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November 2015

eNews November

In this issue

  1. Message from Rod Astbury
  2. Annual Report 2014/15
  3. Membership Reminder
  5. WA Mental Health Conference - Content and Sponsorship now open
  6. Ruah becomes silver sponsor
  7. NDIS My Way update
  8. Training courses - Novermber
  9. Invitation to participate in mental health research
  11. Mental Health Week 2015
  12. Free community event - Mental Health Act 2014
  13. Stitch and Brush Art Exhibition
  14. Seeking older persons artwork for MHFA manual
  16. Justice reform needed
  17. Submission to the NDIS Act Rules and Review
  18. Feedback: Missing Person Policy
  19. Next to Normal
  20. Call For Nominations: Primary Health Network Committees

Message from Rod Astbury

I REPRESENTED the Western Australian Association for Mental Health at Mental Health Australia’s members’ policy forum in Canberra on 22 October, which was addressed by mental health spokespeople from the three major political parties.

The meeting attempted to convince the Federal Government to make a substantial investment in mental health in response to the National Mental Health Review.

While the government’s response won’t be known for at least another month, Minister Ley identified three themes from the review; priority for suicide prevention; regionalisation of funding; and stepped care. The review’s recommendations about these can be found in the main paper here.

I will be Community Mental Health Australia’s representative on the Reference Group for the 5th National Mental Health Plan which meets for the first time this month. I am very interested to receive members comments on the priorities for the combined actions of Federal and State Governments on mental health.

Thank you to all our members and supporters who contributed to Mental Health Week in WA in 2015; the community’s connection to the week continues to grow and presents the sector with great opportunities to continue to shift attitudes.
Preparations are now well underway for what we expect will be a very impressive WA Mental Health Conference in March 2016.

Rod Astbury
Chief Executive Officer
WA Association for Mental Health

Annual Report 2014/15

WAAMH held its Annual General Meeting on 23 October, with one significant change in board membership.

WAAMH president Alison Xamon welcomed Tara Reale who will take on the position of consumer representative Director. Alison thanked Jacqui Carter for her significant contribution as WAAMH's consumer representative Director for the past three years.

Our 2014/15 Annual Report was also released at the AGM.

Read WAAMH's Annual Report.

Membership Reminder

A REMINDER for WAAMH members whose membership renewal is now overdue that 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.

We accept membership applications from corporations, community groups, mental health services, government bodies, schools, individuals, people with lived experience, professionals, and small businesses. There are options for everyone.

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


WA Mental Health Conference - Content and Sponsorship now open

LIMITED sponsorship opportunities are now open for The WA  Mental Health Conference on 10 -11 March 2016.

There are options to suit every budget and reach your target audience, by aligning your profile with the peak body in mental health, at this landmark conference.

Download Sponsorship Prospectus.

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.

Call for Content is also open until 16 November 2015. Start thinking about what knowledge or activities you'd like to share, and complete the online application form.

Ruah becomes silver sponsor

THANK you to Ruah for becoming our first major sponsor of The WA Mental Health Conference 2016.

Your generous support enables us to host an even bigger and better conference to benefit the whole community.

Ruah is based in West Perth and offers a wide range of mental health support services and programs. WAAMH looks forward to strengthening our working partnership further.

Find out more about Ruah here.

NDIS My Way update

WAAMH workshop - Commissioning of the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Framework

WHEN it is rolled out around the country, the National Disability Insurance Scheme will provide individualised support to eligible people with psychosocial disability and their families.  

The NDIS also has a role in connecting people and their families to the community, as well as making sure the community is welcoming, accessible and inclusive. This collection of activities in the NDIS is known as ILC – Information Linkages and Capacity Building (you might have also heard it described as Tier 2).

The NDIA is currently working on how ILC should be implemented and is keen to hear about how this should occur.  WAAMH is holding a workshop to seek your input on what the NDIA’s priorities for ILC should be to best support people with mental illness.

At this workshop, we will talk about what ILC is and what role it is intended to play in the NDIS. We will look at how ILC is an important part of a strong system of supports, including mental health supports for people who cannot access an individual package.

We will discuss our proposal that Commonwealth funding for Mental Health programs including Partners in Recovery, Personal Helpers and Mentors Services and others should be maintained separate to the NDIS so that people not accessing the scheme can get the support they need.

 We encourage people with lived experience, as well as organisational representatives to come along and have your say.

Invitation to workshop - WAAMH needs your input
Date: Thursday, 12 November 2015
Time: 9:30am - 11:30am
Venue: Conference Room, WAAMH, 2 Delhi Street, West Perth
Register here

Community of Practice – NDIS My Way trial sites (Lower South West and Cockburn Kwinana)
WAAMH has facilitated a third meeting of the Community of Practice in Busselton and a second meeting in Cockburn. 

Both these sessions created thought provoking discussions between providers and other stakeholders who were in attendance.  Our intention of the community of practice is to create a collaborative learning space where questions and discussions are raised.  

At the September session in Cockburn trial site Michael Finn (Enable South West), Andries Pretorius (Community First – Partners in Recovery) and Veronica Bruce spoke about their experience in the Lower South West trial site as service providers and a carer.  Veronica Bruce spoke passionately about her daughter’s road to recovery and how the support from her package had made a real difference in her life.  Michael gave some important information about how Enable South West determined the need for a recovery-oriented service and mapping recovery principles against the principles of delivering a person-centred service.  Andries highlighted the data and the large geographical area the Partners in Recovery covered and the challenges of delivering services in these areas where the tyranny of distance could be a major barrier to access. 

Topics for each session of the community of practice are loosely decided prior to the convening of the group, however often each session generates organic discussion around what is most important to the group at the time.  The latest session in Busselton focused on outcomes and measurement, and the implications of data collection and your audience. 

Our Community of Practice blog 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.

The most recent Community of Practice blog is now live - read about how actions can influence change. Join in the discussion and share your views.


NDIS evaluation
THE National Institute of Labour Studies at Flinders University is conducting a study, as part of evaluating the NDIS trial.

They are seeking to speak with  people with disability who are not in the NDIS. They may either have chosen not to join the scheme, although they know or believe themselves to be eligible, or their NDIS access request may have been turned down.

Download the flyer for more information:


Independent Advisory Council advice on implementing NDIS for people with mental health issues
THE Independent Advisory Council provides the NDIA Board with independent advice on matters relating to the delivery of the scheme.  This report highlights issues and proposed responses, provides good background information and supports some of the challenges which WAAMH found in its most recent submission to the Review of the NDIS Act.


WAAMH and NDS Sector Interest Group
NDS in partnership with WAAMH convened the Sector Interest Group held in October 2015.  The sector interest group is an opportunity for service providers who are delivering mental health services and disability services to come together to raise challenges and discuss key issues.  At this session, Kerry Stopher (NDIA) updated stakeholders on the NDIA WA trial site which was followed by a consultation on the Commissioning of the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Framework.

Training courses - Novermber

11 November – Behaviour Interventions
THIS practical course offers a toolkit of techniques, interventions and responses, designed to address challenging behaviours. This session focuses on non-violent intervention and general behaviour management, which supportive and respectful of consumers with mental illness while responding effectively. 

17 November - Understanding Personality Disorders
This practical and accessible workshop is designed to help mental health workers, and others who may have contact with people experiencing these illnesses. In addition
to developing your knowledge of symptoms and treatments, it will equip participants to provide practical support and improved services.

26 November – Creating Recovery Plans
This workshop is designed to help mental health staff refine and develop their skills in recovery planning and create more effective and personalised documents to serve as a “roadmap” for the individual’s recovery journey.

7 December – Preventing Psychological Injury at Work
Back by popular demand! This insightful workshop is designed to help organisations understand and manage psychological injury and offers a suite of prevention tools and techniques, with direct application across diverse industries.

See all the latest courses and events over the next couple of months here.

Invitation to participate in mental health research

DO you have experience of mental ill-health and using mental health services or are you part of the mental health peer workforce?

The University of Sydney is conducting a research project into the views of mental health consumers on the priority topics related to recovery-orientated practice that should be included in the mental health curricula within Australian occupational therapy training programs.

The study is being conducted via an eDelphi method, involving several survey rounds online.

If you have a lived experience of mental illness, identify as an expert by experience, and would like to participate, please contact the researchers Karen Arblaster at or Professor Lynette Mackenzie at

Download the Participant Information Sheet and survey here.


Mental Health Week 2015

AN overwhelming level of positive feedback has been received about another far-reaching Mental Health Week. Thank you to everyone who participated and ensured its success.

We have prepared a wrap with all the highlights, plus the media coverage and photos on the Mental Health Week Facebook page and Flickr feed are also worth a look. Read the full wrap here.

Free community event - Mental Health Act 2014

AN information session on the changes associated with the new Mental Health Act 2014 is taking place on 9 November.

Hosted by the Mental Health Commission, in partnership
with the Western Australian Country Health Service, it gives anyone interested an opportunity to have their questions answered.

Event details:
Time: 11:00am - 2.00pm
Date: Monday 9th November 2015
Venue: The Rise, 28 Eighth Ave Maylands.
Cost: Free

Stitch and Brush Art Exhibition

HAVE a look at the painted and stitched pieces created by emerging artist Jane Ryan, during her second solo exhibition at DADAA's Freight Gallery in Fremantle this month.

The Stich and Brush art will be on display from 1 - 22 November.

Jane was the beneficiary of a Department of Culture and the Arts grant which allowed her to work with four mentors - Nalda Searles, Judy-Mary Seward, Aquila McKenzie and Kate Campbell-Pope.

Over the past 12 months she has prepared a significant body of work.

For more details, click here.

Seeking older persons artwork for MHFA manual

MENTAL Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia is in the process of developing Guidelines to Help the Confused Older Person and writing the MHFA for the Older Person (OMHFA) Manual.

To complement the manuals, the developers would like to incorporate artworks by mental health consumers and carers depicting their experience with mental health problems.

Artists will be paid $100 for the right to use a high resolution image of their artwork in the OMHFA Manual.

What  type of artwork can be submitted?   

  • A photograph of any artwork type can be submitted for consideration, however photographs of paintings and drawings are preferred
  • Artwork must be by an artist who was an older person (65yrs+) at the time of creating the artwork, and who is or has been a mental health consumer OR a person who is (or has been) a carer to an older person with a mental health illness.
  • The artwork must depict one of the topics represented in each chapter of our Manual (see below):

Chapters / artwork categories: 

  • Mental illness in the older person
  • Depression in the older person
  • Anxiety in the older person
  • Psychosis in the older person
  • Confusion in the older person
  • Distress in the older person
  • Delirium in the older person
  • Dementia
  • Crises in the older person (e.g. suicidal thoughts and behaviours, panic attacks).

Applications can be submitted by email to with the subject title “OMHFA Artwork”. In the body of the email, please provide:

  • A brief description (e.g. one to two sentences) to accompany their artwork, specifying what it depicts. 
  • Specify which chapter(s) (from the above list) their artwork is suitable for. 
  • Advise us if they consent to having their full name acknowledged in the manual or prefer to remain anonymous.
  • A photograph of the artwork should be sent as an attachment to the email.
  • Pictures should be taken with the highest resolution setting on the camera. Photographs need to be high-­resolution to ensure sharp reproduction in the publication; otherwise the printing quality is very poor.

Deadline is strictly Monday 30 of November 2015. 

Enquiries: MHFA Australia on 03 9079 0200 or


Justice reform needed

WE are urging people to mirror our urgent calls to the Attorney General to reform the Criminal Law Mentally Impaired Accused Act.

See our webpage to read our advocacy brief and access help to writing your email.

Submission to the NDIS Act Rules and Review

FOLLOWING strong sector and member input, WAAMH has developed a submission to the Review of the NDIS Act and Rules being undertaken by Ernst and Young for the NDIA.

The Act and Rules together comprise the legislative framework for the NDIS and have very important impacts on how the NDIS is operationalised and experienced by people. Our submission detailed the issues being faced for people with psychosocial disability in the NDIS trial sites in WA.

It made a number of recommendations about how the Act and Rules could be amended to equitably meet the support and advocacy needs of people with psychosocial disability including in the following areas: objects and principles of the Act; access and eligibility including permanency of disability; planning and review; ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports including recovery and clinical issues; and advocacy and support to access and navigate the NDIS.

More on our advocacy work around NDIS

Feedback: Missing Person Policy

FEEDBACK is being sought on the Mental Health System-wide Clinical Policy Group's Missing Person Policy.

The Mental Health System-wide Clinical Policy Group was established following the Stokes Review of mental health services to hold responsibility for the development and review of WA Health mental health system-wide clinical policy statements.
The Missing Person Policy was identified as a priority for development with the assistance of a Working Group. The policy's intention is to allow local services the latitude to develop their own guidelines that suit their specific circumstances while aligning with the values and objectives of the policy, and complying with relevant local, state and federal governance.

Comment and feedback on the first draft of this policy can be emailed to by Friday 4 December 2015 or call Colin King on 9347 6842 for further information.

Next to Normal

DON'T miss your chance to see the stigma-busting rock musical Next to Normal on November 18.

Presented by the Mental Illness Fellowship of WA and Black Swan Theatre are 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
  • Encourage people from regional and rural areas to attend and explore their attitudes around mental health
  • Reduce stigma in the community
  • 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.

Call For Nominations: Primary Health Network Committees

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is calling for nominations from individuals and organisations for the following committees:

·         Clinical Commissioning Committees

·         Regional Clinical Commissioning Committees

·         Community Engagement Committees

WAPHA is the single point where primary health and social care come together at the State and local level.  Its key functions are to  increase the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes; and improve the coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

To find out more go to

WA Association for Mental Health

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


Tel 08 9420 7277
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