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Reports and Publications

We strive to improve health and wellbeing for all through advocacy and research.

Our reports and publications share information on our services and the issues that matter to our local community.

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement

YourCH welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement inquiry into the challenges and opportunities for law enforcement in addressing Australia’s illicit drug problem. In developing this response, we draw on our experience in delivering one of the oldest and busiest needle and syringe programs in Victoria.

The outreach and centre-based needle and syringe distribution and disposal operates 365 days a year. In 2021-22, we distributed almost 600,000 syringes. Twenty percent of these were distributed through our state-wide steroid education program.

The program has long-standing and trusted relationships with many of the people using the service. These relationships facilitate broader health outcomes for this marginalised population including health literacy and engagement with other YourCH services including counselling, oral health and medical services.

The voices of drug users using our services have been used to inform this submission.

Open Book

Program Refresh of Your Community Health’s Needle Syringe Programs

Your Community Health recently reviewed its Needle and Syringe Outreach Program across Melbourne’s North. The review highlighted a range of strengths and development areas for the program, including:

  • Strong support from clients and staff for the current outreach service models.
  • Cost-effective distribution of injecting equipment, well under the NSP average cost.
  • Positive feedback from clients with 100 percent agreeing that staff treated them with respect and dignity.
  • Difficulties for night outreach staff to effectively engage with stakeholders.
  • Opportunities to develop and implement lived and living experience models of support.
  • Opportunities to trial new models of harm reduction delivery, including secure dispensing units and low threshold pick-ups at fixed sites
  • Consider restructuring program including increasing resources for stakeholder engagement and client referralsWe’re committed to implementing all thirteen recommendations from this review and are currently developing an implementation plan.

You can read the full report, including the Executive Summary, below. Thank you to our clients, staff and stakeholders who provided their valuable feedback and insights.

Program Refresh of Your Community Health’s Needle Syringe Programs

Quality Account and Annual Report 2021 - 2022

The theme of the 2021-2022 Quality Account and Annual Report, Reimagining community health, speaks to our opportunities to grow and share the value of community health over the year. The impact our services and supports have on the health and wellbeing of our community has never been clearer. By offering accessible, safe and affirming care to our clients, we are ensuring that they enjoy better health and reducing the need for hospital admissions and acute care.

Together, we are evolving and strengthening the role community health plays in the healthcare and social support sectors. We have achieved so much this year and next year is set to be just as impactful. Thank you for joining and supporting us on this journey.

Quality Account and Annual Report 2021 – 2022

 

Response to the draft National Health Literacy Strategy

Your Community Health (YourCH) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the development of the National Health Literacy Strategy. We encourage ongoing national and state reflections on the lessons of the pandemic to inform the strategy. YourCH draws your attention to the recently released report exploring health literacy, equity and social housing from Swinburne University 1. The report documents the lessons learnt from supporting people through the High-Risk Accommodation Response (HRAR) program to access health care during the COVID crisis. YourCH was also involved in the delivery of the HRAR program and believe the findings of this report apply beyond a social housing setting. The recommendations present a framework for health literacy that addresses the complex and broad range of factors that enable people to make informed choices and to access the care they need.

Response to the draft National Health Literacy Strategy

Community health delivering outcomes to protect Melbourne’s North

Community health orginisations are known for being connected to the needs of our communities and able to reach them through health interventions that meet their unique needs. By taking an evidence based yet community-led approach, we ensure that our clients and local communities can access inclusive and affirming care that’s delivered with their needs in focusOur strong connection to those we serve, coupled with robust clinical governance and community engagementputs us in a unique position to swiftly deliver effective health services and supports. This has never been more evident than in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and can be applied to the broad range of healthcare needs.

Partnering with healthAbility, Banyule Community Health, City of Darabin, North Eastern Public Health Unit and the Islamic Museum of Australia, we had the privilege to support thousands of fellow residents through this health crisis.

COVID Vaccination Consortium Story

Darebin Council Climate Emergency Strategy - YourCH Contribution

Your Community Health (YourCH) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to Darebin Council’s Climate Emergency Strategy and commends the Council’s proactive approach and commitment to climate action. YourCH are witnessing the serious consequences climate change has on the health and wellbeing of our local community, and poses an increased threat to people that already experience health and social inequities.

Without immediate action from all levels of government, organisations and communities, these impacts will continue to worsen.

We understand our own responsibility to minimise our carbon footprint and demonstrate leadership in climate action. Within YourCH’s submission we outline our own commitments and offer a list of recommendations to be incorporated into Darebin’s Climate Emergency Strategy. We look forward to future collaboration on this important issue.

Discussion Paper: Victorian Suicide Prevention and Response Strategy

YourCH is a primary mental health care provider, and often the first point of contact when someone is seeking support with their mental health and wellbeing. YourCH’s submission highlights the link between discrimination and suicide, and calls for urgent prioritisation of suicide prevention and response strategies for First Nations peoples, and people that are LGBTIQA+, from non-English speaking backgrounds – using an intersectional framework.

Other recommendations include:

  • A shift in focus on early intervention and primary prevention approaches, supplementing/complimenting crisis support services.
  • Investment in local and community-led approaches to ensure targeted and appropriate strategies that include hard-to-reach communities, promoting self-determination.
  • An increase in peer workforces to promote recovery and enhance engagement with services.
  • Reducing stigma by increasing dialogue about mental health and suicide across a number of settings.
Discussion Paper: Victorian Suicide Prevention and Response Strategy

Discussion Paper: Australia’s Humanitarian Program 2022 - 2023

People from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds experience disproportionately high rates of physical and mental health concerns compared to the wider Australian community. People often arrive to Australia experiencing conflict, persecution, family dislocation, torture, trauma, and disruptions to the basic resources required for health. YourCH witness these poor health and wellbeing outcomes that are often compounded by Australian settlement processes, particularly in relation to visa processing, prolonged detention (onshore and offshore) and lack of post-settlement support. YourCH’s submission calls for a more flexible, responsive and generous Humanitarian Program to meet international humanitarian obligations and improve the health and wellbeing of people from refugee backgrounds. Specific recommendations include:

  • Increasing the size of the Humanitarian Program to respond to the growing global need for resettlement
  • Permanently ending offshore processing and establishing sustainable settlement solutions
  • Releasing asylum seekers currently in Australian onshore detention
  • A more transparent, equitable and timely process for claiming asylum
  • Increased resettlement support and flexible funding models to ensure client-centered care
    Discussion Paper: Australia’s Humanitarian Program 22-23

Independent Review of Australia’s COVID Response submission

COVID-19 has had a major impact on global health, with governments and healthcare systems under enormous pressure to contain and mitigate the infection rate and treat those affected. Your Community Health’s (YourCH) submission to this review, looks at what worked well and what could have been improved in relation to Australia’s COVID-19 response. The pandemic exacerbated existing health and wellbeing inequities, seeing the people that experience disadvantage and barriers to healthcare most impacted. Based on YourCH’s learnings, our submission recommends the following to better prepare for the next public health emergency or pandemic:

  • Investment in community-led and local health interventions to ensure the planning, implementation and communication of public health measures are culturally appropriate and targeted
  • A long term solution to address the social determinants of health
  • Government support and funding for community services to maintain newly formed relationships with hard-to-reach communities, to minimise health inequities
    Independent Review of Australia’s COVID Response

Your News Autumn 2022

The latest edition of Your News, our biannual newsletter is here! Read on for updates from across the organisation, including:

  • An interview with Keira Leike, Manager for the Trans and Gender Diverse in Community Health program
  • Our General Practice Respiratory Clinics, providing medical care to people with breathing and lung issues
  • A report on our progress against our Strategic Plan 2022-2026
    Your News Autumn 2022

Supporting better conditions for rooming house residents

As Darebin’s community health provider, we deliver services and supports to people living in rooming houses across the North-East Melbourne area. Living conditions in these properties are often poor, and long-term tenancy hard to secure. We see the impact that this has on residents’ health and wellbeing and sent a submission to The Commissioner for Residential Tenancies advocating for changes that improve rooming house living conditions and promote tenants’ safety and rights through improved standards and regulations.

Supporting better conditions for rooming house residents

Victorian Oral Health Alliance position paper

As a provider of publicly funded dental services, Your Community Health supports the recommendations made by the Victorian Oral Health Alliance in November 2021 that outlines the need for new Federal-level policy decisions to address one of Australia’s greatest health inequities – the long wait (averaging greater than 2 years) to access oral health care for disadvantaged and lower income Australians, including older people. You can read the full VOHA position paper below.

Key options for Commonwealth to improve Australia’s oral health