Hon Stephen Dawson MLC

Hon Stephen Dawson MLC

Minister for Emergency Services; Innovation and the Digital Economy; Medical Research; Volunteering

    Young people help design mental health and AOD solutions

    12/10/2021 4:30 PM
    • Youth Steering Group will help guide delivery of youth services
    • 10 young people with lived experience are passionate, informed advocates for change
    • McGowan Government committed to reform mental health and AOD services for children and young people   

    Five members of the newly formed Youth Steering Group attended State Parliament today to brief Mental Health Minister Stephen Dawson on their work for the Young People's Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Use: Priorities for Action 2020-2025 (YPPA).


    The meeting has taken place during Mental Health Week, which this year has a theme called 'Mental Health Starts With Our Children'. The theme reminds us a child's early years are so important and help develop our kids into compassionate, confident people.


    The YPPA was officially launched in December to help guide the system-wide change of youth mental health and AOD services, as part of the wider reform of Western Australia's mental health and AOD sector. The Youth Steering Group contributes a unique perspective and is leading work to engage with young people and inform key themes arising from the YPPA.


    Young people are also helping to co-design new mental health and AOD services for their age group, announced as part of this year's State Budget investment. The Mental Health Commission has just completed a co-design process for:

    • thirty new psychosocial support packages to help young people with mental health and AOD issues to live in the community, and participate in and contribute to community, social and economic life ($9.5 million);
    • a Youth Step-Up, Step-Down facility which will be a 10-unit, youth-specific service providing a combination of psychosocial and clinical supports in a residential setting to help develop young people's crisis resolution strategies to enable their recovery ($10.6 million); and
    • a long-term housing and support program which will offer 20 packages for young people with mental health and AOD issues to access long-term accommodation alongside co-ordinated clinical, psychosocial and AOD supports ($18.2 million). 

    The Mental Health Commission conducted workshops and held focus groups that included young people to help co-design the new service requirements and pathways that will best meet their needs.


    The Young People's Priority for Action is being led by the Mental Health Commission, in partnership with the Youth Affairs Council of WA, and with young people, their families and carers.


    For practical resources and helpful tips to support children or to find a local Mental Health Week event, visit http://www.mentalhealthweek.org.au


    For mental health and wellbeing information go to http://www.thinkmentalhealthwa.com.au


    To find a support service in your local area, visit your GP or http://www.myservices.org.au


    For immediate support call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 for free counselling. In a crisis situation call Lifeline on 13 11 14. In a medical emergency call 000.


    Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Stephen Dawson:


    "What we are hearing from young people is the need for their involvement at all stages. For the services we are designing right now, we are including young people in the co-design to make sure we get the right services for the young people who need them.


    "We are being guided by our Youth Steering Group comprising 10 amazing young people from diverse and intersectional backgrounds who have lived experience of mental health and AOD issues, and who are passionate, informed advocates for change.


    "Thank you to each of the Youth Steering Group members who are helping lead the transformation of the mental health and AOD sector in WA so we can make a real difference to the lives of our children and young people into the future."


    Minister's office - 6552 5800