[Featured in photo: L-R Amanda Aitken – MHCT Project Officer, Cr Cheryl Fuller – Mayor Central Coast Council, John McNamara – MHCT Project Officer, Olivia Clayton – MHCT Digital. Communications Lead]

On Wednesday 26 June 2024, the Regional Mental Health Group met for its June meeting in Ulverstone. The Central Coast Council (the Council) became Tasmania’s first local government member and in attendance at the meeting was Mayor Cheryl Fuller.

Mayor Fuller presented the group with a Terms of Reference for the proposed Central Coast Mental Health Alliance (CCMHA), which the Council is currently seeking Expressions of Interest for. Membership is encouraged from community groups working in the mental health space or General Practitioners (GPs) in the Central Coast area. The Council’s Mayor (or delegate) along with Council’s Chief Executive Officer (or delegate) will also be members of the alliance.

Soon after being elected, Mayor Fuller initiated a series of roundtables with various stakeholders, community groups and members. This uncovered a vast range of issues and opportunities, including the need for an alliance in the mental health space.

“These roundtables have been a fantastic opportunity for our Council to connect with the broader community and uncover important issues. A prominent issue that emerged was in relation to mental health.” Said Mayor Fuller.

“The CCMHA will set out to bring together a cohort of subject matter experts and stakeholders twice a year to share issues, actions, views and plans.” She said. 

According to the National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing release on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website from 2020 – 2022, 52.9% of Tasmanians aged 16 – 85 said they had a lifetime mental disorder and 19.8% said they had a 12-month mental disorder.

Connie Digolis, CEO Mental Health Council of Tasmania, commended the fantastic work local community groups, not-for-profits and practitioners are doing to support the mental wellbeing of the Central Coast community.

“Mental health is everyone’s responsibility and starts in the communities where we live, work and play. That’s why local initiatives like the CCMHA are so important. They bring together dedicated and passionate people representing a range of local community groups and organisations, providing an exciting opportunity to work towards a common goal. This collaboration is crucial to help with things like identifying gaps, coordinating services and support, and highlighting and promoting best practices.”  Said Connie Digolis, CEO Mental Health Council of Tasmania.

“It’s fantastic to see Central Coast Council taking a proactive approach to mental health, and making the wellbeing of their community a priority through the CCMHA.”  She said.

Mayor Fuller wanted to highlight the importance of collaboration and unity when working towards common goals for the community.

“Our Council is committed to nurturing a safe, happy and healthy community for all. Mental wellbeing and resilience are a huge part of this quest. That’s why it is so important we get the right people in the room through the CCMHA to truly understand the local mental health landscape so we can work together to make collective impact.”

“We want to take the chance to remind those who are struggling that there are support services out there. If you are in need of support, please contact Lifeline Tasmania on 13 11 14.”  Said Mayor Cheryl Fuller.

Nominations for the CCMHA close COB on Friday 26 July 2024 and those interested in being a part of the alliance are encouraged to download the expression of interest pack available on the Council’s website. For enquiries, please contact the CEO and Mayor’s Personal Assistant via email at exec@centralcoast.tas.gov.au or telephone 03 6429 8900.

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For more information or to express your interest in joining the group, click here.