About us and our goal

Prevent Support Heal is an initiative of the peak body for community mental health, the Western Australian Association for Mental Health.

We are a community of people with mental health challenges, our families, friends, and the services who support us and anyone who understands more investment and awareness is needed towards mental health community supports.

Our Western Australian mental health system and spending is currently oriented around crises with public mental health services and Emergency Departments the major focus.

These services deliver medical models of care which alone do not achieve positive mental health outcomes for our community.

We need a dramatic shift to prevent mental health issues from developing or worsening and to provide equitable access to holistic community-based support that keeps people living well in their homes, in jobs and connected to loved ones in the community.

WA’s mental health system is badly in need of rebalancing, away from costly crisis-led acute services to a focus on preventing mental health issues in the first place and making it easy to find help where and when it is needed.

The government, mental health sector, people with lived experience and the wider community must all work together if we are to shift to a better, more balanced system.

What do we want?
The campaign seeks 2021 election commitments from the major parties to increase resourcing for prevention and innovative community support, as per the State Government’s own widely endorsed own plan.

We need:
• An increase in prevention spend from 1% to 5% of total mental health spend;
• Funding to community mental health services to increase five-fold

We know mental health is a growing problem, but without proper funding our health system won’t be able to cope.

The Government’s own WA Mental Health Strategy says funding for prevention and community support should increase from $50 million annually to around $250 million by 2025.

This funding will deliver prevention programs to increase awareness, reduce stigma and encourage early intervention.

In addition, more resources provided for community services will deliver treatment, counselling and support near people’s homes, rather than in expensive hospitals.

The people of WA have an expectation that mental health services will available when and where they need it. Unfortunately, at present, this is not being delivered.

OUR PARTNERS

In this Together

Organisations behind the campaign

Community mental health services provide a critical network of support structures for people experiencing mental distress, in their own homes and communities, before they reach crisis point and help them adjust to daily life again after a hospital admission. Community mental health services work together to support individuals to secure jobs, form relationships, build fulfilling lives, develop skills and interests, prevent hospital admissions, and promote healing, all while keeping people living well with their own familiar routines and loved ones around them. Community services operate on a recovery-based model, where they see the person before the problem, their strengths before their slips, and genuinely work in partnership with each individual to determine what works well for them on their own personal journey.

This concept recognises it’s a variety of social determinants and factors in one’s life that shapes their mental wellbeing. There are different mental health service options for different people at different times, and hospitals and medication may be only one part of that journey or not even play a part at all if community supports are in place at the right time.

The majority of our supporters are members of the peak body for community mental health, the WA Association for Mental Health or fellow peaks operating in this space, but any organisation or individual that is dedicated to improving mental health outcomes in the community, and getting behind the campaign is welcome to stand alongside us. If you’d like to add your logo to our cause, please reach out at preventsupportheal@waamh.org.au