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  • NSW floods affect mental health connection

    Author: AAP

Flooding across NSW has delayed the rollout of a national program to connect with people with experience in Australia's mental health and suicide prevention systems.

The 34-stop Connections 2022 program was expected to kick off in Liverpool on Thursday but will instead begin on Friday in Gosford.

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It is expected to circle back to Liverpool later in the year.

It will be the first time since 2019 that the National Mental Health Commission will be on the road and able to visit communities around Australia, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program aims to connect with people with lived experience of the mental health and suicide prevention systems.

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Information gained will help with the development of the National Outcomes-Based Framework.

Commission CEO, Christine Morgan said the inaugural Connections program in 2019 informed the development of Vision 2030.

"More than 3,000 voices participated in Connections2019 and contributed to the design of a conceptual shift in how we deliver mental health and suicide prevention services in Australia," Ms Morgan said.

"For current and future commitments to have the greatest effect we need to assess the impact of those commitments on the ground. Real change can only be measured by the reality of a person's experience and the improvements this makes to their mental health and well-being."

The Connections2022 program will include a particular focus on the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The Commission and community-based organisations, family elders and leaders are working together to ensure a deeper understanding of their experience of the mental health and suicide prevention systems.

The program will begin in NSW before moving across the rest of the country over a three month period.

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