About half of all people will have mental health problems at some time, and about 3% will have issues that require significant care and support. Each person’s experience of mental health is unique and can change over time, and their mental health issues will affect those who care for and support them. Providing care that best matches each person’s needs and circumstances is complex and difficult.

Through the Mental Health Commission, the State invests about $800 million each year in a range of community and hospital based mental health services that are delivered by Health Service Providers and non-government organisations. These services work alongside and with services provided by the Commonwealth and private practitioners.

This audit looked at how State-managed mental health services are structured and how people move through the WA mental health system. We found a system under significant pressure, which often struggles to meet the demand for mental health care. One of the reasons for this is the mix of services currently available does not match what the State needs. This will come as no great surprise, because the issue was identified almost 5 years ago in the Better Choices. Better Lives: Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025. It is a good plan, but progress in changing the service mix in accordance with the Plan has been very limited.

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