A Message from Associate Professor Simon Stafrace, Program Director, Alfred Mental & Addiction Health

Posted on LInkedIn by Assoc. Prof. Simon Stafrace

Program Director| Alfred Mental & Addiction Health| Alfred Health| On Bunurong Country 

I am delighted to be back at Alfred Health as Program (Clinical) Director of Mental & Addiction Health, having completed a two-year secondment in the Victorian Department of Health.

In January 2020, I left Alfred Health to join Mental Health Reform Victoria as Chief Adviser. MHRV was responsible for implementing the recommendations of the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (RCVMHS). In mid-2021, my role moved into the newly formed Mental Health & Wellbeing Division.

The #mentalhealth reform journey over the past two years has been extraordinary. Despite the impact of the pandemic on all Victorians, enormous strides have been taken in delivering on the vision of the #RCVMHS.

The establishment of the #CollaborativeCentre is well under way.

Clinical & lived experience workforces have seen an uplift in number & opportunites for training.

Key elements of the governance framework of the mental health system are being assembled.

Child, family, youth & adult services, including HOPE, HiTH, YPARCs, local community clinics, a Lived Experience-led facility, and Adult & Women’s hospital units are being #codesign[ed] & delivered.

There are many other initiatives and you can keep track of them all at https://lnkd.in/gkGPAayK

It is fair to say that reforming a “broken system” during a pandemic is messy business. The team in the Mental Health & Wellbeing Division is totally focused on the historic opportunity presented by the Royal Commission. It has been an absolute privilege to work with so many talented people in MHRV & the Division, and to contribute in a small way to mental health reform.

I now return to a health service that has made an extraordinary contribution to the Victorian community in its response to the pandemic. I have been incredibly proud of the ways in which so many people here at Alfred Health have supported the community in their homes, in our hospitals and in hotel quarantine over the past two years.

Our focus in Mental & Addiction Health moving forward will be to support our community as it hopefully emerges from the pandemic; and work with stakeholders to deliver on the Victorian government’s commitment to mental health (& AOD) reform.

At the heart of our efforts will be a transformation agenda to improve the experience & outcomes of care and eliminate iatrogenic trauma & stigma.

People with lived experience will be embedded into the leadership, design, delivery, and evaluation of our service.

Our services will be safe and meet the needs of people with lived experience and their families, carers and supporters.

And finally, we will develop a culture of collaborative practice across clinical, support and peer disciplines that will allow creativity and holistic treatment, care & support to flourish.

The journey ahead will not be easy or short. I look forward to continuing to do my bit to make the vision for better #mentalhealthcare a reality.

  Response from Inner South Family and Friends

Carers at Inner South Family and Friends are very grateful for Sudeep Saraf and Sandra-Keppich Arnold’s leadership at AMAH and the TLC received from the team during an extraordinarily difficult period. We are very excited by Simon’s return and thank him for his contribution to creating a holistic mental health system integrating a much needed multidisciplinary approach.