Last month the North Coast Collective (NCC) was launched with workshops held in Coffs Harbour and Ballina. The NCC, in its initial phase, is a regional collaboration between three organisations – North Coast Primary Health Network, Northern NSW Local Health District and Mid North Coast Local Health District.
Facilitated by ABC health journalist Dr Norman Swan, the North Coast Collective events introduced a new approach that plans to change the way health and other organisations work together and coordinate services across the North Coast region to improve health and wellbeing. The vision is to create a system that is better connected, placing the needs of community members at its centre so that North Coast residents can live better lives.
These initial launch workshops were attended by over 60 community members with lived experience of mental health and/or substance use, with service providers also attending separate launch events.
In the initial phase, the focus for the NCC will be on planning and delivering a mix of services that will improve the lives of those living with mental ill health and alcohol and drug use issues. These health needs were identified as important priorities by the community in the 2018 Local Health Needs Community Survey.
During the next phases, we will be working to expand the NCC to include a range of stakeholders from other sectors – e.g. FACs, Housing, Education, etc. – who would be interested in collaborating to deliver other health and wellbeing improvements. We know that we can more effectively improve health and wellbeing by working together and coordinating the services offered in the region.
Workshop Participants Provide Positive Feedback
The response from community members able to attend on the days has been both positive and encouraging. Mental health and substance use are difficult topics – but we need to talk about them.
Participants were given the chance to hear stories from other community members with lived experience, and encouraged to get involved with future consultation steps for the North Coast Collective.
Feedback after the events prove there is much to do in the areas of mental health and alcohol and other drugs services on the North Coast, but equally there is enthusiasm and willingness to work together to shape a better future.
Here’s what your fellow community members had to say:
It’s Just the Beginning,
You Can Get Involved!
The recent launch events were the first step in the vision for North Coast Collective. There is a lot of work to be done to improve the lives of those affected by with mental health and/or drug and alcohol use and we need you to be part of the solution.