A Safe Place Mental Health Accommodation Strategy
The long-awaited accommodation support strategy has been released: A Safe Place, A Western Australian strategy to provide safe and stable accommodation, and support to people experiencing mental health, alcohol and other drug issues 2020-2025.
Safe, affordable housing and mental wellbeing are intrinsically connected. In order to be well, people need a safe place to call home.
WAAMH welcomes the release of the Strategy which has been in development for some years. The Strategy paves the way for increased access to supported accommodation services to aid people’s recovery.
The strategy is importantly led by the Mental Health Commission and supported by the Department of Communities and Ministers Cook, Tinley and McGurk. It sets out the Government’s aims to support people’s timely access to accommodation and support with a range of actions under 5 key focus areas:
- Safe, stable, appropriate, affordable, long term accommodation.
- Strategic, collaborative partnerships.
- Contemporary housing and support models.
- Planning, education and training.
- Standardised data and relevant research.
WAAMH especially welcomes the focus on improving access to safe and stable accommodation. What we now need to see is government putting the Strategy into action. This should include clear priorities for immediate implementation and new investment in a range of supported accommodation services to meet diverse consumer needs across the state. We hope to see some new investment in this year’s Budget, due in October. This investment would help realise the 10 Year Plan’s goal to increase community supports by 5 times so that instead of 1 in 5 people being able to access the support they need, everyone can.
Mental health support can prevent homelessness, and homelessness support can prevent mental health issues developing or worsening. We need to connect the two to support and reduce both issues in our community. That’s why increased access to supported accommodation services is a key foundation of our Prevent Support Heal campaign.