[Picture: Gemma Correll]

I think that one of the biggest problems within today’s society is that we don’t even know how to think about many of today’s problems. We think our reason and effort will be enough to solve them. However, these problems are of a different nature to the ones experienced in the past. They are different because, we as a society are now more interconnected than ever before. There can now be no simple cause and effect, especially when discussing Mental Health in an emergent practice context.

The Government of Western Australia’s Mental Health Commission, realises that a prevention and intervention method needs to be taken when addressing mental health in an emergent practice context. The Mental Health 2020 campaign focuses on reforming Western Australia’s mental health system by ultimately reducing societal stigma, their tagline being: “Making it personal and everybody’s business”. Mental Health 2020 sees a vision of a Western Australia where everyone works together to encourage and support people who experience mental health problems and/or mental illness to stay in the community, out of hospital and live a meaningful life.

The Commission has responsibility for strategic policy, planning, purchasing and monitoring of mental health services in Western Australia. In addition, the Commission seeks to raise public awareness of mental wellbeing, promote social inclusion and address the stigma and discrimination affecting people with mental health problems and/or mental illness. The Mental Health 2020 campaign is devised under 3 key reform directions; person centred supports and services, connected approaches and balanced investment.

The campaigns effectiveness relies on not only it’s focus on the individuals unique strengths and needs through suffering from mental illness, but also the dire need for strong connections; be it between public and private mental health services, primary health services, mainstream services, businesses, communities, individuals, families and carers. The suggested increased accessibility to community based programs with strong links to existing universal services are likely to be the most acceptable, effective and least stigmatising.

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The above Ecomap, developed to help outline the Mental Health 2020 campaign, demonstrates the array of relationships, supports and services available to those individuals experiencing mental health problems and/or mental illness.By ultimately reducing the stigma surrounding the mental health sector and improving strength in community connections, such relationships, support networks and facilities will be responsive to their needs and strengths, interests and preferences.


Amy Lomax

Mental Health Commission , Government of Western Australia, 2015. Mental Health 2020. Strategic Plan, [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 22 August 2016]


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