Joint Regional Mental Health Plan

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Endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council in August 2017, a pivotal theme underpinning the success of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (5th Plan) is integration and is concerned with building relationships between organisations that are similarly aiming to improve the outcomes and experiences of mental health consumers and carers at the local level.

The First Priority area in the 5th Plan is the development of Joint Regional Plans (JRPs) and identifies the Federally-funded Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and State-funded Local Hospital Networks (known as Health Service Providers in WA) as

Endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council in August 2017, a pivotal theme underpinning the success of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (5th Plan) is integration and is concerned with building relationships between organisations that are similarly aiming to improve the outcomes and experiences of mental health consumers and carers at the local level.

The First Priority area in the 5th Plan is the development of Joint Regional Plans (JRPs) and identifies the Federally-funded Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and State-funded Local Hospital Networks (known as Health Service Providers in WA) as the organisations possessing the core architecture to support service integration at the regional level. Under the 5th Plan, governments require Health Service Providers (HSPs) and PHNs to develop and publicly release joint regional mental health and suicide prevention plans between 2020-2022.

The WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), the WA Mental Health Commission (MHC), and the five state-based HSPs each have a vested interest in undertaking joint regional planning to make better use of existing mental health resources and improve sustainability across the health system. These stakeholders have agreed to work together, in consultation with WA’s peak consumer, carer and sector bodies, to develop a foundational blueprint for collaborative action to enhance mental health service delivery from prevention through to the interface with acute specialist care. Our goal is to bring together primary care and local public health services to achieve a cohesive system that ensures those needing care can access appropriate services in a timely manner throughout Western Australia.

There will be two stages in the development of the joint regional plans:

• The delivery of a Foundational Plan by 30 June 2020, that is intended to provide the scope for collaborative service development between WAPHA, the MHC and the HSPs. It will focus on ways to address shared priorities, including opportunities for joint commissioning, and integrated pathways for people with mental health and/or AoD issues within the current health system.

• The creation of regional Comprehensive Service Development Plans by 30 June 2022, guided by the parameters set out in the Foundational Plan, to address localised service gaps and priorities in partnership with the communities they serve.

  • Priority Areas Stakeholder Feedback

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    31 August, 2020
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    The Foundational Plan is intended to provide the scope for collaborative action between the WA Primary Health Alliance, the WA Mental Health Commission and the State's 5 Health Service Providers to reduce the impact of mental illness, alcohol and other drug use, and suicidal behaviour within the Perth metropolitan and country WA regions, with a focus on ways to:

    • Reduce gaps, fragmentation and duplication in service provision
    • Address shared priorities, including opportunities for joint planning and commissioning
    • Integrate pathways for people with mental illness and/or AoD issues within the WA health system.

    Following stakeholder consultation and a collaborative workshop, a number of priority areas were identified as pragmatic and achievable considerations for future joint regional planning and/or service development. We are now seeking stakeholder feedback to determine if these sections appropriately capture the rationale and scope for each priority area. Registered stakeholders are invited to download and review draft sections from the JRP Feedback page.


    We will notify registered stakeholders when new section drafts are uploaded to the JRP Feedback page.

  • COVID-19 deadline extension to Joint Regional Plans

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    29 May, 2020
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    In an email distributed to PHN CEOs on 7 May 2020, the Mental Health Supports Branch of the Commonwealth Department of Health indicated that they had received representations from a number of PHNs indicating they were unable to meet the June 2020 time frame to finalise their Joint Regional Plans.

    Following consultation with the Mental Health Principal Committee, the Department is providing PHNs an extension of six months to 31 December 2020 to complete and publish their regional plans.

    This approach will give PHNs, Local Hospital Networks (HSPs in WA) and their regional partners additional time to address the current COVID-19 crisis and allow time for sign off of the joint plan by stakeholders later in the year.

  • Joint Regional Planning Workshop – 6 December 2019

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    20 December, 2019
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    WAPHA’s Health Policy (Mental Health) team held a Joint Regional Planning (JRP) Workshop at the Mental Health Commission (MHC) on 6 December 2019. Representatives from the MHC and all Health Service Providers attended along with a wide range of peak bodies, including WAAMH, WANADA, AHCWA and WALGA. Running the workshop as planned was challenged by the absence of some WAPHA staff due to an illness that swept through the organisation in the 24 hours prior to the event. However, thanks to the expertise and contributions of facilitators and participants some useful feedback on priority areas for further collaboration and inclusion in the Foundational Plan was obtained.


    Key themes identified on the day included:

    • Joint gatherings of mental health stakeholders from across the system is relatively uncommon and there were benefits in having a diverse range of stakeholders in the room together;
    • Each participant group would benefit from clear mapping and understanding of everyone’s roles and responsibilities;
    • Participants wanted assurance that the recommendations from relevant State/Federal reports and plans were being considered and utilised to inform development of the Joint Regional Plan; and
    • Stakeholder groups would welcome further engagement in understanding and realising the benefits of the joint regional planning process and related outputs.

    Priority Areas

    Based on a review of the raw data from group discussions and observations made by participants on the day, several key themes were synthesised into draft priority areas. These draft priority areas are considered most likely to be the subject of pragmatic and achievable joint regional planning endeavours in the future:

    1. Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB)

    2. Care Coordination

    • Suicide prevention
    • Physical health
    • Psychosocial support

    3. System Navigation

    • Regional service mapping
    • Central entry point (eg, Initial Assessment and Referral (IAR) portal)

    4. Cooperative Commissioning

    • Planning (National Mental Health Services Planning Framework)
    • Evaluation
    • Co-design (HSPs, Peaks, Consumers/Carers)

    Next Steps

    The Joint Regional Foundational Plan is due to be completed by 30 June 2020. Stage 2 of the joint regional planning process, which involves drafting service development plans, will commence from July 2020 for completion by June 2022.