- $2.28 million for specialist drug and alcohol nurses to ease pressure at hospital emergency departments
- More people seeking help as $500,000 expanded media campaign launched
Additional nurses with specialist training in dealing with drug-affected individuals will be placed in hospital emergency departments from January 2017.
Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell announced the $2.28 million clinical nurses program today at the launch of the Liberal National Government's $500,000 expanded media campaign, to reduce methamphetamine use and direct people to the new Meth Helpline.
"The specialist nurses will provide screening, assessment and intervention, as well as support to other hospital staff responding to complex meth-related cases," Ms Mitchell said.
"They will also support meth users and their families to connect with treatment options and will train other medical staff, to build long-term capacity in the workforce to respond to patients with drug and alcohol problems."
Health Minister John Day said six full-time equivalent alcohol and other drug clinical nurse specialists would be employed.
"This important initiative will help ease the pressure on our very busy hospital ED staff and reduce stress in emergency departments," Mr Day said.
The Government has also expanded its Meth Helpline media campaign after more than 1,200 callers sought help for meth-related harms in the first 10 weeks of operation of the helpline.
"The calls have included users who had stopped using and wanted help to keep off meth, users who wanted help to stop using immediately and family and friends who wanted to help people close to them affected by meth," Ms Mitchell said.
"This is an incredible response, which shows that more and more West Australians are aware of the harm that meth and other drugs can cause, and are taking steps to combat it.
"This campaign will further spread the message through television, radio, cinema, out-of-home and digital advertising, to let people know that help is available."
The helpline (1800 874 878) is free, confidential and anonymous and provides professional counselling, ongoing advice, referrals and information, and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Nurses will service the Rockingham, Armadale-Kelmscott, Midland, Royal Perth and Bunbury hospitals, and Joondalup and Peel health campuses
- The Meth Strategy has delivered a comprehensive range of treatment and support to tackle methamphetamines, including 60 new residential treatment beds to start from January, a boost to staffing in community alcohol and other drug counselling centres, a dedicated Meth Helpline providing free counselling, a specialist methamphetamine outpatient clinic and frontline worker training
Mental Health Minister's office - 6552 5400
Health Minister's office - 6552 6200