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Thank you for attending the WA Mental Health Conference 2022

What an incredible couple of days it was! We thoroughly enjoyed bringing you the fourth Western Australian Mental Health Conference and sharing the experience with you.

We hope you have all taken away something new to apply in your work, home and community setting to improve mental health in Western Australia.

Together, we can improve the way we respond to mental health challenges, whether we work in the mental health sector, community services or organisations, government, corporate roles, or through our own personal networks.

Thank you to everyone who travelled to Perth to be at Optus Stadium with us on 7-8 November for our shared purpose and engaging conversations.

Thank you for attending and contributing to our sector

Planning begun in May 2021 and after rescheduling the WA Mental Health Conference due to implications related to COVID-19, the Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) was finally able to host the two-day event, with principal support from the WA Mental Health Commission and support from Lotterywest.

Coupled with our theme ‘Working Together: a shared purpose’ the conference aimed to develop, strengthen and support WA’s mental health sector, so we can work better together in the interest of the community’s mental health.

The conference provided collaborative opportunities for people with lived experience, clinical staff and non-clinical mental health workers; and offered the chance to share resources, perspectives and best practices.

A special thank you to Lotterywest for enabling us to grant 50 delegates with mental health lived/living experience and 38 regional delegates a subsidised ticket. The valuable contribution that people with lived/living experience bring to the mental health sector and wider community is vital in progressing our sector to be more inclusive, collaborative, culturally safe and with best practice. We see you and we hear you.

You can now watch back sessions that you may have missed as all except three presentations (as identified in the program) were recorded and have been uploaded to the virtual Joyn Us platform. Using the 'Watch On Demand' button you can view this content until November 2023.

Trouble accessing the virtual platform?

If you were registered for the conference as a delegate (not using a guest pass), you should have been sent an email with instructions and login details to access the virtual platform.

If you were not sent this email or can no longer find it, please email

If you are having trouble logging onto the platform, please click the 'Support' button on the webpage to communicate to the technical team directly for assistance.

Let us know what your thoughts about the conference!

We appreciate any feedback you can provide to help us deliver an even better conference (and other events) in the future. 

Please complete the feedback survey via this link.

Highlights from our keynote speakers

There were so many highlights that it's difficult compile them into one email so here are few to recap. Photos can be viewed and accessed via our Facebook page. 

The event commenced with an early morning traditional smoking ceremony down on the banks of the Derbal Yerrigan next to the Matagarup Bridge hosted by Noongar elder, Uncle Nick Abraham.

Uncle Nick then opened the event with a beautiful Welcome to Country.

The Minster for Mental Health, the Honourable Amber-Jade Sanderson (MLA) said the WA Government plans to continue to address the gaps in mental health services and efficient mental health support in our health care system requires significant reform. She encouraged collaboration across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors as “no one sector has all the answers and it’s only by working together that well see improved outcomes".

“Community-based models that support recovery with input from NGOs will be a critical part of all future mental health planning and care," Ms Sanderson said.

Our headline keynote speaker, 2021 Australian for the Year, advocate and survivor of sexual abuse Grace Tame spoke with WAAMH president Kerry Hawkins about how she has claimed her power as a survivor and transferred her experience to inspire others.

"All of us have trauma. It comes in all forms," Grace said.

MAN UP co-founders Gareth Shanthikumar and Haseeb Riaz spoke about the intersection of toxic masculinity and mental health.

Having Perth's Optus Stadium almost to yourself was quite surreal and provided the ideal space for those seeking some solitude and quiet time.

Dennis Simmons, Maar Koodjal Aboriginal Corporation, discussed concerns with current mental health supports and responses for Aboriginal people.

Professor Brin Grenyer, University of Wollongong, presented over a decade of research and clinical wisdom from developing and implementing statewide models of care.

The Plenary Panel on day 2 discussed two challenges they experienced in recent years and strategies implemented in responding to them.

Julian Pace, Happiness Co, was full of wisdom.

"Do little things often and big things well. Life is made up of habits."

Rural psychiatrist and Associate Professor Mat Coleman said, "It’s not how well you play a good hand. But how you play a bad one well. Adversity is not pleasant. It’s difficult. But it does provide an opportunity to grow."

Artist Liv Robinson, who has lived experience of mental health challenges, painted to stunning view from the Main Plenary. Liv painted the piece over the two days and donated it to WAAMH's prize competition. 

Hyranthi Kavanagh (pictured) and Sandra McMillan, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group, shared insights from senior clinical psychologists being embedded into Fiona Stanley Hospital's ED team.

Professor Nicholas Procter, University of South Australia, discussed the practical reach, relevance and impact of trauma-informed actions in policy development and at the point of care.

Dr Louise Byrne, RMIT, joined us virtually from Queensland to share insights on creating an inclusive mental health workforce and the benefits of lived experience on practice and the sector.

WAAMH chief executive officer Taryn Harvey reflected on what had been two days full of informative, collaborative and meaningful presentations and discussions on mental health for our sector, workplaces, communities and individuals.

Activities for recovery and mindfulness

Aboriginal bush crafts and art with Dale Tilbrook.

Simon Faulkner, Rhythm2Recovery, led a workshop combining the benefits of rhythmic music with reflective discussions.

Cheryl Millard and Ellie Glen, Art Jam, led an interactive art activity to creatively connect with sector peers.

Breakout sessions

The program was jam packed full of incredible presentations talking all things mental health which included justice and legal intersections, men's mental health, trauma-informed practice, cultural perspectives, trust, respect for diversity, collaboration and workplace wellbeing and safety. 


Plenty of conversations with new, current and former colleagues, peers and contacts

Check out our Facebook page for more photos! Thank you to Ryan Ammon, Ammon Creative, for capturing the action so well!

We crunched the numbers!

As this year's conference sold out, we had a full house at Optus Stadium and many people tuning in virtually.

Some of the conference statistics include: 

  • More than 800 delegates and presenters in attendance across the two days
  • 59 presentations and 85 presenters
  • 160 people attended the WAAMH Networking Sundowner 
  • 612 of users on the Joyn Us platform (during the two days)
  • 16 conference exhibitor displays
  • 2 external film screenings: Wild Butterfly and Pieces
  • 80 uses of #SharedPurpose and #WAMHC across Twitter and LinkedIn

Thanks to our conference partners

November 2022
WA Association for Mental Health
1 Nash Street, Perth WA, 6000
(08) 6246 3000
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