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Interdepartmental and Intergovernmental Working: Exploring the processes and meanings behind the Northern Territory Whole of Government Approach to Suicide Prevention 2007-2011

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8th Dec 2011

Abstract:
The social determinants of health underline the need for health to be a concern not just of the health departments but also a broad range of government agencies outside of the health sector. Working in this joint manner is known as the whole of government approach. Megan’s PhD research is a single case study of adopting a whole of government approach for suicide prevention in the NT. It draws on extensive qualitative data including observation over more than three years of the intersectoral committee as well as semi-structured interviews with individual participants. While the study provides a rich description of the processes of joint working in government it also explores the different purposes for which joint working was implemented. The differing meanings the participants attributed to their involvement in the committee demonstrate that government outputs are not always substantive but can be expressive of beliefs and values.

The findings of Megan’s PhD research relate not just to suicide prevention policy but speak more broadly about the pressures on government agencies and the function of committees and policy documents in this setting. If you have ever thought it would be good for government agencies to collaborate then this will be a stimulating seminar for you.

Biography:
Megan’s longstanding interest in mental health policy triggered her to embark on a PhD at Menzies exploring interdepartmental collaboration and coordination. She has worked in both public health and clinical research and holds a Bachelor of Medical Science (Neuroscience). Megan is also an avid traveller and is currently hatching plans to spend some years living and working on a Pacific Island once her thesis is complete.

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