McGowan Government expanding mental health services

The McGowan Government will significantly increase mental health investment in Western Australia, with a $420 million boost in the upcoming State Budget.
  • McGowan Government to boost mental health spending by $420 million in its 2023-24 Budget
  • $218.9 million for the Graylands Reconfiguration and Forensic Taskforce project
  • $201 million boost to mental health services including $35.5 million in new funding for Infant, Children and Adolescents (ICA) mental health services in Western Australia
  • $9.8 million for suicide prevention and $9.9 million for active recovery teams
  • McGowan Government investing in the health and mental health of Western Australians

The McGowan Government will significantly increase mental health investment in Western Australia, with a $420 million boost in the upcoming State Budget.

The new funding will lift the Mental Health Commission's annual budget to $1.4 billion in 2023-24, a massive 57.3 per cent increase since the McGowan Government came to office.

The new investment in the 2023-24 Budget includes $218.9 million for the first stage of works of the Graylands Reconfiguration and Forensic Taskforce project that will modernise care for mental health patients in WA.

The additional funding for Graylands Hospital will enable construction of at least 53 additional forensic mental health beds, of which five are for a children and adolescent unit.

Mental health services will receive a $201 million boost in funding. This includes an additional $35.5 million commitment to Infant, Children and Adolescent (ICA) mental health services, with funding for more than 43 additional staff, and is comprised of:

  • $7.1 million for a pilot of the Bunbury ICA Mental Health Service Hub;
  • $6.4 million for continuation/extension of uplifted mental health workers at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (9.5 FTE);
  • $7.7 million to reconfigure Perth Children's Hospital Ward 5A;
  • $3.6 million to pilot the East Metropolitan Acute Care Response Team;
  • Expansion of Touchstone service - a specialised intensive treatment service for children aged 12-17 years with complex personality disorders - by $4.8 million; and
  • $5.8 million for an additional 10 Aboriginal Mental Health Workers (FTE) to support Aboriginal children and families to access and engage with mental health services.

The uplift in funding also includes $82.6 million for mental health-related hospital services and $24.4 million to continue the Mental Health Emergency Telehealth Service run by the WA country Health Service. A further $8 million has been allocated for continuation/extension of community mental health treatment services and new funding of $9.8 million will go towards suicide prevention initiatives in WA.

The Active Recovery Team program will receive $9.9 million to bridge the gap between clinical mental health services inside hospitals and community-based organisations.

Additional funding of $4.7 million has also been allocated for community mental health, alcohol and other drug services.

Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:

"As part of the McGowan Government's ongoing investment in WA's health system, we recognise the importance of youth mental health initiatives, secure mental health beds and suicide prevention in supporting community health and wellbeing.

"This significant new investment in expanding services and infrastructure at Graylands Hospital is a major step forward to contemporise forensic mental health services in WA, and complements the mentally impaired accused legislative reform.   

"Improving mental health outcomes for children and adolescents is another important area of focus and the 2023-24 State Budget builds on our investment from last year.

"We want to give people every opportunity to maintain their mental health and recover in the community, and this extended allocation of community mental health workers and active recovery teams will help more people to achieve this."

Minister's office -  6552 5900