Community mental health supports can change an individual’s life trajectory by enabling them to better understand and manage their own personal recovery, and supporting them to live well in the community and stay out of hospital.
Increasingly, mental health policy and reform agendas – nationally and worldwide – are calling for the need to expand non-clinical community mental health support.
Investing in community support models allows people more choice in how they stay well, and is frequently more cost-effective than costly alternatives such as emergency department presentations or hospital admissions, which for some are a last resort.
The Centre for Social Impact, University of Western Australia (CSI, UWA) was proud to launch the ‘Increasing and Improving Community Mental Health Supports in Western Australia’ report on 6 November, 2020.
Drawing on research carried out from May to July 2020, the final report (available below) presents six models of innovative community mental health support that consider the needs of priority cohorts who are less likely to access support, due to service gaps or additional barriers to engagement.
These are young people (high school aged and young adults), family members and carers, individuals with high acuity mental health issues and multiple unmet needs (including co-occurring alcohol and other drug issues), and people living in rural and remote areas.
The project utilised a mixed-methods research and co-design collaboration with lived experience advisors and perspectives, and in close partnership with the Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH). The lived experience voice represented a fundamental lens of evidence and knowledge.
Pathbreaking relational and relationships-based research was conducted by CSI UWA authors Lisette Kaleveld, Catherine Bock and Dr Ami Seivwright, and lived experience advisors Margaret Doherty, Juanita Koeijers and Amanda Waegeli, with WAAMH’s Chelsea McKinney and Taryn Harvey leading the project.
Pictured above (L-R): Taryn Harvey, CEO of WAAHM, Lisette Kaleveld, Catherine Bock and Professor Paul Flatau from CSI UWA, at the launch of the research report.