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February 2015

Happy New Year!

In this issue

  1. Message from CEO Rod Astbury
  2. Consultation on 10 Year AOD / Mental Health Plan
  3. Nominate for MHC forums
  4. Vale Bob Hetherington
  5. Certificate IV in Mental Health Recovery starts soon!
  6. Recovery College Seminar
  7. Peer Work Framework Launch
  8. WAAMH's policy brief on DSP changes
  9. Joint submission to ERA Prisons Inquiry
  10. Training Courses
  11. Free Film Screenings
  12. Open Your Mind Poetry Competition
  13. New tools aid information sharing and service coordination
  14. Have your say on PIR

Message from CEO Rod Astbury

A MOMENTOUS year of change in mental health is taking shape in 2015 and we are determined for WAAMH members and supporters to be fully engaged and informed about the agenda at a state and national level, and in the broader community.

In coming weeks, we are providing multiple opportunities for consultation on the Western Australian 10 Year Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Services Plan via direct involvement in the Mental Health Commission's consultations, our own online discussion forum and World Cafe workshop.

Included in WAAMH’s consultation is feedback from services about the impact of Federal funding changes as WAAMH continues to lobby through its national peak and partners to ensure the Commonwealth meets its commitment to mental health.

WAAMH's human rights advocacy work continued over the Summer break with input into proposed changes to Disability Support Pension entitlements and the Economic Regulation Authority’s inquiry into WA’s prisons.

WAAMH is proud to be jointly hosting WA’s first based Recovery College seminar this month and highly anticipating the launch of the Peer Work Framework, which will assist organisations to employ, support and develop peer workers.

Certificate IV in Mental Health is back on our training agenda in 2015, and a range of new one day professional development courses are also available.

We look forward to working closely with our members and supporters to ensure 2015 brings positive changes in the lives of people with mental health issues and their families.

Rod Astbury
Chief Executive Officer
WA Association for Mental Health

Consultation on 10 Year AOD / Mental Health Plan

IN order to make the discussion accessible, free, and fair, WAAMH has started a discussion page on Facebook, which anyone is welcome to visit and add to the debate.

Search for WA Association for Mental Health on Facebook.

There will be new questions posed over the course of the next two weeks and we want to hear your views on our State's AOD and Mental Health Services Plan. Read more on Plan and consultation period here.

Feel free to pose your own questions of interest to the group along the way.

Please note this page will be monitored and it is essential participants meets the guidelines of engagement and maintain a respectful manner towards others. Full page code of conduct can be viewed on the site.

These healthy discussions will help shape some of the themes raised at our 10 Year Plan Consultation Session on 3 March 2015 and help inform our submission. More event details here.

Nominate for MHC forums

THE Mental Health Commission is holding a series of consultation forums on the
WA Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan.

Attendance at these forums is invitation only, however expressions of interest are open to all.

The MHC has requested that WAAMH recommend which community-managed mental health organisations should participate.

WAAMH is calling for nominations to ensure organisations represented at these forums reflects the diversity of services, as well as a strong representation of our members. Ideally, we are seeking people who are committed to representing the sector, promoting thought diversity, and respecting and honouring multiple voices.

Applicants must engage in WAAMH’s deliberative democracy consultation process. Email us with your forum preference via the links below:

• Specialised Sate-wide Services: Thursday 26 February, 9am – 12noon, Bentley. 16 NGO places available

• Forensic Services: Thursday, 26 February 2015, 1pm – 4pm, Bentley. 6 NGO places available

• Community Bed Based Services, Tuesday 24 March 2015, 11am – 2pm, Mandurah. 18 NGO places available

• Community Support Services, Thursday, 26 March 2015, 1pm – 4pm, Joondalup. 24 NGO places available

Closing date extension: COB, Friday 20 February 2015.

Vale Bob Hetherington

HONORARY life member of WAAMH Bob Hetherington passed away peacefully on 30 January at the age of 92.

Bob represented Labor in the Legislative Council for 12 years from 1977, lectured in politics at UWA for 10 years and was instrumental in achieving WAAMH's peak body status. Bob was a long standing champion and strong advocate for mental health, social justice, and equal rights.

To Bob’s wife, children, grandchild and great grandchild, the board and members of WAAMH express our deepest sympathy. Thank you Bob for your tireless work improving our sector.

Certificate IV in Mental Health Recovery starts soon!

WAAMH’s Certificate IV in Mental Health is a nationally recognised formal qualification, specifically focused on Community Based Mental Health Recovery.

Our six month course will focus on recovery-orientated, community based mental health promotion, intervention and support.

This course requires your attendance in person for one class per week (either Monday or Saturday available) and is suitable for anyone supporting people with mental health issues.

Find out more here - Monday course and Saturday course.

Recovery College Seminar

THERE was overwhelming interest in the first seminar on WA Recovery Colleges, with registrations closing two weeks before the event on 17 February, after reaching capacity.

International guest speakers, Professor Geoff Shepherd from ImROC and Ms Jane McGregor will talk about their experiences with Recovery Colleges in the UK.

For more information on the development of WA Recovery College's in WA, please contact Manager, Sector Development Coralie Flatters at or follow @Recovery_Col_WA on Twitter.

Peer Work Framework Launch

WAAMH is launching its Peer Work Strategic Framework on 27 February.  The Framework will assist organisations to embed peer work into their services.

The framework focuses on defining, peer work, peer workers support and development, system support for peer workers; and developing the peer worker.

It also includes an online toolkit of information and resources for service providers seeking information on peer work.

The launch will showcase examples of peer work being done in WA and provide a taste of the six module training program for 2015.

Event details and link to Peer Work document here.

WAAMH's policy brief on DSP changes

WAAMH released both a media statement and a policy brief in late January regarding the proposed changes to the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and how it will affect people detained under the Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act.

The rights and conditions for people detained under the CLMIA Act are a major priority of WAAMH’s systemic advocacy agenda.

The purpose of our brief is to provide information on, and a suggested response to, proposed changes that would remove access to DSP payments for people detained in prisons and psychiatric institutions under mental impairment legislation.

Read full Policy Brief here.

Read related Media Release, click here.

Joint submission to ERA Prisons Inquiry

THE Economic Regulation Authority is conducting an inquiry into options to improve the efficiency and performance of Western Australian prisons. Three peaks' WAAMH, WACOSS and WANADA have prepared a joint submission to this inquiry. More info at:

Read joint submission here.

Training Courses

UPCOMING professional development opportunities for mental health workers, hosted by WAAMH include:


Customised courses available upon request, email

Free Film Screenings

FOLLOWING the success of our inaugural free film screening with MindFlix last year during Mental Health Week, we are pleased these free screenings are making more regular appearances this year.

Angel's Perch was featured last week and there are two more premiere screenings over the next few months. Register to attend and find out more about the films on the links below.

Friday, 6 March 2015 - Crazywater

Tuesday, 7 April 2015 - The Doctor Who Hears Voices

Open Your Mind Poetry Competition

ENTRIES are open for MIFWA's Lorikeet Centre Poetry Competition.  

Poets must have a lived experience of a mental illness or the carer of someone with a mental illness, and can enter two poems, containing up to 16 lines, each.

The poems will reflect last year's Mental Health Week theme, “Make a Move towards Better Mental Health" and can reflect anything that assists recovery.

Prizes will be presented during the launch of Schizophrenia Awareness Week (SAW) in May at the Lorikeet Centre.

Send your poems to or PO Box 1006 West Leederville 6901. Closing date 31st March 2015.

Art competition is now open too, more details here.

New tools aid information sharing and service coordination

THE South West Metropolitan Partnership Forum Working Group has developed tools to help overcome one of the most significant barriers to the coordination of wrap-around services - the issue of information sharing. 

These tools can support mental health service providers that do not have information sharing arrangements in place, by providing the means to facilitate informed client consent and coordinate service provision.

The first tool is a template ‘Shared Consent Form’ to enable clients to give informed consent for the sharing of their personal information.

Further information about the SWMPF project and its tools can be found at:

Have your say on PIR

URBIS is undertaking the Evaluation and Monitoring Project of the Partners in Recovery (PIR) initiative.

Clients and carers who have accessed the PIR program, including their family and friends, are encouraged to provide feedback about their experiences with PIR.

Access the survey 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