Key to Western Australia's role in National Implementation Strategy:
* Western Australia to lead development of implementation approach
** Western Australia to participate in sub-group for development of implementation approach

1. Improve community and service understanding and attitudes through a sustained and comprehensive national stigma reduction strategy

2. Coordinate the health, education and employment sectors to expand supported education, employment and vocational programs which are linked to mental health programs

3. Improve coordination between primary care and specialist mental health services in the community to enhance consumer choice and facilitate 'wrap-around' service provision

4. Adopt a recovery oriented culture within mental health services, underpinned by appropriate values and service models

5. Develop integrated programs between mental health support services and housing agencies to provide tailored assistance to people with mental illness and mental health problems living in the community

6. Develop integrated approaches between housing, justice, community and aged care sectors to facilitate access to mental health programs for people at risk of homelessness and other forms of disadvantage

7. Lead the development of coordinated actions to implement a renewed Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander social and emotional well being framework

8. Work with schools, workplaces and communities to deliver programs to improve mental health literacy and enhance resilience Top of page

9. Implement targeted prevention and early intervention programs for children and their families through partnerships between mental health, maternal and child health services, schools and other related organisations

10. Expand community-based youth mental health services which are accessible and combine primary health care, mental health and alcohol and other drug services

11. Implement evidence-based and cost-effective models of intervention for early psychosis in young people to provide broader national coverage

12. Provide education about mental health and suicide prevention to front line workers in emergency, welfare and associated sectors

13. Coordinate state, territory and Commonwealth suicide prevention activities through a nationally agreed suicide prevention framework to improve efforts to identify people at risk of suicide and improve the effectiveness of services and support available to them

14. Expand the level and range of support for families and carers of people with mental illness and mental health problems, including children of parents with a mental illness

15. Develop tailored mental health care responses for highly vulnerable children and young people who have experienced physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or other trauma

16. Develop a national service planning framework that establishes targets for the mix and level of the full range of mental health services, backed by innovative funding models

17. Establish regional partnerships of funders, service providers, consumers and carers and other relevant stakeholders to develop local solutions to better meet the mental health needs of communities

18. Improve communication and the flow of information between primary care and specialist providers, and between clinical and community support services, through the development of new systems and processes that promote continuity of care and the development of cooperative service models Top of page

19. Work with emergency and community services to develop protocols to guide and support transitions between service sectors and jurisdictions

20. Improve linkages and coordination between mental health, alcohol and other drug and primary care services to facilitate earlier identification of, and improved referral and treatment for, mental and physical health problems

21. Develop and implement systems to ensure information about the pathways into and through care is highly visible, readily accessible and culturally relevant

22. Better target services and address service gaps through cooperative and innovative service models for the delivery of primary mental health care

23. Review the mental health statement of rights and responsibilities

24. Review and where necessary amend mental health and related legislation to support cross-border agreements and transfers of people under civil and forensic orders, and scope requirements for the development of nationally consistent mental health legislation

25. Develop and commence implementation of a National Mental Health Workforce Strategy that defines standardised workforce competencies and roles in clinical, community and peer support areas

26. Increase consumer and carer employment in clinical and community support settings

27. Ensure accreditation and reporting systems in health and community sectors incorporate the National Standards for Mental Health Services

28. Further develop and progress implementation of the national mental health performance and benchmarking framework

29. Develop a national mental health research strategy to drive collaboration and inform the research agenda

30. Expand and better utilise innovative approaches to service delivery including telephone and e-mental health services Top of page

1. Improve community and service understanding and attitudes through a sustained and comprehensive national stigma reduction strategy **

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) produces a free statewide mental health magazine, Head2Head three times a year. It seeks to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness by raising awareness of mental health issues, profiling best practice supports and services and including the perspectives of consumers, carers and mental health employees. Each edition explores a different theme, such as culture, youth, recovery, and health and wellbeing. There are consumer, carer and service provider representatives on the editorial committee.

Head2Head is available online and up to 12,000 hard copies of each edition are distributed to community venues, mental health services, libraries, schools, universities and government and non-government agencies. Top of page

Music feedback statewide youth anti-stigma project

MHC has partnered with the WA Music Industry Association to develop the youth anti-stigma project, Music Feedback: What if we talked about music the same way we talk about mental illness?

This campaign targets 14-25 year olds and encourages them to:
  • participate in music and healthy activities to improve their wellbeing, express themselves and connect with others
  • talk more openly about mental health and get help early for any problems
  • accept, support and include people with a mental illness and
  • study and work in mental health, particularly nursing.
Local musicians have supported the project by providing songs, interviews and performing to reduce stigma and share how they deal with life's difficulties. Resources developed include:
  • 20,000 copies of CD/DVDs featuring a documentary, songs and music videos
  • Interactive music feedback website with songs, posters to download, band interviews and information on how to get help
  • Documentary and pages on YouTube, Facebook and Myspace.
Youth groups, schools, musicians and mental health services have organised gigs and speakers to promote the anti-stigma message and distribute the resources. The Office for Youth and beyondblue have come on board for the second phase of the project targeting groups at higher risk of suicide. beyondblue are also interested in replicating the project on a national level. Top of page

Community forums

In 2009 the former Mental Health Division of the Department of Health (MHD) coordinated a series of free public forums on Mental Health and Wellbeing for Children and Young People, Disability and Mental Health and Achieving Mental Health and Wellbeing Through Music. These attracted a total of 500 attendees from across the community, including consumers, carers and people in regional areas via video-conferencing.

MHD also supported the Transcultural Mental Health Service to hold a 'Let's Talk Culture' lecture series which covered Spirituality and Mental Health, Refugees; from Bad to Worse and International Perspectives. More than 600 participants from diverse backgrounds participated in these forums.

The forums included the perspectives of consumers, carers, Indigenous people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, public mental health employees and community organisations. This helped to raise community awareness of mental health and enhance social inclusion. Top of page

Mental health week

MHC (previously MHD) coordinates and sponsors a number of community-focused, statewide activities for Mental Health Week.
  • The Mental Health Good Outcomes Awards publicly recognise outstanding individuals, groups and organisations who have reduced stigma, improved mental wellbeing, developed innovative services and/or enhanced the human rights of consumers and carers. There are 11 categories, including consumer and carer awards, improved outcomes for children and youth, and Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse mental health. Community members are encouraged to nominate consumers, carers, mental health employees, organisations and the media. The winners are announced by the Minister for Mental Health at a gala breakfast.
  • The WA Music Song of the Year Competition encourages songwriters to enter in 14 categories, including the Mentally Healthy category. The extensive publicity via schools, music street press, newspapers, online websites and community radio effectively promotes mental wellbeing to a broad audience, particularly young people.
  • Living Libraries were held in partnership with local governments and local libraries in 2008 and 2009, to reduce stigma by sharing personal stories about mental illness and recovery. The public could borrow a "living book" - a consumer, carer or mental health worker - for one-on-one conversations. In 2009 a documentary was produced as a resource for community groups to hold their own Living Libraries. It also features "reading sessions" which cover issues for carers and groups at higher risk of suicide, including:
    • Indigenous people
    • same-sex attracted young people
    • men
    • prisoners
    • culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Top of page

Website

The WA Mental Health Website provides up-to-date information and resources on mental health and mental illness. It features:
  • fact sheets which address different aspects of mental health and mental illness, including overcoming stigma and discrimination
  • personal stories by consumers and carers
  • mental health service directory and how to get help
  • information on current policies and reform
  • opportunities to participate in mental health planning, events, conferences and community activities.

Media training

The MHD coordinated a series of four workshops on engaging with print, radio and TV media for 15 consumers, carers and government and NGO service providers. The practical workshops developed their skills and confidence to write press releases and be interviewed by different media.

Several journalists were guest speakers during the training, which increased their awareness of the mental health sector and efforts to overcome stigma in the media. Top of page

What government department(s) have involvement in the activities identified?

Head2Head magazine regularly features contributions from other government agencies including the Department for Child Protection, Department of Education and Training, Drug and Alcohol Office, Department of Communities, Department of Culture and the Arts.

The MHC (formerly MHD) has taken a lead role in reducing stigma through the Music Feedback anti-stigma campaign. Partnerships have been established with the Office for Youth, Department of Education and Training, local governments, beyondblue and non-government organisations (NGOs) to implement the project.

The community forums included speakers from the Office of the Public Advocate, Commissioner for Children and Youth, Disability Services Commission, Department of Education and Training and NGOs.

Mental Health Week activities have attracted partners and sponsors including universities, legal firms, the Equal Opportunity Commission, local governments and small businesses. Top of page

2. Coordinate the health, education and employment sectors to expand supported education, employment and vocational programs which are linked to mental health programs **

The WA Core Competency Framework (Framework) for the Public Mental Health Workforce is being developed through consultation with health services. The Framework will target all staff employed in public mental health services. The Framework will establish an agreed list of the knowledge, skills and abilities required by the mental health workforce to meet the level of service delivery that is consistent with the National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce. Once implemented, it will be used to identify priority areas for staff development and to plan the delivery of staff development training and resources in 2010-11.

3. Improve coordination between primary care and specialist mental health services in the community to enhance consumer choice and facilitate 'wrap-around' service provision

The HealthRight Project was developed to address the health inequities for people with mental illness in WA, via multilevel strategies to engage them in visiting their General Practitioner (GP) and address lifestyle risk factors. The project is facilitated by the University of WA (UWA) School of Community, Culture and Mental Health Unit and was funded by the MHD. This Project has developed various community and professional resources and has made a substantial investment in peer support training leading to the employment of Peer Supporters in public mental health services, as well as in the NGO sector. The Project is jurisdiction-wide. More information can be accessed at: the HealthRight website.

The South Metropolitan Area Mental Health Service has developed a Physical Health Screening For Mental Health Patients Tool, which is derived in part from The Physical Mental Health Handbook, August 2004, NSW Health Department. This Tool has been compiled to increase awareness and assist GPs and mental health clinicians in their management of the physical health of mental health clients. This Tool can be utilised jurisdiction-wide.

Strong links have been established with the Development and Liaison Officer Mental Health of the WA General Practice Network. Top of page

4. Adopt a recovery oriented culture within mental health services, underpinned by appropriate values and service models


In June 2008 the MHD sponsored the Discover Recovery – Mental Health Rehabilitation Symposium. Its aim was to raise awareness and challenge people's views of rehabilitation and recovery and be a catalyst for change by delivering a first step toward developing a comprehensive recovery orientated mental health rehabilitation system for WA.

As a consequence of the symposium an expert advisory group was requested to consider the symposium's outcomes and to provide advice on the fundamental elements necessary for a mental health rehabilitation system in WA. The expert advisory group confirmed the principles laid out in the A Recovery Vision for Rehabilitation – Psychiatric Rehabilitation Policy and Strategic Framework (2004) and produced a position paper that recommended, in part, that a greater awareness of available skills sets required in establishing recovery orientated services, partnerships and coordinated care plans would assist in developing a greater understanding and confidence in recovery. It went on to recommend that there was a need to undertake workforce education and skill development as a parallel process to system reform and development.

This position paper was subsequently provided to the external consultants who undertook the first phase of the development of the State Government's strategic directions for mental health in Western Australia. The MHC is currently seeking community feedback on the ―WA Mental Health Towards 2020: Consultation Paper‖ to assist in the development of the final policy and strategic directions document that will outline the State Government's policy for mental health and provide a blueprint for mental health priorities and reform in WA over the next decade. The consultation paper includes a component on implementing a recovery focused culture in WA. Top of page

5. Develop integrated programs between mental health support services and housing agencies to provide tailored assistance to people with mental illness and mental health problems living in the community

In support of the Mental Health Housing Strategy an established program between the Department of Health (DoH)–WA and the Dept of Housing (DoH) -WA continue to build and commission a range of supported accommodation options for people with mental illness. Current projects within this program include three Community Supported Residential Units and an Intermediate Care Facility.

This integrated program between the two departments also involves NGO service providers in the provision of support services once accommodation has been built. This program has and will continue to provide supported accommodation where required throughout the State and caters for all target groups as required.

The development of a partnership agreement titled Mental Health Care Coordination Public Housing Pilot has been progressed. The pilot is designed to establish the roles and responsibilities between the Department of Housing (DH – WA) and the DoH in support of a small test quantum of individuals who currently receive clinical, community and housing support services. Service collaboration is at the core of successful implementation of Care Coordination thereby requiring commitment and a partnership approach at both departmental and local levels which will improve care planning and continuity of care across service boundaries.

This action is targeting individuals 18 years or older with a severe mental illness and complex care needs that have lost social and family support networks and rely extensively on multiple services for assistance to maintain their lives in the community. Top of page

6. Develop integrated approaches between housing, justice, community and aged care sectors to facilitate access to mental health programs for people at risk of homelessness and other forms of disadvantage

An interagency Public Protection Strategy (PPS) is being developed for the collaborative management of dangerous offenders. The PPS will provide a structured and collaborative response from agencies concerned with the management of offenders who present the highest level of risk to the community.

The People with Exceptionally Complex Needs (PECN) Initiative is designed to improve interagency collaboration and coordination of services that respond more adequately to individual adults with exceptional needs. The target group clients pose a significant risk of harm to themselves and others, requiring extensive support that can only be delivered with well-coordinated services authorised by senior officers from key agencies. The PECN Initiative has also been provided with funding under the COAG National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness to test new funding models for specialist homelessness services that reflect the costs of delivering services to people with exceptionally complex needs.

7. Lead the development of coordinated actions to implement a renewed Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander social and emotional well being framework **

The MHC is currently seeking community feedback on the "WA Mental Health Towards 2020: Consultation Paper" to assist in the development of the final policy and strategic directions document that will outline the State Government's policy for mental health and provide a blueprint for mental health priorities and reform in WA over the next decade. The consultation will provide guidance on the actions required by the MHC to assist in the development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social and Emotional Well Being Framework.

The development of a Statewide Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Service is also being progressed by the MHC, for progressive implementation during 2010/11. Top of page

8. Work with schools, workplaces and communities to deliver programs to improve mental health literacy and enhance resilience

Jurisdiction-wide implementation of Triple P (Positive Parenting Program). Triple P is a parenting and family support strategy that aims to prevent severe behavioural, emotional and developmental problems in children by enhancing the knowledge, skills and confidence of parents.

The WA Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) Collaboration Implementation and Monitoring Committee has been convened to promote the timely provision of accessible, effective and comprehensive services for children of parents with a mental illness, and their families. This is a jurisdiction wide initiative which seeks to ensure that these services are provided within a system of care in which multiple agencies work collaboratively to ensure that their physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual and developmental needs are identified and attended to as early as possible to support the resilience of children and their families.

The Mental Health Promotion Action Link (MHPAL) brings together representatives from all sectors who value the promotion and prevention of mental health issues in the WA community. MHPAL exists as a way to encourage proactive collaboration, discussion, and sharing of information and ideas that will support and facilitate better mental health promotion and illness prevention across WA. Jurisdiction-wide.

Funded by the MHC, the Aussie Optimism Program (AOP) was developed to meet requests for classroom implementation of mental health promotion programs and aimed at preventing the internalization of problems in children and adolescents. The AOP provides teachers, practitioners and parents with practical strategies for developing children's social competence, self-management, and positive thinking. The AOP and training were developed in collaboration with experts in the fields of education, psychology, and health promotion. Since 1997, the program has been evaluated extensively. To date, in WA, more than 1,200 teachers and practitioners from 240 schools and private organisations have received training and over 13,000 students have participated in the jurisdiction-wide programs.

Act-Belong-Commit is a statewide community-based health promotion campaign that encourages people to take action to improve their mental health and wellbeing. The campaign is led by the Mentally Healthy WA project based at the Curtin University and is implemented through health services, local governments, women's health services and not-for-profit groups. Top of page

9. Implement targeted prevention and early intervention programs for children and their families through partnerships between mental health, maternal and child health services, schools and other related organisations **


The MHC is currently seeking community feedback on the "WA Mental Health Towards 2020: Consultation Paper" to assist in the development of the final policy and strategic directions document that will outline the State Government's policy for mental health and provide a blueprint for mental health priorities and reform in WA over the next decade. The consultation paper includes components on early intervention across the age ranges, but particularly within the infant, child, adolescent and youth age range.

The WA Perinatal Mental Health Unit is complying with the National Perinatal Mental Health Initiative Agreement to:
  • ensure routine and universal screening for depression for women during the perinatal period (once during pregnancy and again about four to six weeks after the birth) by a range of health care professionals including midwives, child and maternal health nurses, general practitioners and Aboriginal Health Workers – using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale
  • provide follow-up treatment, support and care for women who are at risk of or experiencing perinatal depression. This includes focussed psychological treatment, counselling services, fostering better networks of support groups for new mothers, acute inpatient care and community-based care and support
  • provide training and development for health professionals to help them screen expectant and new mothers to identify those at risk of or experiencing perinatal depression, make appropriate referrals and provide treatment, care and support and
  • undertake research and data collection including research into prevention activities and surveys of women's preferences to ensure services meet their needs Top of page

10. Expand community-based youth mental health services which are accessible and combine primary health care, mental health and alcohol and other drug services

The MHC is currently seeking community feedback on the "WA Mental Health Towards 2020: Consultation Paper" to assist in the development of the final policy and strategic directions document that will outline the State Government's policy for mental health and provide a blueprint for mental health priorities and reform in WA over the next decade. The consultation paper includes components on the development and expansion of services for infants, children, adolescents and youths.

11. Implement evidence-based and cost-effective models of intervention for early psychosis in young people to provide broader national coverage **

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) offer community based out patient care with specialist assessment and treatment for children, adolescents and their families experiencing severe emotional, psychological, behavioural, social and/or mental health problems. They are located across WA and managed by their respective area health service.

12. Provide education about mental health and suicide prevention to front line workers in emergency, welfare and associated sectors

The WA Core Competency Framework (Framework) for the Public Mental Health Workforce is being developed through consultation with each of the Health Services. The Framework will target all staff employed in public mental health services. The Framework will establish an agreed list of the knowledge, skills and abilities required by the mental health workforce to meet the level of service delivery that is consistent with the National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce. One of the competency standards will relate to the requirement for all staff to have a knowledge of the minimum requirements for safe practice as outlined in Clinical Risk Assessment and Management (CRAM) in Western Australian Mental Health Services: Policy and Standards. Access to ongoing training and development in CRAM will be a feature of the implementation plan. Top of page

13. Coordinate state, territory and Commonwealth suicide prevention activities through a nationally agreed suicide prevention framework to improve efforts to identify people at risk of suicide and improve the effectiveness of services and support available to them


The WA Suicide Prevention Strategy 2009-2013 (Strategy) was launched in September 2009. The Strategy is aligned with the National Suicide Prevention Strategy's Living is for Everyone (LIFE) Framework (2007).

The strategy will support the work of individuals, communities and agencies to reduce suicide and set the framework for the development and delivery of future suicide prevention initiatives in WA. Particular emphasis of the strategy is on young people, young men, Aboriginal people and people who lived in rural and regional parts of the State.

The restructured Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention has new responsibilities to oversee suicide prevention initiatives and to identify communities that require more support. A NGO has been identified to implement the strategy, increase public awareness, and oversee research, evaluation, education and training in suicide prevention. This organisation will also lead the response if suicide clusters emerge and work with a network of locally employed community coordinators to develop community action plans.

14. Expand the level and range of support for families and carers of people with mental illness and mental health problems, including children of parents with a mental illness

For action on Children with Mental Illness (COPMI) see response to Action 8 above. Top of page

15. Develop tailored mental health care responses for highly vulnerable children and young people who have experienced physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or other trauma

The MHC is currently seeking community feedback on the "WA Mental Health Towards 2020: Consultation Paper" to assist in the development of the final policy and strategic directions document that will outline the State Government's policy for mental health and provide a blueprint for mental health priorities and reform in WA over the next decade. The development of the final policy and strategic directions document will provide an opportunity to outline the reform agenda for Infant, Child, Adolescent and Youth Mental Health Services (ICAYMHS).

At present each Area Mental Health Service has varying arrangements within their district regarding collaboration with Princess Margaret Hospital, the Sexual Assault Resource Centre and DCP sites.

16. Develop a national service planning framework that establishes targets for the mix and level of the full range of mental health services, backed by innovative funding models **

The WA Mental Health Commission was established on 8 March 2010 and has responsibility for determining the appropriate mix of mental health services in Western Australia and associated resourcing requirements. Statewide mental health service planning in WA is conducted within the framework of the WA Health Clinical Services Framework (CSF). The CSF is updated every two (2) years and provides a strategic map of health care services including mental health. The CSF includes projected future demand models for clinical mental health services, that are based on population growth and ageing, and include scenario modelling to determine the impact of reform initiatives. The CSF includes a resource allocation funding model designed in WA to fund inpatient and community based health services. Top of page

17. Establish regional partnerships of funders, service providers, consumers and carers and other relevant stakeholders to develop local solutions to better meet the mental health needs of communities **

The establishment of effective partnerships with all key stakeholders in the metropolitan and regional areas was a priority for the MHD and has been a significant priority for the MHC since its establishment in March 2010. The MHC is currently seeking community feedback on the ―WA Mental Health Towards 2020: Consultation Paper‖ to assist in the development of the final policy and strategic directions document that will outline the State Government's policy for mental health and provide a blueprint for mental health priorities and reform in WA over the next decade. The consultation paper includes a component on establishing partnerships to meet the mental health needs of communities.

The WA Suicide Prevention Strategy 2009-2013 was launched in 2009 and will be implemented at several levels, including locally employed community coordinators, who will report to a non-government organisation to work with individual communities around suicide prevention. This work will inform the development of community action plans in suicide prevention

18. Improve communication and the flow of information between primary care and specialist providers, and between clinical and community support services, through the development of new systems and processes that promote continuity of care and the development of cooperative service models

The Assertive Patient Flow – Mental Health initiative was developed to maximise the efficient use of mental health beds and to ensure improved and consistent management of patient flow across and within mental health services. The initiative commenced operation in August 2008. Top of page

19. Work with emergency and community services to develop protocols to guide and support transitions between service sectors and jurisdictions

The DoH and WA Police have collaborated on improving the transfer of consumers with an apparent mental illness and developed an operational protocol for use in metropolitan Area Health Services. The Transport Risk Assessment Form is used by WAPol to assess the need for a police escort on a case-by-case basis. Expansion of the transfer protocol is planned for the regional, rural and remote localities. Amendments to the Mental Health Act 1996 (MH Act) are being considered to authorize persons other than police officers to act as mental health escorts.

Other initiatives include:
  • State Emergency Management Plan for Health (Westplan-Health) which is prepared by the Disaster Preparedness and Management Unit on behalf of the Health Services Subcommittee (representation includes Executive Director, MHD).
  • State Emergency Management Plan for the Provision of Welfare Support (Westplan-Welfare) which is prepared by the Department for Child Protection and approved by the State Emergency Management Committee.
  • The MHC is represented on the State Welfare Emergency Committee (SWEC) and the Personal Support Subcommittee of SWEC. Top of page

20. Improve linkages and coordination between mental health, alcohol and other drug and primary care services to facilitate earlier identification of, and improved referral and treatment for, mental and physical health problems


The WA Collaboration for Substance Use and Mental Illness has been established to plan, progress and evaluate initiatives aimed at providing better care for people with both substance use and mental illness throughout WA. The WACSUMI Executive Group held its inaugural meeting on 30 November 2009 and is establishing three (3) key working groups to drive initiatives aimed at the following priority areas; Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention; the development of a Model of Care; and Workforce Development.

The Drug and Alcohol Office, MHC and Department of Health continue to work in partnership to drive and support the development of robust and sustainable linkages, reflected in MOU between mental health and alcohol and other drug services.

21. Develop and implement systems to ensure information about the pathways into and through care is highly visible, readily accessible and culturally relevant

The MHC is currently seeking community feedback on the "WA Mental Health Towards 2020: Consultation Paper" to assist in the development of the final policy and strategic directions document that will outline the State Government's policy for mental health and provide a blueprint for mental health priorities and reform in WA over the next decade The consultation paper is based in part oninformation collected from a review of current Mental Health Services in WA. The development of the final policy and strategic directions document will provide an opportunity to reform mental health services, to make them highly visible, readily accessible and culturally relevant to Indigenous communities as well as communities from a range of cultural backgrounds. Top of page

22. Better target services and address service gaps through cooperative and innovative service models for the delivery of primary mental health care

The joint Commonwealth State 'Street to Home' program being delivered in WA within the National Affordable Housing Agreement is an example of an innovative service which addresses a service gap in providing assertive clinical services for inner city homeless people. The new service is planned for implementation in 2010 and will provide a dedicated mobile clinical team that will offer consultation liaison and case management for individuals, as well as education and training for non mental health staff from NGOs working with the client group

23. Review the mental health statement of rights and responsibilities

There are no current activities addressing the review of the Mental Health Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. There are a number of organisations and initiatives that have been established to protect the rights and responsibilities for consumers and carers including:
  • The Council of Official Visitors whose role is to ensure that consumers are aware of their rights and that those rights are observed.
  • The Mental Health Review Board whose role under the MH Act 1996 is to review involuntary patients in accordance with the Act.
  • The Mental Health Law Centre whose role is to provide legal advice and representation to people who are involuntary patients in the mental health system and also assist with other legal problems related to mental illness.
  • The development of carers' guides to facilitate the sharing of information between carers and mental health service staff with the aim of achieving better outcomes for consumers.
  • The Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, DoH, conducts clinical reviews of mental health services, monitors care standards in non-government agencies and carries out targeted reviews regarding particular aspects of psychiatric care and treatment to ensure that consumer's rights are protected.
  • The Holman Review (The Way Forward, 2003) made recommendations for a new WA MH Act that have a particular focus on the Rights of consumers. Several recommendations have been accepted and are to be included in the new legislation. Top of page

24. Review and where necessary amend mental health and related legislation to support cross-border agreements and transfers of people under civil and forensic orders, and scope requirements for the development of nationally consistent mental health legislation *

Presently the WA MH Act 1996 is not robust enough to support cross-border agreements in regard to civil and forensic patients under mental health legislation. Informal agreements exist on an ad hoc basis which require communication between jurisdictions where decisions are made in the best interests of mental health patients. The Holman Review (The Way Forward, 2003) recommended changes to future legislation to provide for agreements between WA and other jurisdictions. The Mental Health Bill is presently being drafted with the intention of it be legislated for in Spring 2010. The new Act will provide for formal agreements between WA and other jurisdictions in relation to involuntary detained patients absconding across the border, patients on Community Treatment Orders leaving WA either temporarily such as on holiday and more permanently. The issue of forensic patients will be addressed in the new Criminal Law Mentally Impaired Accused Act which should come into force at the same time as the new WA MH Act.

25. Develop and commence implementation of a National Mental Health Workforce Strategy that defines standardised workforce competencies and roles in clinical, community and peer support areas

Consultants have been engaged to develop the strategy. Top of page

26. Increase consumer and carer employment in clinical and community support settings

The MHC is currently seeking community feedback on the "WA Mental Health Towards 2020: Consultation Paper" to assist in the development of the final policy and strategic directions document that will outline the State Government's policy for mental health and provide a blueprint for mental health priorities and reform in WA over the next decade. The development of the final policy and strategic directions document will provide the opportunity to determine the most appropriate approach to increase consumer and carer employment in clinical and community support settings.

At present WA has Peer Support training through the public mental health services and NGOs.

27. Ensure accreditation and reporting systems in health and community sectors incorporate the National Standards for Mental Health Services

The Mental Health Commission has been actively involved in the implementation processes of the revised National Standards for Mental Health Services as well as in national discussions on potential methods for accreditation and reporting of the National Standards. The MHC will require all mental health services funded by the Commission to implement the revised National Standards.

The Chief Psychiatrist has incorporated the monitoring of the National Standards for Mental Health Services in the framework developed for 'Chief Psychiatrist Reviews' and 'the Chief Psychiatrist's Clinical Governance (CG) Review Program' since 2003. All mental health services are monitored by the Chief Psychiatrist in meeting statutory functions under the MH Act 1996. The CG Reviews include a site visit by a team of reviewers including clinicians, consumers and carer representatives.

The Chief Psychiatrist also monitors the NGO compliance with the NGO Standards. Top of page

28. Further develop and progress implementation of the national mental health performance and benchmarking framework

MHC representatives participate in the National Mental Health Performance Sub Committee. This Committee focuses on promoting and progressing the ongoing development of a national performance and benchmarking framework for mental health services.

29. Develop a national mental health research strategy to drive collaboration and inform the research agenda

While the MHC funds some limited mental health research in WA it is currently not part of a national strategy.

30. Expand and better utilise innovative approaches to service delivery including telephone and e-mental health services **

WA's vast expanse of regional area adds to the complexity of delivering an effective and accessible mental health service. The future directions for the WACHS Mental Health include the further expansion of an established telepsychiatry service including clinical consultations, staff development and supervision sessions.

The Mental Health Emergency Response Line (MHERL) is a 24/7 specialist mental health telephone service, staffed by experienced mental health clinicians, that provides triage and referral to the population of the Perth metropolitan area.

Rurallink is an after hours specialist mental health telephone service, and provides triage and referral to 75% of WA rural and remote population. Rurallink is staffed by experienced mental health clinicians.