MEDIA RELEASE: 21 September 2020
Richmond Wellbeing supports WAAMH State Election Platform – Prevent Support Heal
The Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) launched their State Election Platform Manifesto this week, titled Prevent Support Heal, which outlines models for mental health funding focussing on increased community supports and lived experience.
The Prevent Support Heal campaign is seeking 2021 State Election commitments from all political parties to increase funding for prevention and community support services, in line with the State Government’s own 10-year mental health plan: Better Choices. Better Lives: Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025.
This plan describes the optimal mix of services as 29% spending on hospital beds, as opposed to the current state government spending of 47%, indicating an underfunding of community services and early intervention.
Adrian Munro, CEO of leading community mental health organisation Richmond Wellbeing, supports the funding model presented by the Prevent Support Heal Manifesto and backs calls for an increase in prevention spend from one percent to five percent and a five-fold increase in funding for community support.
“Community based mental health services are our core business at Richmond Wellbeing and we have seen first-hand over 45 years in WA, the difference these services can make,” Mr Munro said.
“Hospital beds play an important role in mental health care but are too often the first interaction individuals have with mental health services. Community support services assist in preventing people requiring hospital admission and experiencing long term mental distress, thus providing better long-term outcomes for recovery.
“Our clients consistently tell us that they need a wide range of services, and the choice to move between them as required. This includes community supports and peer-run services. We also know that listening to the voice of lived experience is essential because this the community we are serving.”
Richmond Wellbeing would like to see the balance of funding to mental health services redressed to invest $334 million in community support and prevention by the year 2025 and is calling on all political parties in the 2021 State Election to commit to this.
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Read the Prevent Support Heal Manifesto in full HERE.