Two Safe Havens opening to support people with mental health challenges in a first for WA

  • The first two Safe Havens are set to open, reinforcing the McGowan Government’s commitment to providing high-quality mental health care
  • For the metropolitan community, Royal Perth Hospital’s Safe Haven will commence services in mid-February
  • In regional WA, Kununurra Hospital’s The Safe Place will commence services by mid-February 
  • Mental Health Minister Roger Cook today officially announced the opening of Safe Havens at both Royal Perth Hospital and Kununurra Hospital.

    The Safe Havens are important new services which will provide support for people experiencing mental health distress.

    Announced in March last year, the McGowan Government provided $700,000 to the Mental Health Commission for the funding of two Safe Havens in Western Australia.

    The Safe Havens operate alongside the hospital’s emergency departments.

    Their role is to offer an alternative for people who need support but do not need to be in a busy and stressful emergency department.

    The Safe Havens are comforting, private and culturally safe environments where people can receive early intervention, distress management and problem-solving support from both peers and mental health professionals.

    Providing alternatives to emergency departments for people with mental health, alcohol and other drug issues is a key priority area identified in the Government’s Sustainable Health Review and State Priorities 2020-2024.

    As stated by Mental Health Minister Roger Cook:

    “The opening of the Safe Havens highlights the McGowan Government’s prioritisation of person-centred, high-quality mental health care across Western Australia.

    “The Safe Havens will be vital in providing calming, supportive spaces for those experiencing mental health distress.

    “Distressed, lonely or isolated people can expect to come to the Safe Havens and receive early intervention distress management and problem-solving support.

    “The Safe Havens will be staffed by mental health professionals and peer workers who have lived experience of either mental illness or caring for someone with mental illness, to enhance support and connection for those who need it.

    “Staff within the Safe Havens will work closely with emergency departments after-hours to identify people with mental health distress who would benefit from a more calming environment.

    “This model of mental health care has been proven to be effective globally, and the services are required for Western Australia to meet the increasing demand on mental health services.”

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