The Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025 sets the strategic direction for mental health, alcohol and other drug (AOD) services.
It provides a guide for investment decisions and priority setting for the Mental Health Commission and all levels of government and non-government stakeholders. It is based on rigorous modelling and identifies the optimal mix of mental health and AOD services required for the population of Western Australia. The plan remains the primary reference for mental health, AOD policy and services development.
The McGowan Government is committed to prioritising the wellbeing of all Western Australians. In 2019-20, the McGowan Government will deliver $942.1 million to mental health, alcohol and other drug services, via the Mental Health Commission. This is an increase of $76.4 million, or 8.4 per cent, in spending on mental health services since the McGowan Government came to office and compares to a 0.7 per cent increase in general government expenditure over the same period.
Since the plan’s release in 2015, a number of actions have been completed, including the expansion of community alcohol and drug services across the State, the establishment of three community mental health step up/step down services, an increase in youth mental health inpatient and community treatment services, and the establishment of the police mental health co-response program.
Expansion of AOD services to address methamphetamine related issues include the addition of 60 AOD residential rehabilitation and low medical withdrawal beds, and the establishment of 34 AOD beds in the South-West.
There are many other actions that are being progressed, including:
- Establishment of five community mental health step up/step down services in regional areas;
- Establishment of a State-wide Recovery College in WA, based on a co designed model of service;
- Establishment of up to 92 new and replacement mental health hospital beds at Royal Perth Hospital (20 beds), Geraldton Health Campus (16 beds), Joondalup Health Campus (up to 30 beds), Midland Public Hospital (four beds, two chairs) and Fremantle Hospital (20 beds); and
- Planning for and expansion of AOD service provision in the Kimberley.
These actions are complemented by extra initiatives being rolled out as part of the McGowan Government’s Methamphetamine Action Plan including:
- Expansion of the Transitional Housing and Support Program;
- Expansion of the Police Mental Health Co-Response program to regional areas;
- Continuation of the North West Drug and Alcohol Support Program;
- Establishment of a crisis intervention centre in Midland;
- Examining options for the establishment of short-term places for critical intervention, including the option for compulsory crisis intervention; and
- Planning for a one-stop, 24-hour support service to better support individuals and families in need.
The Plan Update 2018 uses revised population projections to provide updated modelling of services types, levels and locations for mental health AOD services required in WA until the end of 2025, including the addition of the East Metropolitan Health Service. The Plan Update 2018 also provides a summary of progress towards actions highlighted in the plan.
Consistent with the original modelling of the plan, the Plan Update 2018 identifies the need to rebalance the system by expanding community-based mental health and AOD services and supported accommodation, and to reduce the over reliance on emergency departments and hospital beds.
To ensure key stakeholders and consumers had an opportunity to contribute their thoughts and opinions of the Plan Update 2018, the Commission sought feedback in early 2019. Where relevant, all feedback has been considered for inclusion in the Plan Update 2018, and/or to inform the scope of the mid-term review of the plan.
The mid-term review of the plan is the Mental Health Commission’s most significant review of the 10-year plan and is scheduled to commence in 2020.
Visit https://www.mhc.wa.gov.au to download a copy of the Plan Update 2018.
As stated by Mental Health Minister Roger Cook:
“Since coming to office, we have made it clear that addressing mental health, alcohol and other drug issues is a priority for the McGowan Government. We have increased funding by $76.4 million or 8.4 per cent – that is over 10 times the rate of growth across all Government expenditure.
“Since the launch of the plan, we have made inroads to the shift from institutionalised care to community support, treatment and prevention, but we recognise there is still more to do and we are determined to continue the work we have started.
“As well as increasing community support we are opening more mental health beds in hospitals to provide appropriate acute treatment close to where people live and the support of their family and loved ones.
“The key recommendations of the Sustainable Health Review are consistent with, and complement the key purpose of the plan and the Plan Update 2018, to rebalance the system and develop a more sustainable Western Australian health system.”