A man and woman holding a certificate.

Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Consumer Advisory Group member Sonia Thompson receiving an appreciation award from Consumer Partnership Coordinator Nicholas Kosseris.

New community members sought for Consumer Advisory Group

Feb 15, 2024

The Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) is inviting residents to join its Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Consumer Advisory Group.

The group provides an avenue for people with a lived experience of mental illness or dependence on alcohol or other drugs to co-design services with the local health district.

Established in 2016, the group includes consumers, carers and community members who play a part in the development, planning and evaluation of mental health, alcohol and other drug services.

Consumer Partnership Coordinator Nicholas Kosseris said: “The group provides input into service planning, policies and procedures and plays a very important role in increasing the involvement of consumers and carers in local mental health, alcohol and other drugs services.”

“Members of the Consumer Advisory Group have the opportunity to be involved in the decision-making processes of these services for the Mid North Coast Local Health District and to provide feedback directly to management.”

The group meets bi-monthly (six meetings per year) and applications are encouraged from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, those from culturally diverse backgrounds, people with disabilities and from all age groups, especially young people within the community.

Group member Sonia Thompson encouraged others to join the important advisory group.

“I have valued my six years working with the Consumer Advisory Group alongside other consumers and carers and the opportunities it has brought to be involved in the development of policies and working with key stakeholders in the provision of mental health services for consumers,” she said.

“A highlight for me was attending a statewide meeting in Sydney for the “Your Experience of Service” survey where I was able to represent consumers and carers of the Mid North Coast to bring about action and change to meet the needs of consumers accessing mental health services.”

Anyone interested in being a member of the Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Consumer Advisory Group is encouraged to apply by Monday 4 March 2024.

For more information or to request an application form, contact Nicholas Kosseris at: Nicholas.Kosseris@health.nsw.gov.au or phone 6589 2585.

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