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May 2015


In this issue

  1. Message from Rod Astbury
  3. WAAMH's Grants
  4. Good Outcome Awards
  6. Australian film premiere: Post Partum
  8. WAAMH Submission- DSP changes for people detained under mental impairment legislation
  9. Disability Framework Consultation
  10. Mental Health Network
  12. International Symposium on Victimology in Perth

Message from Rod Astbury

THOUGH both the Federal and State budgets were handed down last week, the sector does not know whether either level of government will commit to the long term investment in mental health mapped out for them in their respective ten-year blueprints for reform.

WAAMH welcomed the State government’s investment of $26M in the new suicide prevention strategy, but this was the only new investment in the budget's four year estimates for the essential community support services identified in the 10 Year Plan.

No certainty was provided for federally funded community mental health services beyond 2016 in the Federal budget either.

As part of WA understanding federal impacts, we were delighted to welcome Mental Health Australia CEO Frank Quinlan to Perth this month to hold a conversation by invitation with our members on mental health from a national perspective. It provided great insight into the NDIS, federal funding and the National Review of Mental Health Services.

News also this month was the selection of a single provider for the three Primary Health Network regions in WA. This provides an opportunity for the State and Commonwealth governments to work together, alongside people living with mental illness and their carers, service providers, and NGOs, to build the mental health system Australia expects.

Rod Astbury
Chief Executive Officer
WA Association for Mental Health


WAAMH's Grants

THERE are only two weeks left to apply for one of our Friends of Heathcote grants for improving quality of life. People living with a mental illness can apply for up to $300 towards an activity or outing.

Apply here:

MENTAL Health Week grants are now open up until 31 August 2015. With a limited budget, funding for events will be assessed on a 'first-in' basis. So the earlier your application is received, the better.

Find our more here:

Good Outcome Awards

NOMINATIONS are now open for the Mental Health Commission's Good Outcome Awards. Winners will be announced during Mental Health Week 2015. There are new award categories this year:

  • Consumer and carer participation
  • Improved outcomes in seniors mental health
  • Improved outcomes in child and youth mental health
  • Improved outcomes in rural and remote mental health
  • Mental health employee of the year
  • Human rights, equity and diversity in mental health
  • Lifetime achievement in the mental health sector

More information here:


SCHIZOPHRENIA Awareness Week is a national awareness campaign starting this week. Mental Illness Fellowship of WA is holding a range of events to recognise SAW between 17 - 23 May.

This week provides a great opportunity to learn more about schizophrenia, which is often one of the most misunderstood mental illnesses.

Make sure you head along to the SAW launch event on 19 May and visit MIFWA's news and events page for the week's full schedule.


New approach takes shape

IN light of Schizophrenia Awareness Week, there is new mental health research underway at La Trobe University  which emphasises a social treatment approach - not just medication - for people living with conditions such as schizophrenia. Read more.

Open dialogue opens doors

RESEARCH by the Scottish Recovery Network has reinforced the need for an open dialogue and family-oriented approach for treatment of psychosis.

The study found a paradigm shift occurring amongst mental health professionals, away from biomedical and more towards the involvement of social, cultural and psychological dimensions.

This is increasingly being seen as the necessary way forward in delivering mental healthcare in the UK.

Read the full study here:

Shared decision making in mental health

THIS free video resource discusses shared decision making in mental health:

Australian film premiere: Post Partum

MINDFLIX brings you the film, Post Partum on Friday, May 22 at 6:30pm at Bruce Hunt Lecture Theatre (Royal Perth Hospital).

Free admission, gold coin donation appreciated.

Post-screening discussion with Ms Gillian Ennis, Clinical Nurse Manager and Dr Pippa Brown, Consultant Psychiatrist, Mother & Baby Unit, Subiaco.

Film Synopsis
This film explores postnatal depression and provides convincing teaching material for clinical psychologists, doctors and supporting families.
Post Partum follows the downward spiral of Luce (Mélanie Doutey) a veterinary surgeon and mother swamped by peremptory family advice on how to bring up her child. What starts as a film about a professional couple's difficulty welcoming a baby into their busy lives, develops into a struggle to maintain an image of the perfect mother spiraling into a major psychotic episode. Luce's decline is at the same time stigmatised and ignored by her family and ineffectually managed by her doctor.

Book at: and


WAAMH Submission- DSP changes for people detained under mental impairment legislation

THE Commonwealth has introduced a Bill which would remove eligibility for social security benefits for people detained in hospitals for ‘serious offences’ under mental impairment legislation.

In WA, this would apply to people on remand and in psychiatric hospital, and those under the CLMIA Act who have been found unfit to stand trial or not guilty due to unsound mind.

In March, the Senate referred the Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report.

Feedback closed on 15 May 2015 and you can read WAAMH's submission to the bill here.

Disability Framework Consultation

THE Disability Health Network within the WA Department of Health, is currently seeking feedback on its Disability Health Framework 2015 - 2025: Improving the health care of people with disability.

There are options to attend a face-to-face forum on May 22 or provide feedback via an online survey. 

Mental Health Network

THE Mental Health Network is off to a flying start; with more than 1400 members making it the largest health network in WA.

The co-leads Alison Xamon and Dr Helen McGowan are actively encouraging members to form Sub Networks and/or Special Interest Groups that focus on specific populations, age cohorts, regions mental health conditions or practice and support the network in progressing reform and promoting system change.

To get involved and stay informed, join the network here:


WAAMH is hosting these training opportunities in May:

Mental Health Communication - 19 May

Mindfulness - 20 May

Mental Health Bill - What does it mean? - 29 May

Implementing a Peer Program in your Organisation- 22 May

Care Coordination Pilot - 10 June

View these courses and more here.


PIR Mental Health in Action Forum: Recovery means...

PARTNERS in Recovery is presenting the first session of a two part event highlighting the state of mental health in WA on 27 May.

The forum will:

  • Challenge, inform and provoke action
  • Explore potential collective action and cross sector partnerships
  • Reflect on current MH systems and systemic barriers to excellent services
  • Identify priority issues and effective programs/projects/strategies

People with a lived experience, carers, family and community members, government and community sectors workers, researchers and/or policy makers are encouraged to participate.

Registration information here.


Services for Women Connect - Forum 1

A FORUM being hosted by the Women’s Community Health Network WA on 20 May will explore ways of working together to achieve services that will enable women to be safe, well and economically secure into the future.

The forum will feature a key note address by Professor Colleen Fisher (UWA)  on the social determinants of women’s health, and panel discussions with Professor Donna Chung (Curtin University) and Professor Rhonda Marriot (Murdoch University).

A workshop, with leaders in the areas of women and domestic violence, mental health, alcohol and/or other drug use, tailored education and housing/accommodation will consider the barriers and enablers to better outcomes for women.

More information and registration here.


SANE Mental Illness and Bereavement Workshop

THERE are still spaces available for this special workshop hosted by national charity, SANE Australia on 19 May.

SANE said supporting people who had been bereaved by suicide was an important yet often overlooked suicide prevention strategy.

The SANE Mental Illness and Bereavement Workshop explores how health professionals can better support the family and friends of people with mental illness who have died by suicide, exploring issues that may arise during this process. The workshop draws on the personal experiences of people bereaved by suicide.

Who should attend?

  • Mental health workers (case-workers, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, counsellors, peer-workers, social workers)
  • Mental health managers and executives responsible for organisational change and policy development.

Cost: $125 per person including GST
Date - Tuesday 19 May 2015
To reserve your place, or for more information visit:

International Symposium on Victimology in Perth

VICTIMS Support Australia in partnership with angelhands Inc. are hosting the 15th International Symposium of the World Society of Victimology (WSV) at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on 5-9 July 2015.

The Symposium brings together international and Australian presenters from the broader discipline of Victimology and the theme is Victimisation, justice and healing: Challenging orthodoxies.

The theme is designed to provide a focus on sharing best practice, emerging responses, and critical reflection on contemporary conceptualisations of victimisation and justice in various settings and disciplines.

Registrations are open now at:


For all the upcoming mental health events and training opportunities in WA, visit WAAMH's Events page.


NATIONAL youth mental health foundation, headsace is hosting a series of eheadspace live info online sessions targeted at family and friends this month.

Topics include 'Understanding self harm' and 'What if a young person doesn't want help'.

Find out more and register here:


EY shows online service upside

A REPORT jointly released by business analyst giant EY and youth online mental health organisation, argued that increasing access to low-cost online intervention for mental health support was the way forward.

The third in a series of reports released by the pair examined the current and future states of mental health and mental health service provision in Australia, and believes online, early intervention services must be made widely available to the community.

Read the report:$FILE/EY-Equipping-Australias-mental-health-system.pdf


Retaining employees with mental illness 

A MENTALLY healthy workplace protects and promotes mental health and empowers people to seek help for depression and anxiety for the benefit of the individual, organisation and community, beyondblue spin off Heads Up said.

"There are clear benefits for organisations that keep employees connected to the workplace," Heads Up said.

"As well as retaining experience and skills, they avoid the costs associated with retraining or hiring new employees. It’s also an opportunity to make all employees feel valued and positive about their workplace. Watch our latest video for tips on how to become an employer of choice.

"Staying at work can play a vital role in the recovery of someone who has experienced a mental health condition, helping build self-esteem, confidence, coping skills and promote social inclusion."

Heads Up contains a number of useful tools and templates available to assist return to work/stay at work plans.


Working from home

WHILE working from home offers a number of potential benefits, including flexibility, a better work-life balance and cutting out the commute, it also brings its own challenges.

A study by Heads Up examined the effects on mental and physical health of home working.

Factors such as feeling isolated, finishing off tasks late at night, or embracing bad eating habits were just some of the issues identified for people using their lounge room as an office.

Read full report here:'s-how-you-can-stay-mentally-healthy

WA Association for Mental Health

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


Tel 08 9420 7277
Fax 08 9420 7280