The Mental Health Commission has received $32.3 million to ensure continuation of essential service provision that was established under Suicide Prevention 2020: Together we can save lives and support the implementation of the new Western Australian Suicide Prevention Framework 2021- 2025 (which will be released shortly) across the State. The Framework will aim to promote a whole-of-state approach to suicide prevention in Western Australia, and reduce duplication of services, lessening confusion in the suicide prevention space for consumers, and providing the support and help our communities need to prevent suicide.
A further $4.79 million has been allocated to programs to provide additional suicide prevention support to all Western Australians as part of the WA Recovery Plan, including: aftercare support following a suicide attempt; providing support and meeting the needs of those affected by a suicide death; increasing capacity of services that provide long-term support to children who have been bereaved by a suicide death; and, improving community-level data collection for suicide prevention.
The Mental Health Commission is currently planning for the commissioning of services to support the implementation of the Suicide Framework 2025.
Western Australian Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Strategy
Complementing the Suicide Prevention Framework 2025, the MHC has received funding of $9.8 million over four years to develop and implement the first Aboriginal-specific suicide prevention strategy for Western Australia.
The strategy will include regional specific plans for Aboriginal suicide prevention. The regional plans will prioritise Aboriginal-led and locally endorsed initiatives that accommodate a culturally informed social and emotional wellbeing approach to suicide prevention.
The development of the regional plans will be guided by the principles of: nothing for Aboriginal people without Aboriginal people, enabling Aboriginal-led solutions and cultural understanding and respect.
To ensure the work is being guided by these principles, the Mental Health Commission has sought advice from the Aboriginal Advisory Council of Western Australia. Based on this advice, the Mental Health Commission is now engaging with key stakeholders from each region, to seek local input and knowledge on how best to proceed.
Adult Community Care Unit
In a first for Western Australia, a new Community Care Unit will be established in the Perth metropolitan area to support adults with severe mental health issues. The project was announced by the Government in June 2020.
The State Government is establishing a Recovery College in Western Australia, with funding of $3.6 million allocated in the 2019-20 State Budget process.
Recovery Colleges aim to support individual recovery through creating an education platform. the College will enable self-directed recovery, and mental health, alcohol and other drug learning opportunities in a safe and welcoming place. Helping Minds has been appointed to roll out the Recovery College across Western Australia, with the first courses available in the second half of 2020.
Safe Haven Cafés
Two Safe Haven Cafés are set to open in Western Australia mid-2020, providing an alternative to emergency departments for people with mental health issues experiencing distress.
The Safe Haven Cafés will be located at Royal Perth Hospital and Kununurra District Hospital.
Safe Haven Cafés work alongside emergency departments during after-hours and are for people experiencing mental health issues. They offer peer-based support for those who may otherwise attend emergency departments, but do not need intensive clinical and medical support.
Providing alternatives to emergency departments for people with mental health, alcohol and other drug issues is identified as one of the immediate priorities in the WA State Priorities Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs 2020-2024. It was also a recommendation of the Sustainable Health Review.
To support the co-design of the Safe Haven Café model of service the Mental Health Commission appointed the Consumers of Mental Health Western Australia (CoMHWA) in 2019 to undertake initial engagement with a broad range of people including consumers, carers and family members to assist in the development of the Safe Haven Café model of service. The report is available by clicking here.
Community mental health step up/step down services
Community-based mental health step up/step down services are being commissioned by the Mental Health Commission in several areas of the State to better support local communities. They are a key component of our work towards the Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015 – 2025.
Detailed information about this program of works can be found on the step up/step down services page.
Midland Intervention Centre
Recommendation 29 of the Methamphetamine Action Plan (MAP) Taskforce Report highlighted the need for “an appropriate alternative crisis intervention response that would provide a short-term place for methamphetamine users when they are in crisis that will keep them, their families and the community safe, including in the regions.”
As part of the 2019-20 Budget, and Full Government Response to the Report, $4.8 million over four years was allocated for the establishment of the Midland Intervention Centre. A site in Midland located at 41 Eveline St has been identified as the preferred location for the service to be implemented. This site will be newly refurbished and ready for fit out by the successful respondent.
The Mental Health Commission is currently preparing to advertise a tender for the service provider. The Midland Intervention Centre is planned to be operational in the first quarter of 2021.
Better supporting young people
The Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025 (the Plan) recognises the specific developmental challenges for young people, particularly with regard to mental health and alcohol and other drugs (AOD) in planning for future services.
In addressing youth mental health and AOD-related issues, the MHC, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Health Service Providers have been progressing the development of a dedicated youth service stream including addressing the different youth cohort age ranges specific to the mental health and AOD sectors. Dedicated youth inpatient units (16 to 24 years) are now available at Fiona Stanley Hospital and the East Metropolitan Youth Unit. Other youth-specific services include the Youth Community Assessment and Treatment Team at FSH, and Youth Link, YouthReach South, Youth Axis and Youth Hospital in the Home.
The Mental Health Commission funds a variety of non-government organisations to provide youth services including Youth Focus, the 3 Tier Youth Mental Health Program in the Peel area, and the Schools Suicide Response program. These complement other services provided or supported by the Federal Government such as general practitioner and psychology services, the headspace program, Relationships Australia and Reachout.com.
The Drug and Alcohol Youth Service (DAYS) also provides treatment and support to young people experiencing issues with alcohol or other drug use, and Community Alcohol and Drug Services provide services across Western Australia. To find more local services in your area go to myservices.org.au.
Young People Priority Framework
The Commission is currently developing a Young People Priority Framework, planned for release by the end of the year.
The Framework is intended to guide the mental health, alcohol and other drug (AOD) sector in supporting and responding to the needs of young people aged 12 to 24 years. The Framework will provide an overview of the current service system, including the identification of current gaps, and will present a way forward in responding to key areas for action. It will be developed in close partnership with the sector and stakeholders, and overseen by the Mental Health Executive Committee and the Community Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Council.
This project works towards action 28 of the Plan: "build on current youth services and commission new youth services to establish a dedicated youth community treatment service stream'.
New Youth Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Homelessness Service
The Mental Health Commission is working on a project to establish a new transitional supported accommodation service for young people aged 16 to 24 years who show signs and symptoms of a mental health issue, with or without a co-occurring AOD issue, and who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The new service will complement the existing Youth Homeless (Ngatti House) service currently operating in Fremantle.
Enhancing Alcohol and other Drug Services in the Kimberley
The State Government committed to a statewide, integrated Methamphetamine Action Plan to reduce the demand, supply and harm from methamphetamine use, including allocating $45 million of new and existing funding over four years to deliver the key initiatives outlined in the election.
As part of this, funding of $200,000 was allocated from the Royalties for Regions (RfR) Program for the MHC to identify and undertake planning regarding gaps in alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment services in the Kimberley.
The MHC contracted the Nous Group (Nous) to undertake stakeholder consultation in 2018, to inform the development of AOD and co-occurring mental health services in the Kimberley region. The Consultation Summary Report on AOD Services in the Kimberley (the Report) was prepared by Nous and outlines key themes that were raised by stakeholders throughout the consultation.
Opportunities to further enhance AOD services in the Kimberley region are presented through the Report, with eight key areas identified as existing gaps in service. These key areas are: harm reduction and personal support; consultation and liaison services; low-medical withdrawal; complex high-medical withdrawal; community day treatment programs (adult and youth); safe places for intoxicated people (youth); residential rehabilitation (youth); and post residential rehabilitation (youth).
As part of the 2019-20 Budget the State Government has allocated $11.5 million over the forward estimates to expand AOD treatment services in the Kimberley region including:
- $9.2 million for the development of a comprehensive, specialist AOD service for young people with complex needs that includes residential rehabilitation, low medical withdrawal and stabilisation, and day programs (including ‘on-country’ programs, family intervention, co-occurring mental health and AOD, and links with other existing service providers in the Kimberley); and
- $2.3 million for the provision of four adult low medical withdrawal beds to support withdrawal to take place in the Kimberley region, given that these services do not formally exist in the Kimberley region.
In addition to this, the State Government has committed $20.1 million through RfR, to continue core treatment and prevention services in the Pilbara and Kimberley through the North West Drug and Alcohol Support Program.
Youth AOD in the Kimberley
Nous have been engaged by the MHC to lead the co-design process of the model of service for the comprehensive AOD service for young people with complex needs. A literature review outlining service models for young people with AOD and co-occurring issues has been completed and can be found here. Consultation with key stakeholders, including young people in the Kimberley, will inform the development of the model.
The development of the model of service was placed on hold in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consultations in the Kimberley that were originally scheduled for April and May 2020 could not proceed due to travel bans to regional and remote areas.
Now that travel bans to the region have been lifted, the MHC is pleased to announce that consultation and co-design of the model will recommence from July 2020.
The MHC and the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) have been listening to the concerns of stakeholders in the Kimberley and have been working closely to identify opportunities to collaborate and integrate projects where possible. Read the joint statement from the MHC and WAPHA outlining this commitment.
Low Medical Withdrawal in the Kimberley
The open Tender process for the adult low medical withdrawal beds was open from 8 November 2019 to 24 January 2020, However, completion of the Tender process has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The beds are now expected to be operational in the second half of 2020.
Decommissioning and reinvestment of mental health services and progression of divestment activities at the Graylands Hospital site
As part of the 2019-20 Budget process, funding of $3 million has been allocated to the Department of Health (DoH) to undertake detailed planning for the decommissioning and reconfiguration of mental health services and progression of divestment activities at the Graylands Hospital site.
This planning will be done in collaboration with the Mental Health Commission (MHC), and the North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS). Further planning for the decommissioning and reinvestment of services from Selby Older Adult (Selby) Hospital is also required.
New services are likely to include a combination of inpatient services, community bed-based services, and community support (accommodation options).
The MHC, DoH and NMHS will, in partnership, implement project governance arrangements. This will include: engagement with key stakeholders including consumers and carers; develop detailed project plans; and develop business cases to deliver a staged divestment of Graylands and Selby campuses, relocation of clinical and non‑clinical services as required, and the establishment of contemporary replacement services.
This progression towards the closure of Graylands and Selby will meet action 45 of the Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025:
- commence the process of divestment of services on the Graylands and Selby hospital campuses.
The final decommissioning of existing services at Graylands and Selby is anticipated to occur by the end of 2025.