People from all walks of life will come together in Melbourne on 1 August to participate in a walking journalism event that aims to provide useful insights to guide mental health reform in Victoria.
The #CroakeyGO, which kicks off at 10am at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service in Fitzroy, is sponsored by the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) and is an initiative of Croakey.org, a public interest journalism initiative for health.
The walk will include local mental health facilities, general practices and community health services in Fitzroy and Carlton.
Adjunct Associate Professor Christopher Carter, CEO of NWMPHN, says his organisation is using the event as an opportunity for listening to the experiences and expertise of patients, families, carers and service providers, to develop “a more coordinated, integrated and responsive mental health system”.
“Finding your way through the mental health system in Victoria can be like entering a maze,” he said.
“While Primary Health Networks like ours and others are working hard to improve coordination across the many services and programs that make up the mental health system, for too many people and their loved ones, navigating that maze can be daunting.
“We are currently designing a Regional Plan for Mental Health for north west Melbourne to improve the care and experience of people using the system.
The insights we gain and the connections we make by walking and talking with people during the CroakeyGO will help us create a more coordinated, integrated and responsive mental health system for the future.’’
Dr Melissa Sweet, Managing Editor of Croakey Health Media, says that experienced journalists will attend the walk to report on discussions, using the hashtags #NavigatingHealth and #CroakeyGO, so that people who are unable to attend in person can participate.
“The #CroakeyGO events are an innovation in participatory journalism that aim to provide a platform for place-based discussions about important issues for our collective health and wellbeing,” she said.
“We have found through #CroakeyGo that walking and talking together enables dialogue, respect for different points of view and experiences, and constructive connections to be made.
Dr Sweet said she hoped the #CroakeyGO would provide useful insights to guide health reform, in Victoria and more widely.
“This is a timely event given the growing momentum, in Victoria and nationally, to develop more holistic approaches to mental health, that also address the social and cultural determinants of health.”
Reports from other #CroakeyGO events can be read here: