Principles of Operation
Mental Health Sector
The National Standards for Mental Health Services were introduced across Australia in January 1997, after an extensive national consultation process. The standards are outcome-oriented with an emphasis on the end result for clients and their carers. They reflect a strong value base related to human rights, dignity and empowerment.
The National Standards have been used to derive a set of Standards for Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation Support Services (PDRSS Standards) in Victoria. The PDRSS Standards have been derived following consultation with the Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation Support Service sector and govern PANDA's operations. They are based on the following principles:
- The promotion of optimal quality of life for people with mental health disorders and/or problems;
- A focus on consumers and a positive outcome for them;
- An approach to consumers and their families which recognises their unique physical, emotional, social, cultural and spiritual dimensions;
- The recognition of the human rights of people with mental illness;
- Equitable access to appropriate services when and where they are needed;
- Community participation in service development;
- Informed decision-making by individual consumers;
- Continuity of care and support through clinical and community services;
- A systematic approach which emphasises comprehensive, coordinated and individualised care and support;
- Accountability to consumers, their families, staff, funding bodies and the community; and
- Equally valuing the various models and components of mental health care.
PANDA has developed its principles of operation with regard to the above principles, to assist in providing consistently high quality services.
Mutual Support Self Help Principles
There are many services throughout Australia that are or could be categorized as Mutual Support Self Help. These services are based on a holistic view of mental health that recognizes the importance of sharing knowledge gained by people who have experienced the impact of mental illness in their lives. This forms the basis of the information, support and education delivered in MSSH services.
The target group for these services is people who are affected by a mental illness - individuals, carers and family members. PANDA was founded on these principles and continues to incorporate these components.
The concept of mutual support underpins these services and refers to the positive effects of people with similar problems, solutions and experiences, working together in order to support each other. This may involve people identifying and sharing their knowledge and experiences about the impact of mental illness in their lives that contributes to the overall understanding of the issues for themselves, their families and carers and the broader community.
The concept of self help refers to the ability of individuals that have been affected by mental illness to take control over their own lives. People have access to information, referral and support to assist them to learn and understand the effect of mental illness in their life, in order to improve their understanding and quality of life.