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About the Mental Health Network

Aim

The Mental Health Network aims to improve outcomes for people with mental health issues by strengthening capability and leadership and the provision and coordination of care and support across the State.


The Mental Health Network achieves this by:

  • Engaging: Facilitating effective collaboration between key stakeholders including; consumers and families, carers or support persons, health professionals, health and community services, the Mental Health Commission, the Department of Health and all Health Service Providers;
  • Learning: Sharing knowledge, experience and ideas; and
  • Informing: Providing independent and informed advice.

Objectives

  • Contribute to improving the mental health and wellbeing of Western Australians;
  • Draw upon a community of practice approach to share information, engage with the sector and community, foster collaboration and develop partnerships;
  • Engage with organisations and individuals to support innovation and change;
  • Develop an agreed set of strategic priorities across the mental health sector;
  • Promote system change including continued development of a person-centred and recovery orientated culture, with better integrated and connected services; and
  • Promote adoption of recognised best practice across the sector.

The Mental Health Network supports the review and implementation of the Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025
(the Plan), and focusses on addressing the following service streams and key actions:

  • Specialised Statewide Services (key actions: 54, 55, 56)
  • Forensic Services (key actions: 58, 63)
  • Recovery-Oriented Practice (key actions: 67, 68, 69)
  • Cultural and Social Diversity (key action: 79)
  • System Integration and Navigation (key actions: 80, 83, 85)
  • Research and Evaluation (key action: 86)

Mental Health Network history

The Mental Health Network was launched on Monday 6 October 2014 during
Mental Health Week, by the Hon. Helen Morton, former Minister for Mental Health.
The establishment of the Mental Health Network was instigated by Professor Bryant Stokes, the former A/Director General, Department of Health, in partnership with Mr Timothy Marney, Mental Health Commissioner. 

The Mental Health Network was one of 18 health networks established by the Department of Health over an eight year span. However, the Mental Health Network structure is unique in that it has Sub Networks to improve outcomes for specific cohorts of mental health service users.

Sub Network structure and function

The Sub Networks were established to address the difficulty in coordinating such a large network and to support the Mental Health Network to engage with and improve outcomes for specific cohorts of mental health service users.

The establishment of the Sub Networks followed a thorough process that sought to be inclusive, representative and reflect the concerns and views of the sector. The overarching goal of each Sub Network is to assist the Mental Health Network to achieve its mission with particular focus on the Sub Network's area of expertise.

Each Sub Network has a broad membership that is supported by a Steering Committee that has the support of a sponsoring agency and a membership that is representative across the sector.

The purpose of each Steering Committee is to bring together representatives from their affiliated area of expertise. Through the Mental Health Network Co-Leads, the Steering Committees provide advice and input to the Mental Health Commission regarding the need for the development of mechanisms that actively support the common goal of making improvements for people within their area of expertise, their support persons and service providers. The responsibilities of each Steering Committee are outlined in the Sub Network Terms of Reference.

Ten Sub Networks have been progressively established since November 2014, based on identified need; population, conditions, and geographic region:

  • Eating Disorders;
  • Forensic;
  • Joondalup/Wanneroo Region;
  • Multicultural;
  • Neuropsychiatry and Developmental Disability;
  • Older Adult;
  • Peel and Rockingham, Kwinana Region;
  • Perinatal and Infant;
  • Personality Disorders; and
  • Youth

The Sub Networks are comprised of clinicians, consumers, family and carers, researchers and practitioners from the community managed sector. Each Sub Network is accountable to the Mental Health Network Co-Leads.

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