Mental Health Network

New Community Co-Lead of the Mental Health Network

Mr Rod Astbury has been announced as the Community Co-Lead of the Mental Health Network. As former CEO of the WA Association for Mental Health, Rod brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the mental health and related sectors. He has had involvement with the Mental Health Network since its inception, most recently as a member of the MHN Executive Advisory Group.

Rod has a passion for mental health reform for overcoming stigma, early intervention, and for person-centred and family inclusive services.

Rod will work as an independent consultant, to lead the MHN alongside Clinical Co-Lead Dr Helen McGowan.

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The Mental Health Network was launched in 2014 by the Western Australian Department of Health (DoH) and the Mental Health Commission (MHC). The Network aims to improve health outcomes for people with mental health issues by building engagement, co-operation and consensus between consumers, family/carers, health professionals, hospitals, health services, community managed organisations, the MHC and the DoH to inform mental health policy and reform, and to strengthen and increase coordination of mental health care and support across the State.

On 1 July 2017, the governance of the Mental Health Network transferred from the DoH to the MHC. The MHC provides executive, administrative and policy support.

The Mental Health Network is led by Clinical Co-Lead Dr Helen McGowan and Community Co-Lead Mr Rod Astbury. The Mental Health Network Executive Advisory Group (EAG) supports the Co-Leads through provision of advice and review of the work of the Sub Networks.  The Mental Health Commissioner is a member of the EAG.

Ten Mental Health Sub Networks have been established, based on identified need, to support the MHN to meet its objectives. They are comprised of clinicians, consumers, family/carers, researchers and practitioners from the community managed sector. Each Sub Network is accountable to the Mental Health Network Co-Leads. The current Sub Networks are: Eating Disorders; Forensic; Multicultural; Neuropsychiatry and Developmental Disability; Older Adult; Perinatal and Infant Mental Health; Personality Disorders; Youth Mental Health; Joondalup Region; and Peel and Rockingham Kwinana (PaRK) region.

The MHC is currently undertaking a review of the Mental Health Network.  The purpose of the review is to:

  1. examine current Mental Health Network structure and function to identify ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness;
  2. ensure alignment with the Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025;
  3. determine priority areas of development; and
  4. clarify allocation of resources to support the Sub Networks.

The review will provide opportunity for community engagement and feedback to enhance the Mental Health Network.

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