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Community engagement

Consumers and carers play a vital role in the RANZCP

Genuine engagement with the community is a cornerstone of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP). People with experience of mental illness (also referred to as consumers) and their carers and families/whānau have unique expertise to help shape mental health policy and practice. Their needs, perspectives, concerns and values influence RANZCP decisions at all levels.

Become involved in RANZCP governance

Through participation in committees and other groups, consumers and carers contribute to:

  • the training, assessment and accreditation of psychiatrists
  • mental health policy direction
  • internal operations of the RANZCP.

Community Collaboration Committee

The Community Collaboration Committee (CCC) is the main way in which the RANZP partners with consumers and carers. The committee is made up of both community members (carers and consumers) and psychiatrists from Australia and New Zealand.

.More about the Community Collaboration Committee

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Committee

This Committee provides advice and support on issues relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and advocates for the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The committee is made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community representatives and psychiatrists.

.More about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Committee

Te Kaunihera mo ngā kaupapa Hauora Hinengaro Māori (Te Kaunihera) 

Te Kaunihera provides advice and support on issues relating to Māori, and advocates for the health of Māori people. The committee is made up of Māori community representatives and psychiatrists.

. More about Māori mental health

Many other RANZCP committees and projects have community representatives.

Enabling supported decision-making

On 1 July 2014, the Victorian State Government commenced the Mental Health Act 2014 (Victoria). This Act introduced a supported decision-making (SDM) model to enable and support compulsory patients to make or participate in decisions about their treatment and determine their individual path to recovery.

The introduction of SDM under this Act provided clear implications for Victorian mental health professionals and mental health services. Therefore in 2015, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services commissioned the RANZCP Enabling Supported Decision-Making project. Due to the implications specific to Victoria, the RANZCP Victorian Branch Committee had oversight of all project activities and reported to the RANZCP Board.

The main aims of this project were to enable psychiatrists and trainees to support people living with mental illness to have control and choice over decisions about their treatment and care, thereby improving outcomes and experiences of care for consumers, carers and families.

There was a deliberate decision to apply co-production methodology throughout this project, which mirrors the principles of SDM. To enable co-production the Enabling Supported Decision-Making Subcommittee, co-chaired by a consumer and a clinician (psychiatrist), was established that comprised of equal numbers of consumer and clinician members (psychiatrists and trainees).

The Subcommittee worked closely together for the duration of the project to co-produce training and resources to support psychiatrists and trainees to enable SDM in their practice. The key deliverables are the:
  A poster report has been produced summarising the project’s outcomes.

For more information about the project, please contact policy@ranzcp.org

Participate in RANZCP Congress

The RANZCP hosts an annual scientific conference, the RANZCP Congress. We invite consumers and carers to attend, or apply to present at the conference. To apply to present, you should first submit an abstract for consideration by the organising committee. Find out more on the congress website.

Submit a journal article

Consumers and carers can submit articles for publication in the RANZCP's journal, Australasian Psychiatry. Be sure to check the submission guidelines and review policy before making your submission. Find out more on the RANZCP journals page.

Contact the RANZCP

We welcome correspondence from the community. Email us at policy@ranzcp.org