In response to the NSW Government’s release of the Mental Health Safety and Quality in NSW: A plan to implement recommendations of the Review of seclusion, restraint and observation of consumers with a mental illness in NSW Health facilities on Friday, the NSW Mental Health Commission has released the following statement:

The Mental Health Commission of NSW welcomes the meaningful participation of people with a lived experience of mental illness and their families in Government plans to improve clinical environments and limit seclusion and restraint.

NSW Mental Health Commissioner Ms Catherine Lourey said the Commission had been invited to participate in the implementation of the key actions in the Mental Health Safety and Quality in NSW plan released today, with peer workforce and consumer co-design two key areas of focus.

“The safe and supportive care of patients and their families during treatment for mental health issues should be the paramount consideration. These, after all, are the people whom the system exists to serve. We must eliminate practices that traumatise people when they are most unwell,” Ms Lourey said.

“That means the knowledge and experience of those who understand treatment from a personal perspective should be central to service planning and implementation.

“During the past year, the Commission has worked alongside people with a lived experience of mental illness to develop a Lived Experience Framework that can be used when co-designing treatment environments and protocols. This is just one of the ways the Commission will be contributing to the reforms.”

Ms Lourey said the Commission welcomed the patient-led focus of the plan and its commitment to including peer workers – professionals who have a lived experience of mental illness – in inpatient practices.

“We also applaud the measures the Government has announced in actively reducing the frequency and duration of seclusion and of ensuring its use is strictly monitored.

“The Commission unequivocally supports the reduction and elimination of seclusion and restraint practices in mental health facilities, and we will be keeping a careful eye on this plan’s progress and the impact on our community.”

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