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September 2015

eNews September

In this issue

  1. Message from Rod Astbury
  2. Membership Reminder
  4. Beach Sports Day
  5. Feature in The West Australian Mental Health Week lift-out
  6. Murray Street Mall Mental Health Week awareness stall
  7. Free Parents Forum in Mental Health Week
  8. Mental health of children and adolescents
  9. Free Workplace Seminar during Mental Health Week
  10. Mental Health Week Arts Exhibition
  11. Get your comedy tickets!
  13. Save the Date - The WA Mental Health Conference 2016
  14. NDIS My Way update
  15. Training courses
  16. Dabakarn Koorliny Wangkiny (Steady walking and talking together)
  17. A new national classification for mental health care – how will services be described, counted and costed?
  19. Distributed Advocacy Day
  20. Mental health nurse study: beliefs, attitudes, knowledge and skills
  22. Next to Normal
  23. R U OK? Day

Message from Rod Astbury

THE next few months are critical for mental health, as the Federal Government considers its response to the National Review of Mental Health Programs and Services, and decisions are made about the future of key services beyond June 2016.

The opportunity to influence that agenda through Mental Health Australia’s distributed advocacy campaign is outlined below.

Mental Health Week is fast approaching and this month’s eNews provides plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in the premier mental health promotion event of the year.

Finally, a reminder, if you haven’t already renewed your membership of WAAMH or if you are thinking of joining for the first time, why not do so in time to enjoy the benefits of Mental Health Week?

Enjoy our September newsletter.

Rod Astbury
Chief Executive Officer
WA Association for Mental Health

Membership Reminder

A reminder for WAAMH members that your membership renewal is now due. You can  conveniently renew online at:

Not a member?

You can always sign up here - there are great benefits and opportunities to take advantage of.

Unwaged individuals are able to waive WAAMH's membership fee in a situation of financial hardship.


Beach Sports Day

BEACH sports offers free fun for the whole family with volleyball, cricket, beach relays,  surf demonstrations, and your chance to meet elite athletes at Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre during Mental Health Week.

This fun day on the sand will showcase professional beach volleyball players thanks to Volleyball WA, and encourage public participation as we all Act-Belong-Commit for better mental health.

Blaze the Perth Scorchers' friendly dragon is keen to show off his cricket skills throughout the morning too, so come and join us!

There will also be mental health stalls and information, free give-aways, prizes, games, activities, an inflatable cricket net, catching competitions, a beach cricket match, plus dancing and yoga sessions.

Thanks to the support of Volleyball WA, City of Stirling, Perth Beach Volleyball School, Perth Scorchers, Scarboro Surf Life Saving Club, LuluLemon, Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority and Mentally Healthy WA's Act-Belong-Commit.

Mental Health Week 2015 is sponsored by St Vincent de Paul Society, MercyCare and Rise Network.

More info here.

Feature in The West Australian Mental Health Week lift-out

FOLLOWING the overwhelming support for last year’s magazine,
The West Australian, in conjunction with WAAMH is publishing a magazine to recognise Mental Health Week in 2015.

The magazine will be published by Health + Medicine
on 30 September, highlighting outstanding mental health initiatives, sharing personal stories and encouraging all of us to act on the big and small things we can do to increase our own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of those around us.

The supplement is open to mental health support providers, hotlines, hospitals, clinics, care services, health facilities and events supporting Mental Health Week, as well as all major sponsors and partners of mental health associations.

This magazine will gain exposure to 599,000 readers, including
453,000 who believe mental health is one of the biggest challenges facing Australia. This is the opportunity to connect with an audience who values health content.

To secure your advertising space today, please contact Garry Llewellyn on 08 9482 3037 or or Eithne Healy on 08 9482 3559 or at

To submit editorial for consideration, please email Brooke Johns at

Read endorsement letter from Rod Astbury here.

Download advertising flyer here.

Murray Street Mall Mental Health Week awareness stall

ORGANISATIONAL members of WAAMH are invited to submit printed materials and merchandise to display and distribute to the general public during Mental Health Week.

Our annual stall in the heart of the Perth CBD on a busy week day usually attracts hundreds of shoppers and workers alike. Your community services and programs are often the first step for someone seeking help or advice. We will be in the Murray Street Mall between 8am - 3pm on Thursday, 8 October.

If you are a mental health service with full membership, please deliver your material to WAAMH, City West Lotteries House, 2 Delhi Street, West Perth by September 21.

Email enquiries regarding this opportunity to

Free Parents Forum in Mental Health Week

APPLIED Social Psychologist and Educator Dr Helen Street will facilitate an informative parents' seminar, Better Than OK: Helping Young People Flourish during Mental Health Week.

This free session at HBF Stadium in Mt Claremont on 8 October will be presented by WAAMH, and designed for parents seeking advice on how to support and encourage their children into become resilient and mentally healthy teenagers and adults.

Dr Street works as an academic, presenter, author and co-chair for Positive Schools.

This event supported by Anglicare WA will also feature an Act-Belong-Commit guest speaker. Registrations will fill up fast - so don't miss your spot! Register here.

Mental health of children and adolescents

WITH youth mental health now a major community and political priority, a new Federal government report unveils a more detailed picture of the health and wellbeing of Australian children and adolescents.

Based on a survey conducted in the homes of more than 6300 families with children and/or adolescents aged 4 to 17 years, the report outlines the prevalence and type of mental health problems, the impact of those problems on families and young people themselves, and the role of health and education services in providing assistance.

While the primary sources of information were parents and carers, the survey also engaged directly with young people 11 years and older who completed their own survey.

Read full report here.

Free Workplace Seminar during Mental Health Week

DURING Mental Health Week, workplace wellbeing experts from the corporate and community space will comment employment and mental health at a free lunchtime seminar on 7 October in the Perth CBD.

Speakers include:

  • Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s Employee Assistance Director BSS clinical psychologist Michael Tunnecliffe
  • WA Association for Mental Health president Alison Xamon
  • The Australian Workers Union WA branch secretary Stephen Price
  • Act-Belong-Commit ambassador Garth Civil
  • Samaritans guest speaker The Hon. John McKechnie QC

Topics include: 

  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Peer Support
  • Access to alternative source of help
  • How to Act-Belong-Commit for resilience at work
  • Gaining employment for better mental health
  • Diversifying your skills for an evolving labour market
  • Handling job pressure and uncertainty

This event was a full house last year, so register quickly to avoid disappointment. The session will also be screened via web link if you are unable to make it. Register here.

This event is sponsored by Samaritans and supported by Rio Tinto.

Mental Health Week Arts Exhibition

THE annual Mental Health Week Arts Exhibition, hosted by the Arts and Mental Health Network is on 2 - 16 October. These beautiful, original and inspiring hand-painted works will be on display in Mental Health Week.

A special celebration launch of the artwork will be held on Friday 9 October where people can bid on the artwork, and enjoy guest speakers, light entertainment and refreshments. Thanks to the support of Samaritans.

More details here.

Get your comedy tickets!

THERE are still a few seats left for the Mental Health Week Opening Ceremony Stand Up! for Comedy show at His Majesty's Theatre.

This year WAAMH has partnered with Perth Theatre Trust and its venue His Majesty's Theatre to bring you bundles of laughs from Australia's funniest comedians plus access to helpful information on mental health.

Starring the charismatic and well known Australian comedian Joel Creasey as our host for the evening, other hilariously talented acts include Andrew Horabin, Janelle Koenig, Ciaran Lyons, Ivan Aristeguieta, Hayden Stevens and Sami Shah.

There are a limited number of free tickets available and travel subsidies for unwaged consumers and carers.

More details and tickets here.

Mental Health Week 2015 is sponsored by St Vincent de Paul Society, MercyCare and Rise Network.


Save the Date - The WA Mental Health Conference 2016

WAAMH is very excited to announce that the dates of The WA  Mental Health Conference have been set for 10 & 11 March 2016.

This two-day inclusive and inspiring conference, will focus on collaboration, education and knowledge sharing.

The theme of the conference is Creating Our Future with three main streams- Reflections, Diversity and Innovation.

Stay tuned for the next eNews for links to online early bird conference registration, ways for your organisation to be involved and fantastic sponsorship opportunities.

NDIS My Way update

Community of Practice – NDIS My Way trial sites (Lower South West and Cockburn Kwinana)

WAAMH facilitated a second meeting of the Community of Practice in Busselton.  This session of the collaborative learning network focused on change and introduced the group to the work of Helen Bevan and her colleagues as the change agents in the National Health Service in the UK. 

The Cockburn Kwinana trial site also held its first Community of Practice meeting at the end of July.  This meeting highlighted the differences between the two trial sites and the fact that context is very important when implementing processes. 

Cockburn/Kwinana trial site is not as mature as the Lower South West and service providers were keen to have more information on “how the process” works.  Disability Services Commission (DSC) regional director Russell Smith provided a snapshot of My Way and the planning process.

Our Community of Practice blog is now live and features opinion, news, debate and key learning’s around topical issues affecting the WA My Way trial sites. In addition to posts from the WAAMH team, we’ll feature reference links and guest bloggers from consumers, carers, service providers, and government representatives.  Read our take on the sector’s important questions, join in the discussion and share your views.

Our latest blog provides insights from the July meeting in Busselton with a focus on the need for pre – planning service strategies to increase psychosocial participants’ access to the WA NDIS My Way.  Subscribe to our blogs here.

Opinion piece on NDIS roll out

Curtin University director of the Curtin not-for-profit initiative and author of the National Disability Costing and Pricing Framework David Gilchrist writes about slowing down the roll out of the NDIS.  He suggests it might be time to step back and critically analyse the challenges of the scheme so far “without throwing the baby out with the bathwater." Read Mt Gilchrist's piece here.

Moving to my Home: housing aspirations, transitions and outcomes of people with disability

In this latest report from Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute housing for people with disability is considered in the context of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and individual funding packages of support.  The learnings from the interviews undertaken highlight some of the key factors underpinning successful housing transitions.

Quarterly reports

The latest Quarterly reports on NDIS and My Way from DSC on and NDIA are now available.


Accessibility of programs and services

It was highlighted through, the peak, national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) that accessibility of NDIS programs and services was closely linked to the availability of information.

Even two years after implementation of the initial NDIS trial sites, FECCA’s consultations demonstrated that there were still many community members who did not know about the NDIS, let alone participate in it. Read study here.

Training courses

See all the latest courses for Semester Two here.

Dabakarn Koorliny Wangkiny (Steady walking and talking together)

Come along, share stories and get to know people who work locally in mental health and wellbeing at this Aboriginal cultural day.

This day will include:

  •  Welcome to Country
  • The Lindsay Culbong Cup - Elder's running race
  • Yarn with people from local mental health and drug and alcohol services
  • Free traditional food and drinks
  • Live cultural entertainment
  • Bouncy castle, face painting, art and other fun activities for kids

If you are a mental health service interested in exhibiting at this event, please contact David Dickinson on 9350 8800 or email

RSVP at:

Download flyer.

Thanks to Richmond Wellbeing for organising this important event, and to the support of our Elders past and present, Looking Forward Project, Ruah, City of Armadale, Partners in Recovery and Act-Belong-Commit.

A new national classification for mental health care – how will services be described, counted and costed?

AS part of Mental Health Australia’s ongoing work with the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) on the development of the Australian Mental Health Care Classification (AMHCC),  Mental Health Australia chief executive officer Frank Quinlan will be participating in a webinar on Thursday 10 September with Activity Based Funding, IHPA Acting CEO James Downie and Executive Director Jennifer Nobbs.

IHPA will provide an overview of the work on the AMHCC to date, including how the classification model works, share with participants the results of a six month mental health costing study and outline further work required on the development of the classification.

Mr Quinlan will explain the relevance of IHPA’s work to different areas of the sector and address the benefits and challenges of designing a classification that represents the full spectrum of mental health care services.

We encourage members to join the conversation and take the opportunity to provide feedback to IHPA on the proposed classification model.
Please register for the webinar via


Economic Regulations Authority’s Draft Report

WAAMH’s latest submission to the Economic Regulations Authority’s Draft Report of the Inquiry into the Efficiency and Performance of Western Australian Prisons identifies the need for greater focus on rehabilitation, additional mental health benchmarks, vastly improved mental health care in prisons and a review of prison health governance arrangements.

The submission also makes recommendations about prisons’ operating philosophy and objectives, Aboriginal prisoners, prison governance and transparency, and the scope of the Inquiry.

Read Submission.

Our earlier submission (with WACOSS and WANADA) is on the website in justice systems section, dated 13 January 2015.



WAAMH has pulled together a list of resources and studies on co-production. These are categorised into research and literature reviews, example policies, frameworks, guides and tools,case studies and co-production in context.

Distributed Advocacy Day

THE power of a united sector voice has a tangible impact on policy makers.

As part of the national peak body Mental Health Australia's joint 'Countdown to Reform' campaign, the call is out for you to meet with your local federal politicians.

The aim of Distributed Advocacy Day activity is to engage with federal Members and Senators in their own electorates over the coming weeks, to highlight the local and national issues we face in relation to mental health reform, transition and sustainability.

You can meet with one, two or ten politicians, depending on your availability and resources. The aim is to focus on influencing the back benchers, cross benchers and people of note within the various parties. However, engagement with all levels of government is encouraged.

To begin the process, Mental Health Australia is seeking people who would be willing to lead delegations. This task includes drawing people together to form small groups of local organisations and acting as “chair” during subsequent meetings with politicians.

If you are able to undertake this role or are keen to be involved with a delegation and would like to know what’s happening locally, please contact Mental Health Australia via or 02 6285 3100.

Mental health nurse study: beliefs, attitudes, knowledge and skills

AS part of research into “Facilitating Cultural Change in Acute Mental Health Inpatients Settings: How Do Mental Health Nurses' Beliefs, Attitudes, Knowledge and Skills Influence the Rate of Consumer Aggression” and “Exploring the physical health care outcomes of people with early episode psychosis”, Curtin University wants to hear from you.

Researchers Jonathon Chee and Eric Lim are interested in obtaining consumer and family/carer input into their thesis' and are planning to run two focus groups with 40 consumers and 20 carer/family members.

Focus groups will be help at 6pm on both 21 September and 19 October.

If your organisation is interested in hosting one of these focus group sessions/forums for Johnathan and Eric at a time that is suitable to your organisation and members, then please contact

Eric Lim is interested in consumer/carer family feedback on why things so often go wrong in acute care settings and consumers experience restrictive practices such as PRN medications and seclusion.

Johnathan is looking at how to prevent people with early episode psychosis from developing a range of co-morbidities that currently reduce the lives of mental health consumers when compared to people who do not have a mental illness. He wants to explore with consumers and families what will be helpful to prevent co-morbid health problems such as obesity, diabetes or complications from smoking or drug use. Johnathan will then develop a lifestyle program that will be tested with a group of consumers enrolled in the early psychosis program at South Metropolitan Health Service.


Next to Normal

THE Mental Illness Fellowship of WA is helping coordinate the stigma-busting rock musical Next to Normal showing on November 18.

Black Swan Theatre is presenting this Tony and Pulitzer award-winning production based on the story of a mother who struggles with bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness, and the attempts to alleviate it, have on her family.

The objectives of the event are to:

  • Highlight mental health issues facing families in a contemporary way that allows for more positive discussion
  • Encourage people from regional and rural areas to attend and explore their attitudes around mental health, including FIFO families
  • Reduce stigma in the community and workplace regarding mental health
  • Provide information on mental health programs and services available in WA.

Head along for an entertaining and informative night, for a great cause.

More details on Next to Normal.

R U OK? Day

SEPTEMBER means R U OK? Day is on the horizon.

Held to coincide with Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, R U OK? Day annually prompts everyone to ask their friends / family / colleagues how they are going in a respectful, caring and casual manner.

The initiative aims to prevent suicide and encourage awareness of the wellbeing of those around us. Reaching out to others and supporting help-seeking behaviour is important for preventing mental health issues escalating to crisis levels.

Sometimes, simply being asked the question and having a change in behaviour acknowledged can be all people need. Other times a quiet chat and a chance to be heard can do wonders.

To be involved, pick up resources or learn more, go to:

WA Association for Mental Health

City West Lotteries House
2 Delhi Street, West Perth
WA 6005


Tel 08 9420 7277
Fax 08 9420 7280