Representatives from across the mental health and alcohol and other drug sector have come together to workshop initiatives aimed at progressing system-wide reform and delivering better outcomes for the people of Western Australia.
Almost 200 people attended the Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Forum – Building Momentum Together, including consumers and carers representing people with lived experience of mental health or alcohol and other drug issues, peak bodies, advocacy organisations and decision-makers from across government.
Participants provided input into the principles and best practices that would guide transformation of the system, including new models of care that will support a planned moved away from hospital-focused services, to providing more community-based care with a focus on prevention.
The WA Government’s 2019 Sustainable Health Review (SHR) highlighted mental health as a critical issue to be addressed in balancing the health care system, with SHR Strategy 2 specifically focused on improving mental health outcomes.
This is the second stakeholder system transformation forum hosted by the Mental Health Commission. It aims to build on the outcomes of the first forum, held in October 2020, which focused on system leadership and understanding the key priorities needed to drive system reform.
The Mental Health Commission has already delivered several key initiatives identified in the SHR including:
- Establishing a Mental Health Executive Committee and Community Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Council to oversee and drive the development of an efficient, sustainable, recovery-focused, consumer-led and integrated mental health system;
- Safe Haven Cafes in Perth and Kununurra which provide an alternative to emergency departments for people who are in distress, where they can speak confidentially to trained peer workers and clinicians; and
- Development of a regional model of service for a mental health/police co-response program, now operational in the Mid-West with one in the South-West to follow later this year.
To learn more about the work the Mental Health Commission is doing, or to become involved, go to https://www.mhc.wa.gov.au/about-us/stakeholder-engagement or email [email protected]
As stated by Mental Health Minister Stephen Dawson:
“Today’s forum was a valuable opportunity for the sector to review the progress made since the Sustainable Health Review, and to provide input on what needs to be done to progress the system-wide reform that is needed.
“The valuable contribution of those with lived and living experience of mental health and alcohol and other drug issues is vital to create a person-centred system that meets the needs of Western Australians now and into the future.
“Boosting community-based services, and delivering a comprehensive, accessible and integrated system will provide better outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in our community and help reduce wait times in emergency departments.
“Significant work has already been done to deliver on the ambitious goals outlined in the Sustainable Health Review, including the development of new services such as the mental health/police co-response teams, which are already having an impact in the community.”