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Mental Health Commissioner appointed to lead sector into the future

Published on 24 Sep 2020

Ms Jennifer McGrath has been appointed Mental Health Commissioner for the next five years.

She will be responsible for driving the government’s efforts to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Western Australians, including suicide prevention and reducing alcohol and other drug harms.

This includes leading and guiding the Mental Health Commission and the mental health, alcohol and other drug sector as it develops increasingly consumer focused and recovery-oriented care.

“I’ve seen and heard the impact that public services can have on people’s lives and whole communities,” Ms McGrath said.

“Since coming to mental health, I’ve appreciated the strong focus on the lived experience and the importance of providing services tailored for those that receive them.”

“I’ve also seen the incredibly hard work happening across the sector, by our counsellors, clinicians and many other professions every day.”

“It is our job at the Commission to bring that expertise together, continue listening to lived experience, and focus on the priorities and projects that will deliver real outcomes for individuals across the State.”

The State-funded sector is comprised of more than a hundred providers, across the public health services and non-government organisations. It includes mental health and alcohol and other drug services.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Mental Health Roger Cook laid out the State’s priority areas for the sector earlier this year. They are outlined in the State Priorities 2020-2024 and align with the State’s 10-year plan and Sustainable Health Review.

Next month, the Commission will be hosting a forum of key leaders from government agencies, service providers, clinicians, consumers, carers and stakeholders across the sector, as part of the government’s response and implementation of the Sustainable Health Review and the WA State Priorities. The Forum will bring those stakeholders together to collectively focus on ways to drive the major reform activities that are required over the next four years and to explore mechanisms to promote system leadership, engagement, integration and consultation.

Ms McGrath has been acting in the role over the past year and has implemented improvements to the Commission’s operating model, an increased system wide focus, and a new sector governance model.

She has a finance background and over 17 years experience in WA Government agencies across the social and education sectors.  Prior to joining the Commission Ms McGrath was Deputy Director General at the Department of Education. She has also held senior executive positions in the Departments of the Premier and Cabinet, Department of Finance, as well as the former Department of Child Protection.

Read the Minister’s media statement

Mental Health Commissioner Jennifer McGrath

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