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Stakeholder Connect April 2022

21 April 2022

Message from the Commissioner

The first few months of 2022 have been busy for the Mental Health Commission (Commission) as we continue working to bring the Western Australian community closer to experiencing optimal mental health and minimal alcohol and other drug-related harms.

For two years we have lived with the threat of COVID-19 which has taken a toll on businesses, families and individuals. Access to mental wellbeing and alcohol and other drug (AOD) support is critical in this current time. This is another reason why we launched the ‘Here for You’ phone helpline last month. Here, our qualified counsellors provide immediate, confidential and individualised mental health and AOD support for Western Australians who may be struggling.

March also saw the State Government agree to implement all 32 recommendations included in the Ministerial Taskforce into Public Mental Health Services for Infants, Children and Adolescents (ICA) in WA final report. This report provides a framework to transform the mental health system into a contemporary, evidence-informed model of service and models of care that meet the needs of children in WA from the day they are born through to their 18th birthday. As a member of the Taskforce myself, I am proud to have worked with clinicians, people with lived experience, interagency experts as well as hundreds of children, parents, carers and families to put forward recommendations that can improve mental health outcomes for our children.

I hope you enjoy this edition of Stakeholder Connect and I would once again like to acknowledge the many people with lived experience who share their experiences, expertise and perspectives with the Commission. Their insights play a key role in the development of meaningful improvements to WA’s mental health and AOD system.

Kind regards

Jen McGrath
Commissioner

IN THIS EDITION

1. Keeping psychiatric hostels safe from COVID-19
2. Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce core framework
3. Scoping of a Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Association tender
4. Graylands Reconfiguration and Forensic Taskforce (GRAFT)
5. Infant, Child and Adolescent Taskforce
6. Alcohol and Other Drug Education and Support program expands to Youth Accommodation Support Services  
7. Group Support Activity Services tender
8. Queens Park youth mental health, alcohol and other drug homelessness service opens
9. Apply for a Strong Spirit Strong Mind Youth community grant
10. Take Home Naloxone pilot saves lives
11. We’re reducing kids’ exposure to alcohol
12. Learn to Look After You campaign
13. Engagement Opportunities
14. Training and workshops

1. Keeping private psychiatric hostels safe from COVID-19

We have implemented the following strategies to support private psychiatric hostel (hostel) residents and staff in the event COVID-19 enters their accommodation:

  • Hostels have access to a dedicated telephone information referral line called Contact Point for direct support with COVID-19 related issues. 
  • 160 smart devices have been delivered to hostels to keep residents connected with formal and informal supports when face-to-face support is not possible.
  • All Commission funded mental health and AOD accommodation services have been provided personal protective equipment and Rapid Antigen Tests.
  • Flexible and responsive mental health aware General Practitioner, Registered Nurse and mobile vaccination services from Homeless Healthcare and 360 Health have been arranged for Perth metropolitan hostel residents.
  • Hostel providers are encouraged to join our fortnightly COVID-19 information forums and utilise the bespoke resources made available on our website.

2. Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce core framework

We’re working with sector stakeholders to guide development of a framework for the state-wide Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce for the mental health and AOD sectors. Consumers, family members/carers, peer workers, service providers and Aboriginal and regional specific stakeholders’ valuable contributions during our design workshops and consultation sessions will inform the development of a practical guide for individuals and organisations interested in employing or becoming a peer worker. The framework will also support integration of people with lived experience into the mainstream workforce.

If you have any questions or comments about the Lived Experience (Peer) Worker project, please email engagement@mhc.wa.gov.au.

3. Scoping of a Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Association tender

Tender applications are invited to scope (including research and sector consultation) a mental health and AOD Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Association for WA.

 

Applications close at 2.30pm (AWST) Friday 29 April 2022.

 

Read more and apply.

 

4. Graylands Reconfiguration and Forensic Taskforce (GRAFT)

As a Graylands Reconfiguration and Forensic Taskforce (GRAFT) member, our Commissioner is engaging clinical and lived experience advisory groups to ensure planning and development of replacement services meet the needs of Western Australians living with mental illness. This includes planning for mental health services that will remain on the northern portion of the Graylands site.

With valuable input from older adults with lived experience, work is currently underway to identify the high-level needs of an older adult mental health system.

Please contact us at GRAFT@mhc.wa.gov.au should you have any questions or feedback.

5. Infant, Child and Adolescent Taskforce

The Ministerial Taskforce into Public Mental Health Services for Infants, Children and Adolescents (ICA) in WA final report was released on 15 March 2022. The State Government endorsed all 32 recommendations included in the report to reform WA’s ICA mental health services. The 2022-23 Budget process will address the most immediate challenges. Meanwhile, implementation planning for the recommendations has begun.

If you have any questions or comments email us at CATaskforce@mhc.wa.gov.au.

6. Alcohol and Other Drug Education and Support program expands to Youth Accommodation Support Services 

The AOD Education and Support program is expanding to provide one Drug Education Support Services (DESS) worker at each of WA’s 16 youth accommodation support services. These positions will provide daily support and strategies to help the accommodation’s young people (15 to 25 years), who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, manage their mental health and AOD issues in a safe and supported environment.

A new Principal Workforce Development Officer – Youth position has been established at the Commission to build the capabilities of DESS workers.

Email cssm@mhc.wa.gov.au if you have any comments or questions.

7. Group Support Activity Services tender

Keep an eye out for the Group Support Activity Services tender being advertised on Tenders WA in the coming weeks. We’re hoping newly awarded services will commence early next year.

8. Queens Park youth mental health, alcohol and other drug homelessness service opens

The newly opened Momentum QP in Queens Park offers 16 to 24 year olds dedicated mental health, AOD and homelessness services. 

The eight-bed facility provides transitional, supported accommodation to young people who show signs and symptoms of mental ill-health, with or without a co-occurring AOD issue, and who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing homelessness.

Find out more about Momentum QP, including how to refer.

9. Apply for a Strong Spirit Strong Mind Youth community grant 

WA’s Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and Aboriginal not-for-profits are encouraged to apply for a community grant up to $30,000. These grants are intended to support delivery of culturally secure initiatives, events and/or programs that improve the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people aged 12 to 25 years.

Email us at sssmyouth@mhc.wa.gov.au to join our virtual community grants information session on Friday 22 April from 9.30am – 10.30am and find out more.

Read the Strong Spirit Strong Mind Youth Project grant guidelines and have a look at our website before completing the application form. Make sure to submit your grant application by 5.00pm, Friday 6 May 2022. 

10. Take Home Naloxone pilot saves lives  

The Take Home Naloxone pilot which made naloxone available to people who either experience or witness an opioid overdose is estimated to have saved approximately three lives per day.

Read more about the pilot and its evaluation findings.

11. We’re reducing kids’ exposure to alcohol   

Did you know research indicates that cumulative exposure to positive alcohol promotion in childhood can lead to risky drinking behaviours and associated harms in adulthood? As part of our Safe and Healthy Settings program, we’re working with the Chief Health Officer to reduce children’s exposure to alcohol stimuli in community settings. We’ve had success with some playgrounds linked with licensed venues becoming alcohol free, no sale of alcohol during child focused play session times; and ensuring alcohol consumption areas at some sporting or leisure venues are not visible to children.

12. Learn to Look After You campaign    

Have you seen the ‘Learn to Look After You’ Think Mental Health campaign we launched with THIS WAY UP and Cancer Council WA in February? It’s running across the state until mid-May to promote positive mental health in response to emerging community anxiety about things out of a person’s control.

Visit the Think Mental Health website to find practical information and strategies to support your mental health and wellbeing. We’ve also developed a campaign toolkit which you can use to promote the campaign.

13. Engagement opportunities

Carer Support Worker (lived experience) applications open
The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service is seeking applications to fill four full time Carer Support Worker (lived experience) roles.

Read more about the role and apply.

Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) committees
If you’d like to join the New South Wales, Victorian or Western Australian branch RANZCP committee, or the Community Collaboration Committees, you can submit an expression of interest.

Find out more and register your interest.

14. Training and workshops

Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work scholarships
Available to study for free at AMA College in Joondalup or virtually.
We’ve partnered with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) to provide scholarships for the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work (CHC43315). If you have lived experience of mental illness as either a consumer or carer, this qualification will give you the skills to work in mental health services that support others.

Learn more and enrol.

Integrated Mental Health Practice Skill Set
Available to study for free on campus at TAFE WA Regional Geraldton Campus.

The course will provide you with the skills to support people with mental health issues, including those at risk of suicide or with AOD issues, recognising and responding to crises, managing personal stress in the workplace, and working with diverse people.

Find out more.

Through the Looking Glass: Engaging Multicultural Communities within Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion online workshop

Wednesday 4 May 2022, 9.00am – 12.00pm
Join Injury Matters in an interactive workshop designed to increase health and community professional’s understanding of the impact of critical cultural aspects in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities in WA to better engage, plan, and implement programs and services which target injury prevention and safety promotion.

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