Mental Health and Wellbeing: Our Transformation Journey with Mick Enright
Monday, 21 August 2023 / Albury Wodonga Health
“We all deserve to have quality mental health and wellbeing services at hand.” - Mick Enright, Director of Transformation
Transforming AWH’s mental health and wellbeing services is a monumental undertaking, but for Director of Transformation Mick Enright it’s crucial to the future of Victoria’s healthcare system. The project will help AWH achieve and deliver the recommendations set out in the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and be pivotal to the mental health and wellbeing services the people of our region will rely on every day.
“One in two people in Victoria will experience poor mental health or illness during their lifetime, it will affect us all,” Mick says. “This means personally, we will know someone who will be in need of help with their mental health, now or in the future, it may be one of us. Every year, one in five Victorians will experience some form of mental illness.
“While it has been said that in the 1990s Victoria’s Mental Health system was a leader on the world stage in community based mental health care, in more recent years, the system has fallen short of what people experiencing mental illness and distress require. This is despite the many compassionate, skilled and conscientious people working in the system daily who are trying to provide excellent care.
“We need to pitch the provision of service to be available and locally accessible to the community when people need care.”
While the scope of the project is extensive, thankfully for Albury Wodonga Health it is being overseen by a skilled, experienced and passionate leader. Let’s meet Mick and his approach to one of our most significant healthcare projects.
Tell me a bit about your background and previous roles
I am a Registered Nurse. My early career was spent as an Emergency Nurse in metropolitan hospitals before moving to AWH in 2010. I was NUM of Albury Emergency Department for several years before moving into improvement roles in quality and safety. I have also spent some time with Safer Care Victoria developing skills in quality and safety. I am also a dedicated Essendon FC fan.
What does the role of Director of Transformation entail?
I am responsible for the safe, effective, and timely delivery of transformation of the entire Albury Wodonga Area Mental Health and Wellbeing Service system. These changes are driven by the recommendations handed down by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System 2021.
Related: Find out more about the Albury Wodonga Health Mental Health and Wellbeing Transformation Project here.
What are the current priorities of the project?
Our current immediate priorities are:
- Establishing our Co-Design approach that underpin many of our planned future activities
- Commencing our Mental Health and Wellbeing Digital Services Pilot and
- Preparing for the implementation of the new Victorian Mental Health and Wellbeing Act that comes into effect on September 1 2023.
We are also continuing work on 8 priority areas for system change that have been outlined in our Transformation Plan.
What are the top three things you want staff to know about the transformation program?
Respecting the rights, dignity and autonomy of a person living with mental illness or psychological distress underpins our service, to ensure that we provide care that will promote full and effective participation in society for those who we help. The goal is to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights as everybody else and that they are respected by others.
We will engage community to help design the changes for AWH’s Area Mental Health and Wellbeing service. Our services should have the community at the centre of what we do.
People with lived and living experience of mental ill health and psychological distress, alcohol or other drug dependence, service use and recovery are crucial to the future of Mental Health and Wellbeing at AWH. Family members and carers and kin of people with a lived and living experience are included in this. Many of those with lived and living experience share and understand the loss or changes in status, relationships, employment and self-concept, but can also provide a hope by having realised periods of healing and wellness.
Why do you think adequate mental health services are so important to our community?
One in two people in Victoria will experience poor mental health or illness during their lifetime, it will affect us all. This means personally, we will know someone who will be in need of help with their mental health, now or in the future, it may be one of us. Every year, one in five Victorians will experience some form of mental illness. We all deserve to have quality mental health and wellbeing services at hand.