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Australia : 10-year plan builds on WA mental health reforms.

A bold and ambitious agenda for building up community based treatment and support services as a priority forms the basis of The Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025.

Releasing the draft plan for consultation, Premier Colin Barnett and Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said the 10-year blueprint outlined sector-wide transformation across three distinct phases.

We are building on reforms this State Government has already implemented to modernise support and services. It will help people with a mental illness, their families and carers at an earlier stage and in their community while also supporting those working in the sector, Mr Barnett said.

People struggling with mental illness, alcohol and drug use, as well as their families, need access to personalised, modern and high quality services close to their homes. Prevention and early intervention programs and greater access to community-based services are essential to bring balance to the system and reduce our reliance on expensive hospital beds.

This Government recognises this and has made mental health, alcohol and other drug services a high priority since 2008. Substantial change has already taken place to modernise supports and services, and this plan will build on this.

Change cannot happen overnight and must be staged to produce a system that is more responsive, easier to navigate and more equitable for all West Australians.

Mrs Morton said the plan was an honest reflection of the mental health picture in WA.

It shows where we are, where we need to get to and which direction to take, she said.

It articulates the need for change over the next decade to tackle mental health, alcohol and other drug challenges to create a more connected, efficient and high quality system.

We want to achieve this by moving hospital and community services to outer metropolitan and regional locations where possible, and increasing the number of people treated closer to home. As part of these changes, the Government has committed to the staged closure of Graylands Hospital as contemporary services are delivered across the State.

The staged closure of Graylands would take place over a number of years, with no immediate impact on existing staff or residents. Any change would only take place following consultation with residents, their families or carers and would be on a person-by-person basis.

However, this does not mean that there will not be anything on the Graylands site, as it is intended some new, contemporary mental health facilities will be located there, Mrs Morton said.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Dec 3, 2014
Words:426
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