eNews December
No Images? Click here

eNews December 2018


THE Western Australian Association for Mental Health would like to thank you all for your tireless work in the mental health space this year.

We couldn't achieve half of the work we do without your ongoing support, engagment and contribution.


We wish you a safe and happy festive season and look forward to working with you again in 2019.


Training courses launched for 2019

Our in-demand courses book quickly so get in early to secure your spot


THERE is no better time to map out your training needs for the New Year than now, so you can jump straight into 2019 with an upskilled workforce.


As 2018 draws to a close, we already have our Semester One training opportunities lined up for you to plan ahead.

Next year, we are introducing 'Co-design' training which offers three levels of our new course, unique and exclusive to WAAMH, Design Station. Each workshop aims to build the knowledge and confidence of individuals and groups to properly implement a co-design framework.

Please get in touch if a customised training package which can be tailored to meet your organisational needs will be more suitable.


Consumer, Family and Carer Engagement Framework

Tool kit now available


THE Minister for Mental Health, the Statewide Consumer, Family and Carer Engagement Framework Steering Committee, and the Mental Health Commission have released the Working Together: Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Engagement Framework 2018 – 2025 and accompanying Toolkit.


The co-designed Engagement Framework and Toolkit aim to assist government, non-government organisations (including private enterprise), and the community to effectively engage and work together to achieve better outcomes for people whose lives are affected by mental health issues and/or alcohol and other drug use.


The Toolkit aims to provide a process to planning, developing, actioning and reviewing engagement strategies and practices in line with the five guiding principles.



NDIS Psychosocial Disability Forums

Presentations and videos available


WAAMH hosted two events this year on behalf of the National Disability Insurance Agency - the first forum presented by Strategic Advisor on Mental Health to the NDIA, Dr Gerry Naughtin set out the strategic changes the NDIA was making to improve access to, and the experiences of, the NDIS for people with psychosocial disability.


The second workshop featured Elspeth Jordan, from the NDIA mental health team, to explain in depth the NDIS access rules for psychosocial disability (a disability caused by a person’s mental health issues) including what ‘likely to be permanent’ means, and that an episodic mental health issue could still qualify.


Ms Jordan provided detailed advice on gathering and presenting evidence for access requests through several case studies, including comments on what sort of language and descriptors are helpful and unhelpful.



Mental health services in rural and remote Australia

Senate Inquiry findings released


WAAMH contributed to the Accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia Senate Inquiry, earlier this year.

The report from this inquiry has now been released and contains 18 recommendations with a focus on the importance of delivering the right mental health services, in the right place, at the right time, and recognises the unique needs of rural and remote communities, including the effect of the social determinates of health, and calls for a national rural and remote mental health strategy to be developed.


The report reflects a significant number of the concerns raised by WAAMH in its submission to the inquiry, particularly in relation to appropriate and accessible locally-based mental health services, social determinants, the NDIS, funding and contracting, workforce issues, the role of technology, and the mental health needs of priority groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. WAAMH’s submission to the inquiry was strongly acknowledged in the report, with six direct quotes or acknowledgments within the report, and eight additional references to WAAMH's contribution throughout the document.

WAAMH would like to thank all organisations and individuals who took part in the WAAMH consultation and contributed to the submission to this important inquiry. View WAAMH's submission here.




Self-determination at the heart of suicide prevention for Indigenous Peoples

Suicide Prevention Conference in Perth


DELEGATES at the recent National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference, and the World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference, have heard that the recovery of self-governance and self-determination for Indigenous peoples is deeply connected to preventing Indigenous suicide.


WAAMH attended alongside Nyoongar Elders Uncle Charlie and Aunty Helen Kickett to learn and connect with Aboriginal peoples and understand their knowledge and how they see change happening.



Recommendations for suicide prevention

Suicide a national, whole of government priority


EARLIER this year the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported increased national suicide rates in 2017 with 3128 deaths, rising 9.1% from 2866 in 2016. In light of these findings, the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt called a National Suicide Prevention Summit, held on 4 December in Canberra, bringing together experts, community leaders, including representatives of the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, came together to discuss new approaches in tackling Australia’s suicide rate.


Three key recommendations were made at the summit, and Minister Hunt has publicly committed to these:

  • Suicide prevention to be elevated to a whole-of-government issue and a COAG priority.
  • Establish a national system for timely collection and communication of statistics and information on self-harm and suicide to help communities across the country respond early to emerging problems.
  • The need for Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to be strengthened to deliver evidence-based, demographically appropriate supports in their local communities.


The national focus on suicide and the recognition that this is a key issue for Australia’s health and wellbeing is welcomed. It will now be important to ensure that momentum is maintained, that these recommendations are progressed and implemented, and that strong evaluation and monitoring established to ensure that the systems put in place are working. The community mental sector will need to be involved throughout the process.



Respected mental health researchers launch DV study

Provide your mental health perspective on women's violence

WELL-known researcher Associate Professor Robyn Martin has teamed up with domestic violence researchers at Curtin University to build knowledge about women who might use force in their intimate or familial relationships.
This has been a controversial and debated topic of research and practice, because of the gendered nature of domestic violence situations.
However, this population has been found to access a wide range of services, including alcohol and other drug, disability, and mental health services, in addition to family and domestic violence services, so the study aims to build the Australian evidence base to improve responses, policy, and practice.

TheMHS Summer Forum

Registrations open and program released


THE Mental Health Services Summer Forum will focus on Community Mental Health Systems: Human Rights and Services. Speakers include Pat McGorry, Indigo Daya, Maree Teesson and Barbara Disley.


It is being held at the Swissotel in Central Sydney on Thursday 28 February and Friday 1 March 2019 – Early Bird rates close on Thursday 20 December 2018.


Pay it forward grants open

Up to $5000 available for self-help and support groups


THE Pay it Forward Plan (PIF), in partnership with the Mental Health Commission, is a ConnectGroups small grants program available to its members. It is an early intervention and prevention mental health program. The objective of PIF is to empower and encourage self-help and supprt groups to achieve positive mental health outcomes while promoting the group's sustainability.


All grant applications for projects must demonstrate clear and measurable mental health outcomes consistent with the MHC's 'WA Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025' and incorporate the principles of:

  • Promotion of mental health, prevention of mental health problems and/or illness;
  • A recovery approach;
  • Increased awareness, learning and sustainability of mental health;
  • Relationship building and community belonging.


Applications close Thursday 28 February 2019.