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About the sector

The community managed mental health sector is a key provider of mental health services and supports to people in the community.

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Annual Reports

Find detailed information on the work we do to support the community managed mental health sector.

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Latest news

Catch up on all the latest news and stories from the community-based mental health sector.

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Sector events

Discover a range of ways to connect and learn through our events, forums and talks.

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Mental Health Rights Manual

An online guide to help explain your legal and human rights in the mental health and human services systems in New South Wales.

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Recovery Oriented Language Guide

Words are important. The language we use and the stories we tell have great significance to all involved.

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Registered training

Build on your lived experience or on-the-job experience and receive a nationally recognised qualification.

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Customised training

Contact us to design a professional development solution for your workforce and organisation.

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Our members

Our members are community managed mental health organisations, large and small, local and NSW-wide service providers.

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Become a member

Join a strong network of community-based mental health organisations delivering better outcomes for people in New South Wales.

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Publications & Initiatives

Circles of Support

The roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the mental health reform environment in NSW has created an imperative for considering better ways to support people living with mental health conditions to exercise ‘choice and control’. MHCC has been exploring the concept of ‘Circles of Support’ as a potentially effective mechanism to further support people living with mental health conditions in the community.

Literature Review and Sector consultation

MHCC conducted a literature review of the national and international evidence available on Circles of Support and reviewed the different environments in which Circles have been established. Following the literature review, MHCC conducted consultations and interviews seeking input from people with lived experience, their families, carers, peer and mental health support workers and other stakeholders. We asked about the potential for Circles to promote recovery for people living with mental health conditions.

Participants expressed resounding support for the concept and the value that Circles could bring to the lives of people living with mental health conditions. One participant stated “I wish I had a circle”.  It was seen that a key benefit of Circles was creating a space in which the person at the centre and their families could maintain and foster relationships into the future, which could alleviate isolation for consumers and carers who have few social supports. A primary concern raised by consultation participants was regarding Circles not operating according to the values that underpin the concept and as a result inadvertently causing harm. The facilitator’s role was seen as vital in ensuring that Circles operate ethically.

Project outcomes

As a result, MHCC is now looking to develop a one-day face-to-face professional training targeted at the community managed mental health and human services workforce, working with people living with psychosocial disability in the community. The training will be designed to equip attendees with the skills required to act as a facilitator of Circles of Support. Such necessary skills include facilitation and goal setting skills, knowledge of Supported Decision Making (SDM) theory and its application as well as conflict management and resolution.

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