MENTAL health policies of the four key political parties have been evaluated and included in a Mental Health State Election 2021 scorecard, released by the Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) today, with gold stars given to policies that progress the targets set in the ten year mental health plan.
Using publicly announced policies and information provided by the parties, each policy was assessed against the targets set out in the State Government’s own ten-year mental health plan Better Choices, Better Lives 2015–2025 and will be used to inform WA voters ahead of the State Election, 2021.
All key state parties were invited to provide details on their policies to address the five domains of mental health service delivery (Prevention, Community Support, Community Beds, Community Treatment and Hospital Beds) and whether they progress the targets of 5% of funding for mental health prevention and 22% for community support of the WA mental health budget.
WAAMH CEO Taryn Harvey said it was important to remember that when it came to mental health service delivery, allocation of funding streams needed to be person-centred, which did not necessarily mean the most expensive.
“The current Government may be spending record amounts of funding on mental health but it’s not about how much you spend, it is how you spend it,” Ms Harvey said.
“Funding must be directed to prevention and community supports that enable recovery.
"This will ensure the best outcomes for people and make our system sustainable, instead of driving people towards acute and emergency services which are the most expensive to operate.
“WA spends the most per capita on mental health compared to all Australian states and territories, and yet our outcomes are lagging behind those of other jurisdictions.”