke at Forensicare’s Consumer and Carer Forum about the ways in which complaints can improve individual experiences and the safety and quality of mental health services.
 
‘It was a great opportunity to engage with members of the Thomas Embling Hospital Consumer Advisory Group about our safeguarding role and functions. I was honoured to present them with the VMIAC Consumer Advisory Group Award at the VMIAC Awards the following night,’ Commissioner Coulson Barr said.
 
Included in our activities was Monash Health’s expo event held at Dandenong Hospital, where we responded to queries and distributed our information materials to consumers, families, carers and staff on people’s right to speak up about an experience of a mental health service and how to make a complaint.
 
We took part in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health Week Showcase Market Expo, themed ‘Better mental health for everyone’. We engaged with staff across the health and mental health sectors, including representatives from peak mental health advocacy bodies and organisations, about our role and functions and the work that we do. 
 
Alongside these activities Commissioner Coulson Barr joined thousands of other Australians in making a mental health promise.
 
‘As part of Mental Health Australia’s World Mental Health Day campaign, I promised to continue to safeguard people’s rights and improve the safety and quality of mental health services,’ Commissioner Coulson Barr said.
 
In November we will be participating in the Monash Health Mental Health Week Consumer Art Awards ceremony, where Commissioner Coulson Barr will speak about the work of the MHCC and the important role that art can play in people’s recovery. 
 
To hear more about our involvement in Mental Health Week, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. To see the promise wall and make your own #MentalHealthPromise, visit https://1010.org.au/.