Hon Helen Morton MLC

Hon Helen Morton MLC

Former Minister for Mental Health; Disability Services; Child Protection

    Reduction in self-harm admissions at PMH

    31/05/2015 12:00 AM
    • Children at risk now receiving specialist help sooner
    • Community-based response teams helping young people before they hit crisis point 

    Reduced waiting times to see specialists and intensive support for young people at risk of self harm has resulted in a 40 per cent drop in the number of admissions to Princess Margaret Hospital for self-inflicted injuries in the past year.


    Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said the number of admissions had dropped from 494 in 2013 to 306 in 2014.


    "This is because waiting times to see a specialist before a young person hits crisis point have been reduced, so we are getting help for these young people before they self harm," Mrs Morton said.


    "We have also significantly increased the number of community-based support services now available to families, providing them with intensive assistance.


    "While we do have to continually keep working to ensure the number of children harming themselves continues to fall, I am encouraged to see the changes we have put into place starting to have an effect."


    The new figures come as more than 200 Netball WA coaches and officials today participate in suicide prevention workshops and presentations as part of an agreement between Netball WA and the State Government.


    The Minister said the training, to be delivered by not-for-profit organisation Youth Focus, would increase awareness about mental illness and help reduce stigma in seeking help.


    The training session is one of 13 held across the State over the past six months. Netball WA has trained 553 coaches, players and officials since the program was announced in September 2014 and anticipated training a total of 1,200 people by next month.


    "Netball reaches thousands of young girls each year and provides an ideal forum for getting the message out that it is okay to seek help," Mrs Morton said.


    "This training will allow players and coaches in the netball community to recognise the warning signs of someone thinking about suicide, and be confident in helping them to get the support they need."


    The partnership is part of the Government's commitment to raise awareness of suicide and equip communities with suicide prevention training.


    The Minister said the new suicide prevention strategy, Suicide Prevention 2020: Together we can save lives, had been funded for $26 million over four years and aimed to reduce the number of suicides in Western Australia by 50 per cent over the next decade.

    Fact File

    • The partnership with Netball WA is similar to One Life WA's partnership with the West Australian Football Commission, which will see 2,800 community coaches increase their capacity to support players with mental illness
    • For information about the new suicide prevention strategy, visit http://www.onelifewa.com.au

    Minister's office - 6552 6900