COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on mental health service provision in Queensland like never before, as people grapple with prolonged social isolation, fear and uncertainty, unemployment, restricted access to health care, home-schooling, withdrawal of support and services, and many reporting feeling forgotten by the government and its pandemic responses.
Currently Queensland Health provides mostly acute mental health care services but some consumers consider the scale of the mental health crisis facing the public health system is “another pandemic in itself”.
In every single one of the 24 Consumer conversations we have hosted since March, over 400 consumers have shared their concerns about people’s mental health at this time.
In this week’s Consumer Conversations we asked:
- What have you learned about the current mental health system during COVID-19?
- What do you think is working?
- What do you think could be improved?
They told us that a prescriptive, inflexible and reactive approach to mental health care is not working – or helping. Consumers want tailored, individualised care and communication and a system which prioritises and values preventative mental health care measures.