MHIMA blog

MHiMA Update - Project decision

MHiMA Team - Friday, November 11, 2016
Latest update from Frank Quinlan, CEO Mental Health Australia:

This week, I have some disappointing news about the MHiMA Project, but assure you I remain hopeful and committed to doing everything possible to secure the long-term investment in multicultural mental health. 

As many of you know, in May 2016 the Department of Health extended the MHiMA Project to 31 December 2016, as an interim measure while Government considered the findings from the ‘recommendations for future directions report’, that Mental Health Australia provided to Government in March 2016.  The report was formulated after extensive consultation with the multicultural and mental health sectors.  

Sadly, we are still waiting on Government’s response to the report, despite actively pursuing this with the Department of Health and the Minister's office.   

In the absence of clear advice about the long term future of the MHiMA Project, and nearing the end of our contract period, Mental Health Australia has made the difficult decision to complete the project, as currently contracted, and will wrap up current project activities by 31 December 2016.  Although not required to do so, Mental Health Australia plans to maintain the MHiMA website, including the Framework elements, while we await the Government’s decision about future directions.   

I'm very disappointed to be informing you of this news, and I recognise this outcome may be upsetting for many of you. I’d like to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of all those who have been involved the project recently and, for some, over many years, including members of the National CaLD Consumer & Carer Working Group (NCCCWG), MHiMA Project Advisory Group and the Framework pilot sites.  The NCCCWG in particular have worked tirelessly for many years and across many iterations of the project, their efforts have helped to forge positive changes for CaLD mental health, though so much is still to be done.  

As flagged earlier in the year, we have received positive indications about the future of a national multicultural mental health project. However, it remains unclear when a decision about the project’s future may be made, and how long these processes will take.  It is very clear ongoing uncertainty and short term project extensions have been detrimental to project activities, the multicultural mental health sector, and those involved with the project. I have written to the Minister requesting her to take urgent action to improve mental health outcomes for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.  

Mental Health Australia will continue to do all we can to secure the long term investment in multicultural mental health.

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