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March 2015


Every month, your peak body in mental health brings you the latest information relevant to your involvement in mental health, whether it's at a community, professional, policy or sector level.

In this issue

  1. Message from Rod Astbury
  2. Mental Health 10 Year Plan
  3. Sunnyboys hit Perth again
  4. Peer Workshops
  5. Music to Open Your Mind only two weeks away
  6. Have your say about Commonwealth mental health funding
  7. Training and Education
  8. Disability Justice Centres
  9. Positive Schools Conference 2015
  10. UWA study: anxiety and interval training
  11. Drop in and play volleyball!
  12. Recovery College
  13. Sir Bob Geldof talks corporate giving
  14. More reasons to become a WAAMH member now!

Message from Rod Astbury

THE consultations we have done with our members and partners on the Ten Year Mental Health Services Plan have reinforced just how many opportunities there are likely to be for new and exciting initiatives in mental health, particularly for those willing to bring fresh approaches and form creative partnerships.

We are aware there is hard work to be done to secure bipartisan support for the plan and the investment needed to make it a reality.

Further, we are very conscious of the importance of securing the commitment of the Commonwealth to doing its share. So this month we'll be seeking our members input to not only the State's 10 year plan, but also to WAAMH's submission to the Australian senate inquiry into the latest Department of Social Services's tender round.

Your membership is critical to WAAMH being able to advocate effectively for mental health. We have a expanded the range of membership options we offer so if you are not yet a member or have not yet renewed your membership there is no better time to do it than now.

Rod Astbury
Chief Executive Officer
Western Australian Association for Mental Health

Mental Health 10 Year Plan

THE last two months have been filled with feedback forums, surveys, online discussions, and a World Cafe on the Mental Health, AOD Services Plan.

The Mental Health Commission's feedback forums have nearly come to an end, but there are still spots remaining for NGO representatives at two forums later this month:

An important opportunity for carers, consumers and families' voices to be heard on the plan also exists at another forum hosted by the Commission on 20 March. Please register your interest and find out more details here

To complement WAAMH's own public face-to-face discussions, a follow up online survey is also coming soon to seek the views of people who weren't able to attend our World Cafe consultation in person.

Sunnyboys hit Perth again

REMEBER the Sunnyboys documentary screening from our Mental Health Week Opening Ceremony in 2013?

Well, they're back! But this time performing in concert at the Chevron Festival Gardens this Friday.

As part of the Perth International Festival, the Sunnyboys will perform a feel-good, surf-rock sounding set in their first headline Perth-based show since 1991.

Get along to enjoy some live music while the Sunnyboys bust out their greatest hits. Tickets are $60 and on sale through

Peer Workshops

AROUND 65 people attended our Peer Work Framework launch last Friday.

Thanks to Paul Dessauer, Outreach Coordinator from WA Substance Users for his contribution to the event, as well as our other guest speakers, Viviene Kemp, Helen Farrell, Tammy Ford, Leanne Mirabella and Arti Dogra, for their insight.

To support the release of the peer work framework document, WAAMH is hosting five follow up workshops to help you understand why the framework is important, identify what you can do with the information and explore the change you'd like to see.  

20 March, 24 April and 22 May: Implementing a Peer Program in your Organisation: Workshops 1,2 and 3 respectively.

26 June: Implementing a Peer Program in your Organisation: Workshop 4

24 July: Implementing a Peer Program in your Organisation: Workshop 5

Download workshop flyer.

Music to Open Your Mind only two weeks away

THE 9th annual Music to Open Your Mind (MTOYM) is on Sunday afternoon, 15 March, at Kings Square, Fremantle.

MTOYM is a free community event raising awareness of mental health and reducing stigma.  Featuring a family-friendly concert environment, live music, markets, food stalls, and free children’s activities; information on mental health issues and services will also be available.

If you're interested in being involved, contact South Metro Health Services.

Find out more on MTOYM's Facebook page.

Have your say about Commonwealth mental health funding

WAAMH will soon be consulting on the importance of Commonwealth mental health funding and the impact of funding cuts and uncertainty.

We will use the sector’s responses to a survey to provide a brief submission to the senate inquiry on 'Impact on service quality, efficiency and sustainability of recent Commonwealth community service tendering processes by the Department of Social Services'. See here for more information.

We will also incorporate your responses into our feedback to the Mental Health Commission on the 10 Year Plan, because it assumes continuity of Commonwealth mental health funding in order to succeed.

Training and Education

GAIN a formal Mental Health Qualification after hours. Are you someone who would like to complete your Certificate IV in Mental Health but already committed during the week? We are offering a fantastic opportunity to gain this nationally recognised professional qualification in just over 16 classes, run every Saturday, from 14 March 2015.

Click here for full details about how you can become a qualified mental health worker in less than six months.

If one day courses are more your style, then check out the March training options with our highly qualified trainers.

March Courses
Mental Health Communication - 10 March 2015
Mental Health Responses - 17 March 2015
Multicultural Mental Health - 19 March 2015
Understand Psychosis - 24 March 2015
Mental Health Bill 2013: What does it mean for me? - 31 March 2015

Disability Justice Centres

DISABILITY justice centres have come one step closer to reality and supporting vulnerable people, with legislation passed to enable the State’s first centre to be operated by the Disability Services Commission.

“For nearly two decades the law has allowed for people deemed as unfit to plead due to intellectual or cognitive disability to be accommodated in what is known as a declared place, rather than being held in prison,” Mental Health and Disability Services Minister Helen Morton said.

“Yet all these years later, people are still being detained in the prison system because, despite being a valid legal alternative, a declared place has never actually been established. This legislation changes that situation.”

Disability justice centres offer a secure, home-like environment for small groups of people, tailored with specialist support to equip them for their eventual return to the community.

Recommendations about an individual’s suitability for placement in the centre will be made by the Mentally Impaired Accused Review Board, with the Minister for Disability Services making the final decision.

Read the full announcement here.

Positive Schools Conference 2015

REGISTRATIONS are now open for the annual Positive Schools Conference at the Rydges Hotel in Fremantle.

The program, themed, 'Body of Evidence' is available online and this year's line-up features Tony Jones as MC and guest speakers Kaz Cooke and Helen Street, among other inspirational and vibrant experts.

More information on Positive Schools Conference.

UWA study: anxiety and interval training

THE University of Western Australia is seeking people aged 18-39 years who want to decrease their anxiety level and improve their wellbeing, as part of a research project run by the School of Sports Science, Exercise & Health in collaboration with the School of Clinical Neuroscience at QEII.

UWA said interval training, where low intensity exercise was interspersed with short bouts of higher intensity exercise, had recently been shown to produce faster responses compared to aerobic exercise, despite far less time spent exercising per session.

"This project aims to identify the interval training regimen that provides the most effective means to improve the wellbeing of individuals with long standing anxiety," UWA said.

Participants will be required to participate in three short exercise sessions of around 20 minutes per week, for four weeks in the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at UWA, and fill in some questionnaires. As a result of this study, participants may experience a decrease in their level of anxiety, and improve their aerobic fitness.

If you’re interested in participating or would like more information, please contact Declan McGill via email at: or on 0404 327 222 or Professor Paul A. Fournier at or 6488 1356.

Drop in and play volleyball!

CATCH the last of these balmy nights as the lovely warm weather draws to an end, with some sociable and fun volleyball games.

The benefits of physical activity and community participation are well established as contributing to better mental health.

Volleyball WA is hosting 'Drop in and Play' sessions, with no results recorded and open to the whole community.

If you are looking to play volleyball informally, then Monday night social ‘drop in and play’ might be for you. These volleyball games run every Monday from 6-8pm until the end of April, at Inner City Beach in West Perth.

Cost is $5 per person and no registration is required.

Register via the Volleyball WA website: or contact or on 9228 8522 for more information.

Recovery College

OVERWHELMING interest in the possibility of a WA-based Recovery College attracted more than 200 people to WAAMH's seminar on the topic last month, which received great feedback afterwards.

At the event, one of the international guest speakers, Geoff Shepherd from ImROC notably said, "Recovery belongs to people, services can't make people recover."

Marg O'Connell, through Twitter said, "Thank you @TheWAAMH for a great seminar on #recoverycolleges! Leaves us with a lot to reflect on, especially a new paradigm on mental health service sector!"

Meanwhile, an interesting article on Recovery Colleges was published in the UK recently which elaborates on this empowering concept further. Read the article.

Sir Bob Geldof talks corporate giving

LEGENDARY political activist, philanthropist, business
man and song writer, Sir Bob Geldof is coming to Perth to talk about the importance of corporate giving, and the role businesses have in their communities.

Business News is hosting a Success and Leadership luncheon at the Crown Perth Ballroom, starring Sir Bob Geldof on 1 April 2015.

Find out more and register here.

More reasons to become a WAAMH member now!

THERE has never been a better time to become a member of WAAMH, especially as we have just expanded our range of membership options.

Whether you represent a school, not-for-profit, corporation, government department, or your work as an individual relates to mental health, WAAMH has an affordable membership option to suit you.

We also offer significant discounts for people with lived experience as a consumer or carer, and the unwaged.

If you haven't renewed your membership yet, do it now!

Not a member? Discover all the amazing benefits and join here.

WA Association for Mental Health

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


Tel 08 9420 7277
Fax 08 9420 7280