Labor has won the election - what does this mean for mental health reform?
THE Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) congratulates Mark McGowan’s Labor Party on its election to government in Western Australia on the weekend. WAAMH has a productive relationship with Mr McGowan and his shadow ministers and we look forward to continuing this relationship over the next four years.
We are especially pleased with Labor's commitment to reform the Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act in its first year in office, to retain a Mental Health Minister and the Mental Health Commission, and to focus the efforts of the Commission on delivering on the Ten Year Mental Health Alcohol & Other Drugs Plan.
However, we are not seeing in Labor’s mental health election platform the shift in investment toward prevention and community services signalled in the plan, despite the evidence that this is a more effective use of scarce resources. We will focus our efforts on achieving this shift during the current term when the half way point of the plan will be reached.
WAAMH acknowledges the substantial progress made in mental health reform by the Barnett Liberal government in the past eight years. WA was the first jurisdiction in Australia to establish a Mental Health Commission and the introduction of the Mental Health Act and completion of the Ten Year Plan are achievements the outgoing government has a right to be proud of.
During the election campaign period, WAAMH welcomed several of Labor leader Mark McGowan's mental health polices, but outlined some important gaps.
With Labor forming the new State Government, WAAMH will continue to communicate the sector's priority reforms and ensure previously outlined policies on mental health are implemented
Media Release: WAAMH welcomes some parts of Labor's mental health policy but crucial reforms still missing
Download comparative table showing what each major political party has committed to for mental health reform.
Download a table showing an overview of how the election commitments from each party stack up against our core elections asks for mental health.
Download our full analysis of how mental health policy and commitment fit into the State election landscape.