Summary of progress by priority area January to December 2010

Summary of progress by priority area January to December 2010

Priority area 1: Social inclusion and recovery

The WA Mental Health Towards 2020 Consultation Paper was prepared following widespread consultation with key stakeholders, facilitated by PricewaterhouseCoopers, including consumers and carers, government and non-government agencies, service providers and the broader community.

In 2010, the Mental Health Commission undertook an extensive process of interactive engagement with the community and key stakeholders to validate the Consultation Paper and identify gaps in the document.

The community and key stakeholders embraced the opportunity to inform and be involved in mental health reform, as evidenced by the 177 returned surveys, 79 written submissions and information provided by 395 participants at community forums held in various locations in Western Australia. Social inclusion and recovery themes feature strongly in the feedback which will inform the final strategy documents. Top of page

The second phase of the youth anti-stigma project (Music Feedback multimedia campaign) was led by the Commission in partnership with Department for Communities' Office for Youth, beyondblue, Indigenous Human Rights Network of WA and WA Music Association. The objectives of the project include:

  • Increase Western Australian young people's (12-25 years) awareness of mental health issues and promote help seeking behaviour through the use of popular music, media and events and
  • Increase capacity of mental health and youth service providers to promote and support the anti-stigma message to young people at local events, initiatives and activities though the use of Music Feedback CD/DVD and network of musicians.
As part of the project, 28,000 copies of CD/DVDs featuring a documentary, song and music videos were developed, an interactive website, Music Feedback, was established and documentaries and pages were posted on YouTube, Facebook and MySpace social media sites.

Youth groups, schools, musicians and mental health services have organised gigs and speakers to promote the anti-stigma message and distribute the resources. The WA Music Song of the Year Competition encourages songwriters to enter in 14 categories including a Mentally Healthy category. The extensive publicity via schools, music street press, newspapers, online websites and community radio promotes mental wellbeing to a broad audience, particularly young people. Top of page

The Mental Health Good Outcomes Awards publicly recognise outstanding individuals, groups and organisations that have reduced stigma, improved mental wellbeing, developed innovative services and/or enhanced the human rights of consumers and carers. There are 11 categories under the Awards and winners are announced by the Minister for Mental Health at a gala breakfast.

The People with Exceptionally Complex Needs initiative is designed to improve interagency collaboration and coordination of services across health and social domains that respond more adequately to individual adults with exceptional needs. The target group clients pose a significant risk of harm to themselves and others, requiring extensive support that can only be delivered with wellcoordinated services authorised by senior officers from key agencies including Disability Services, Corrective Services, Housing, Drug and Alcohol and Mental Health Services.

The Commission funded the WA Association for Mental Health to develop a recovery framework for the mental health non government sector in WA. This project includes a planned series of symposia on recovery and the first was held during Mental Health Week in 2010. The aim of the series is to include representatives from both non government and government service providers. A key outcome from the first symposium is a strong commitment to shared training, care co-ordination, consumer and carer involvement, inclusion of recovery principles into formal and informal training, sharing of information and a culture change with a recovery focus commencing from initial assessment onwards. The recovery framework will be finalised following the completion of the planned symposia. Top of page

Priority area 2: Prevention and early intervention

Over the last 12 months, the Commission continued to fund and support a number of prevention and early intervention programs including:
  • Positive Parenting Program (Triple P), a proven parenting solutions that helps solve current parenting problems and prevents future problems before they arise;
  • Aussie Optimism that provides teachers, practitioners and parents with practical strategies for developing children's social competence, self-management and positive thinking;
  • Act Belong Commit, a community-based health promotion campaign that encourages people to take action to improve their mental health and wellbeing;
  • Western Australian Suicide Prevention Strategy 2009-2013 launched in September 2009, aims to transform attitudes regarding suicide and suicidal behaviour and represents a guide for policies and services to better meet the needs of people at risk. The Strategy also charts a longer term vision to promote individual mental health and wellbeing and the need to enhance community capacity in approaches to suicide prevention. In December 2010, the Strategy officially launched its new One Life logo branding and One Life website;
  • Lifeline WA, the vital Lifeline WA Telephone Counselling Service that operates throughout the state of Western Australia to provide support to people in crisis and emotional distress; Top of page
  • Implementation of Clinical Guidelines for the Physical Care of Mental Health Consumers that provides a preventative, best-practice framework for mental health services, and facilitates effective coordination of care between health providers, and with mental health consumers.
  • Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) Program and Resource Unit, a program that provides individual counseling and group work for COPMI to encourage skills for coping with challenges. The program supports the work of services and workers in many settings to improve the outcomes for children and their families where a parent experiences a mental illness.
  • Fremantle Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), in collaboration with Community and Child Health Services, run local groups for mothers and infants who are at high risk of developing mental health problems. Early identification of significant problems leads to timely follow up by CAMHS.
  • Two Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Teams aimed at treating the early stages of conduct disorder are based in North and South Metro CAMHS under license from MST Services in the USA. This program operates according to a rigorously researched evidence base and ongoing research of outcomes for consumers is integrated into the service delivery model. Twenty per cent of clients are of Aboriginal descent.
  • The Eating Disorders Program developed and implemented a training module in prevention and early intervention for front line professionals. Top of page

Priority area 3: Service access, coordination and continuity of care

The Commission continues to develop housing and individualised support initiatives for people with a mental illness who are in hospital or at risk of hospitalisation and who could live independently in the community with the provision of housing and appropriate support. Collaboration between the Commission and the Department of Housing has secured 50 dwellings linked with support for people with a mental illness through the Independent Supported Accommodation program.

In addition, the Commission has finalised a number of housing initiatives in 2010 including:
  • Two Community Supported Residential Units providing a total of 50 beds
  • One Community Options service providing 8 beds
  • A homeless youth supported accommodation service providing 16 beds; and a homeless adult supported accommodation service providing 34 beds.
The Children Young People Leaving State Care Project was identified by the Western Australian Community Services Leadership Group in 2010 as a priority. The project will focus on outcomes for a cohort of approximately fifty young people aged 13 – 25 years, who have or are likely to have cross agency contact with mental health, child protection, disability or corrective services. Top of page

The Commission commenced a project, in partnership with staff from a state-wide acute inpatient service for adolescents, which aims to improve the outcomes for young people discharged from the unit. Three to five young people identified from this project will be considered as part of the cohort for the Leaving State Care project.

Examples of service providers working together to promote the most effective and efficient use of services for young people include:

  • Specialist mental health services (YouthReach South and Youth Link) have a memorandum of understanding with youth drug and alcohol services aimed at improving access and shared care for youth with co-morbid mental health and substance use issues. A series of case conferences between the organisations has increased partnerships, continuity and quality of care.
  • Integrated Service Centres for refugee children is a cross-agency program between Department of Education, Child and Community Health Services and CAMHS located at two primary schools with Intensive English Centres where there is a high proportion of refugees. The program assists with service access for a vulnerable population.
  • In 2010 two teams of child protection specialist liaison clinicians were established in the North and South Metropolitan area. This project aims to improve the collaboration and liaison with Department of Child Protection as well as the ability to measure and report on services provided to children and young people in care. Top of page

Priority area 4: Quality improvement and innovation

A WA Steering Group has been established to lead the implementation of the National Standards for Mental Health Services and the first meeting was held in December 2010. The Group includes representation from the public mental health services, private hospitals, the NGO sector, the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, carers and consumers and the Department of Health and Ageing (WA branch).

The 'Practicewise' Evidence based Interventions Database was established to provide easy computer based access for CAMHS clinicians to step by step protocols and templates for delivering evidence based interventions to children and adolescents, including information for what works with whom.

Priority area 5: Accountability – measuring and reporting progress

The Economic Audit Committee (EAC) Report 'Putting the Public First: Partnering with the Community and Business to Deliver Outcomes': Government of Western Australia 2009; recommends that an Outcomes Areas approach is adopted to bring together key stakeholders from both within and outside the state public sector to work collaboratively toward agreed outcomes. Mental health is one of the three key outcome areas identified at a whole of government level for collaborative effort. The other two outcome areas are homelessness and early childhood.

The Mental Health Outcomes Area Working Group was established in 2010 to provide advice and leadership on several issues including the contribution to mental health outcomes for which individual agencies should be held accountable. The Group currently has representation from government and non government service providers and will meet in February 2011 to consider terms of reference and the most effective way of engaging consumers, carers and the wider community.