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.
• 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.