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May 2017

eNews May 2017

In this issue

State Pre-Budget Submission
Sold out TERP forum a great success
Mental Health Week 2017 theme announced!
The Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 1996: the need for urgent reform
The NDIS in WA Conversation event
Rural & Remote Consultation
Mental Health Commission to remain in place
National Mental Health Commission’s 2016 National Report on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
Workforce Development Survey
WA Mental Health Conference and Awards 2017
Pre-conference Multicultural Mental Health Forum - 7 July
Thanks to the Multicultural Mental Health Forum sponsors
Last chance to nominate for the WA Mental Health Awards 2017
Calling all photographers!
Training in May and June 2017
Meeting For Minds: how you can participate
McCusker Centre for Citizenship
National Volunteer Week 2017
Schizophrenia Awareness Week 2017
Mental Health Rights & Recourse Forum
Challenges and dilemmas, creating safety in the church
Save the date - Borderline Personality Disorder Conference 2017
Connecting the dots: making sense of eating disorders


THE Federal Budget made a number of mental health commitments including $80 million in psychosocial disability support for people not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme; $50M in prevention and support packages for veterans; $9M for telehealth services; $11M for suicide prevention; and $15M for mental health research.

While these initiatives are welcome, they fall short of the comprehensive national investment that is needed for mental health. 

In particular we note that the additional psychosocial disability support funding is conditional on a matching contribution by the State Government.
Community Mental Health Australia’s comprehensive analysis of mental health in the Federal Budget 2017-18 is here.

The Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) met with the incoming Minister for Mental Health and the Minister for Disability Services in April and we are very encouraged by the Ministers’ eagerness to establish a positive relationship with the sector.

We also compliment the State Government in keeping its promise to retain the Mental Health Commission among the machinery of government changes that resulted in the amalgamation of government departments. We look forward to working closely with the Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health The Hon. Alana Clohesy, who will take an active role in the portfolio.

Rod Astbury
Chief Executive Officer
Western Australian Association for Mental Health


State Pre-Budget Submission

WAAMH has received advice that the window of opportunity to influence the State Budget for 2017-18 is closing fast.

Given the tight economic climate, we understand budget expenditure will focus on election commitments. We have also been told government agencies had to finalise and submit their business cases by 28 April. 

As the budget process is almost complete, instead of making a pre-budget submission, WAAMH will write a brief letter to the Treasurer and Mental Health Minister, based on our Core Election Asks. 

We will urge their early commitment, evidenced in the budget, to Labor’s election commitments that are focused on prevention, promotion, and the Recovery College of WA.

We will also call for government to prioritise rebalancing of expenditure in mental health, so people can access community-based supports before they are in need of acute care, and advocate for smart investments that would deliver economic savings during this government’s first term. 

Tell us what you are hearing from your own contacts about the government budget process and priorities by contacting Chelsea McKinney at or 6246 3003.


Sold out TERP forum a great success

THANK YOU to everyone who attended the Towards Elimination of Restrictive Practice 11th National Forum with us here in Perth on 4-5 May. The sold-out event attracted 300 delegates from around Australia and was a great success.

It was great to hear so many perspectives on best practice and to come together to collectively work towards eliminating restrictive practice in mental health facilities around Australia. 

TERP's Twitter feed @TERP11Forum is the best place to find any important links to reports and research mentioned at the forum and the @TERP11Forum Facebook page has photos of all the event highlights.   

The forum was a co-sponsored initiative between the Chief Psychiatrist of Western Australia (WA), the lead agency, with the WA Mental Health Commission, WA Department of Health and the Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH).

Keynote panel featuring Geoff Brennan, Prof. Bernadette Sherry, Margaret Doherty, Keir Saltmarsh and Dr Nathan Gibson. 

Sold-out TERP forum with 300 delegates.

Ambient alfresco for lunch, refreshments and networking.



Mental Health Week 2017 theme announced!

THIS year, Mental Health Week WA will be using two complementary themes for Mental Health Week 2017 for greater engagement. The themes are  Connect with nature, community and self for mental wellbeing and Connect with country, community and you for strong social and emotional wellbeing.

The Opening Ceremony will be held in the Goldfields town of Kalgoorlie this year, to ensure we can increase community awareness of mental wellbeing across regional WA.

Mental Health Week is on 7 - 14 October and will celebrate a 50-year milestone in 2017. Follow @MentalHealthWeekWA on Facebook and Instagram. #MHW2017 # MHWturns50  

Increase your service exposure during Mental Health Week 2017

YOU are invited to be part of the action and sponsor Mental Health Week in 2017! Our exciting schedule of events, materials and activities during Mental Health Week provides sponsors with an opportunity to promote their products, services and brand through cause-related marketing to a large portion of the WA community.

To find out more about the exciting opportunities, please refer to the Sponsorship Prospectus on the Mental Health Week website at: 



The Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 1996: the need for urgent reform

AS part of National Families Week and Law Week, Mental Health Matters 2 is hosting a community discussion evening regarding the Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 1996 on Monday, 15 May.

The event will include a panel presentation and discussion, featuring:

  • Robert Chasland Lawyer, Mental Health Law Centre
  • Rowena Davis Director of Reviews, Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services
  • Margaret Doherty Convenor MHM2 and Family Member Speaker
  • Taryn Harvey Chief Executive Officer, Developmental Disability WA
  • Dr Edward Petch Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist & Director, State Forensic Mental Health Services

RSVP by 12 May and find out more here:

The NDIS in WA Conversation event

PEOPLE with disability, their families and carers are invited to a conversation about the National Disability Insurance Scheme in WA at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on 9 June.

This event is being hosted by the Disability Services Commission in partnership with the Disability Coalition - a collection of advocacy organisations, consumer representative groups and peak bodies in the disability and mental health sectors. 

Find out more: 

Rural & Remote Consultation

IF you live in regional or rural WA and travelling to Perth for the WA Mental Health Conference in July, then we want to hear from you.

WAAMH is hosting a free consultation session on 12 July, one day before the conference officially gets underway so we can discover what mental health advocacy and policy issues matter most to you.

This important engagement process will help us determine priorities within our Systemic Advocacy and Sector Development work.

To attend or find out more, please click here. 


Mental Health Commission to remain in place

IN April, WA Premier Mark McGowan announced a raft of major changes to WA’s government departments, cutting the total number of departments from 41 down to 25. McGowan stated the changes would help create a more efficient public sector to deliver better services for the community.

WAAMH welcomed the new Labor Government's decision to keep its promise and retain a stand-alone Mental Health Commission, which WAAMH and community mental health advocates secured as an election commitment. 

Merging the Mental Health Commission back into the health portfolio would risk going backwards to a narrow, medicalised approach to mental health.

The strategic commissioning role of WA’s Mental Health Commission is essential to enable mental health services support the people attain health, wellbeing, recovery, a safe and stable home and community belonging.

Read McGowan's Media Statement.

National Mental Health Commission’s 2016 National Report on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

ON 2 May, the National Mental Health Commission released its annual report.

The report shared the experiences of people, families and support people to help better understand what affects their lives and how a mental health system can be shaped to respond to people’s needs more effectively. It also included examples of work being undertaken to improve mental health outcomes and reduce suicide across Australia.

National Mental Health Commissioner Jackie Crowe discussed how consumers of mental health care services were demanding an open, transparent and seamless system of care and support in her important recent article ‘Reform, revolution and disruption in mental health care: a consumer’s perspective’.

Ms Crowe persuasively argued that with the rise of digital technologies, consumers had greater access to information, a new means for collaboration, and a more powerful voice to speak about their experiences with service provision, recovery and system failure.

Read the full article.



Workforce Development Survey

DO you work in community mental health sector? 

WAAMH is currently undertaking a Workforce Development Project to identify future workforce development needs of the non-government mental health sector (and NGO sectors beyond mental health that deliver mental health services).

The project will contribute to the Drug and Alcohol and Mental Health Workforce Development Strategy being developed by the Mental Health Commission in 2017.

A variety of strategies are being undertaken to complete the project, including:

  • An analysis of 100 jobs advertised in the NGO mental health sector over an eight-week period. This includes information on job titles roles and duties, nature of the role, required skills and, minimum qualifications, salary.
  • Consultations and interviews have been completed in Albany, Bunbury, Busselton and Kalgoorlie, with further consultations scheduled with agencies, service providers and consumer and carer groups in the metropolitan area and Pilbara, this month. 
  • A survey for managers of agencies providing mental health services is available here
  • A survey for staff who provide mental health services is available here

Closing date for survey completion is Friday, 2 June 2017.

A final report for the Mental Health Commission will be completed by the end of June 2017.

If you require further information, please visit the website at at: or contact Colin Penter ( or 6246 3014) if you would like to have input or be involved in the analysis of project findings.


WA Mental Health Conference and Awards 2017

LAST CHANCE to be a conference exhibitor!

Formal sponsorship opportunities and main foyer exhibition spaces for the conference have now sold out.

However, a few discounted display spaces remain on the ground floor foyer of the venue.  Allocations close 31 May or unless sold out prior.  Please contact Catherine Harper at for more information.

Pre-conference Multicultural Mental Health Forum - 7 July

WITH the generous support of Forum Sponsor Richmond Wellbeing, and Government Partner Office of Multicultural Interests, the Multicultural Mental Health Forum is designed to explore cultural diversity and mental health and features Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner
Dr Tim Soutphommasane.

WAAMH is currently also inviting interested organisations to become Forum Supporters. This is a FREE opportunity and offers interested organisations many benefits including a profile at this forum.

Click here for more information or to register.

Thanks to the Multicultural Mental Health Forum sponsors

Last chance to nominate for the WA Mental Health Awards 2017

THE nomination closing date for the WA Mental Health Awards 2017 has been extended to Monday, 15 May. You now have extra time over this weekend to prepare your submission!

Submit your nomination now.

All finalists will receive a free ticket to attend the Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Dinner at the WA Mental Health Conference on Thursday, 13 July.

Conference delegates receive a ticket as part of their conference registration, however you can purchase tickets to the awards only for just $80 here.

Don’t miss out, submit your nomination today!

For more information visit or call Haley Hibbitt on 08 6246 3023.

Calling all photographers!

AMATEUR and professional photographers are encouraged to enter the Embrace Nature Photography Exhibition, taking place as part of the WA Mental Health Conference 2017. This is your chance to have your work exhibited publicly in both the Perth Concert Hall and the Workzone Building, with the top 12 entries also being included in the 2018 Wellbeing Calendar.

Photographs should capture the interaction between humans and nature, celebrating the convergence between nature, creativity and personal wellbeing.

Full details are available at:

Entries close 21 June.


Training in May and June 2017

17 May 2017
De-escalation Techniques - ALBANY

This course is designed to assist service providers and front-line staff to respond appropriately to threatening, violent, aggressive and other unexpected or inappropriate behaviour.

18 May 2017
Mental Health Communication - ALBANY

Whether you are a specialist service provider in the Mental Health Sector or someone dealing with the general public, a strong suite of communication skills for engaging with people experiencing mental health difficulties is essential.

30 May 2017
Co-Creation, Organisational Readiness for Co-Design

Co-creation is the first step. This one-day workshop for mental health service providers focuses on co-creation strategies for capacity building organisational readiness for integrating co-design principles and processes into service delivery.

31 May 2017
Co-existing Disorders, Addiction & Mental Health

This one-day workshop examines the complex relationship between substance use or addiction and mental health problems. Learn about the relationship between substance use and mental health issues and how one causes the other and why they so often will occur together.

13 June 2017
Dissociative 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.

14 June 2017

Do you seek a more balanced and fulfilling life? Are you interested in developing better psychological wellbeing and mental resilience? Mindfulness is a powerful, but easy to learn mental technique which is increasingly recognised as a key to stress reduction, mental wellbeing, managing emotions, dealing with adversity and supporting personal healing.

16 June 2017
Co-Creation - Organisational Readiness for Co-Design

Co-creation is the first step before engaging in co-production in your mental health service. This one day workshop for mental health service providers focuses on strategies for building organisational readiness and integrating co-design principles and processes into service delivery.

20 June 2017
Workers with Mental Health Issues

This positive and practical workshop is designed for those who supervise and support others in the workplace and will help you achieve the best outcomes for both individual staff and the organisation as a whole.

27 June 2017
Co-Design Training
Held across two days, this course will assist participants to understand and implement co-design. Looking beyond surface change, co-design identifies some of the partnership and collaborative practices that have the potential to transform the way in which mental health services are delivered.

30 June 2017
Co-Creation, Organisational Readiness for Co-Design

Co-creation is the first step before engaging in co-production in your mental health service. This one-day workshop for mental health service providers focuses on strategies for building organisational readiness and integrating co-design principles and processes into service delivery.

To view all WAAMH's training courses and to register, visit:



Meeting For Minds: how you can participate

MEETING for Minds has produced of a series of short video interviews featuring people who have experienced mental illness and those doing research into the brain and mental illness.

Each tells of what drove their first interest in research as a means of developing a mutual community of interest as a first step on the way towards partnering together in research that takes into account the expertise of the lived experience of mental illness.

You can access the first series of interviews here:

If you would like to take part in planned further interview series, please contact Meredith Drynan at for more information.


McCusker Centre for Citizenship

THE McCusker Centre for Citizenship is focused on building the capacity within The University of Western Australia community, as well as the broader community, to make a difference through 'active citizenship'.

Since the centre opened its doors, almost 200 students will complete their internship, contributing more than 20,000 hours to the community.
Later this year there will be an opportunity for students to:

  • Undertake an international exchange program with a like-minded university
  • Apply for a scholarship of up to $5000
  • Enroll in a new unit focused on 'Active Citizenship'

If you are an organisation interested in finding out more about hosting an intern, please contact the McCusker Centre for Citizenship, here.


National Volunteer Week 2017

NATIONAL Volunteer Week is on this week, 8 - 14 May.

National Volunteer Week is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. With the theme Give Happy, Live Happy, it celebrates and explore research demonstrating how volunteers live happier and healthier lives.

Be part of the smile campaign by posting your photos and tagging @VolunteeringWA on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and using #GiveHappyLiveHappy

Find out more at: 


Schizophrenia Awareness Week 2017

NEXT week (15-20 May) is Schizophrenia Awareness Week (SAW).

Each year Mental Illness Fellowship of WA, together with the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia and other Fellowships around the nation host this national awareness week.

SAW aims to:

  • Raise community awareness of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses
  • Raise community awareness about the impact of mental illness on families and carers
  • Reduce the stigma in the local community surrounding schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

Find out more about the events scheduled for the week here.

Follow @MIFWA on Twitter and Facebook and use the hashtag #SchizophreniaAwarenessWeek to stay up to date with what's on.


Mental Health Rights & Recourse Forum

THE Mental Health Rights & Recourse forum is nearly here.

On 2 June, this forum will explore the rights of consumers, carers and service providers across the mental health landscape and the recourse from lead agencies.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Dr Nathan Gibson - Chief Psychiatrist, Office of the Chief Psychiatrist (WA)
  • Debora Colvin - Chief Mental Health Advocate, Mental Health Advocacy Service (WA)
  • Michael Hawkins - President, Mental Health Tribunal (WA)

The cost is $25 for WAAMH members and $35 for non-members.

Click here for more information.

The Mental Health Rights & Recourse is provided by the WA Association for Mental Health in partnership with the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, Mental Health Advocacy Service, the Mental Health Tribunal, Consumers of Mental Health WA, Helping Minds, MHM2 and Health Consumers Council. 


Challenges and dilemmas, creating safety in the church

ANGLICARE WA together with the Uniting Church in WA including Uniting Care West are inviting (paid and non-paid) faith-based workers to participate in a networking morning on 4 July to explore any challenges or dilemmas they are wrestling with in their role.

Given the way the Royal Commission is changing the landscape of institutions and aiming to create child-safe and child-friendly organisations, faith-based organisations, including churches, need to understand how this impacts them.

This event will feature a presentation from Deepwall Leadership consultant Steve Ingram titled Responses to and Management of Persons of Concern (or Interest) in Congregations and/or Organisations, and a Q & A session. 

The event will run from 8:45am - 12 noon at Uniting Care West (16 Sunbury Street, Victoria Park), and costs $20 (paid at the door) to attend.


For more information, contact Gail Green at or on 0412 974 054.


Save the date - Borderline Personality Disorder Conference 2017

The National Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) conference draws on a strong history of successful national events around Australia, and 18 October marks the inaugural WA event.

This conference will provide an opportunity for clinicians, practitioners, consumers and carers/family members from across Australia to come together to collaborate, share information and educate the wider community.

The National BPD Conference plays a major role in correcting damaging myths and replacing stigma with replaced by a more positive evidence-driven outlook.

For more information and to stay up to date, click here.


Connecting the dots: making sense of eating disorders

BRIDGES Eating Disorders Association of WA is hosting a two-day conference next week (19-20 May) for clinicians, community members, researchers, peer workers, carers, and individuals experiencing eating disorders.

International experts, Prof. Janet Treasure and Assistant Prof. Roxanne Rockwell will present on neurobiology, motivational approaches, family therapies, and carer engagement.

Local WA clinicians and researchers will provide workshops and brief research summaries, while peer workers will present on lived experience approaches to recovery and family support.

To register or for more information, download the flyer here.

WA Association for Mental Health

1 Nash Street Perth WA 6000



Tel 08 6246 3000
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