Boost to Mental Health Facilities for WA Mining Communities

By Sharon Smith
Friday, 03 July, 2015



The Western Australian government has announced funding for further support of the spiraling mental health problems affecting its mining workers in plans to expand the state’s subacute mental health beds to a total of 60 by 2017.


The service will be spread across Broome, Bunbury, Karratha, South Kalgoorlie, Joondalup and Rockingham and is designed to give local people a contemporary therapeutic mental health service as an alternative to hospital admission.


The State's first 22-bed subacute service, which opened in Joondalup in May 2013, has steadily increased occupancy to 81 per cent, providing more than 428 admissions in lieu of hospitalisation.



"This reflects the community need and preference for these types of innovative mental health services that offer flexible, recovery-focused care, closer to home and to family and friends who can offer support," Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said.



"This model of care helps build better community understanding and, by offering an effective alternative to going to hospital, removes much of the trauma, stigma and cost that can result from acute episodes of mental illness."


In Western Australia in 2013-14, a mental health bed in a hospital cost $1,234 on average each day and $453 in a community subacute centre. Subacute facilities provide short-term residential care to help people manage their mental health where admission to hospital is not necessary, and also help people transition back to life in the community after discharge from acute care in hospital.

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