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People with complex needs

Skip Navigation LinksWA State Election 2013 Party Policies People with complex needs
This is what we asked the parties to respond to.

People with Complex Needs

Community services have become increasingly concerned by the prevalence of mental health and drug and alcohol issues in their clients, as increased complexity of need complicates the provision of services. The Council has called for innovative, integrated and flexible service responses to provide assistance and address service gaps so we can more effectively assist clients who face multiple life barriers.

What are your party’s policies in the areas of mental health, safety and justice and how will they address the emerging issues of complex need?


WA Labor recognises the interrelationship between drug and alcohol issues, mental health and the housing pressures that result in financial hardship. We are committed to working with WACOSS and its members to provide support for people with
complex needs, to achieve much better co-ordination and referral pathways.

We will be releasing policies, including for mental health, which will address many of these issues, closer to the election.

The Government's recent release of the Mid-Year Financial Projections revealed that State debt has risen by 405 per cent to $18.2 billion and that there will be a budget deficit next financial year. This is a direct result of the State Government prioritising
large building projects in the CBD at a time when our most vulnerable citizens are in need.

WA Labor's policies are available here. Further
policies will be posted on this website upon release.

The People with Exceptionally Complex Needs (PECN) program was expanded in January 2012 and can coordinate support for 18 people who require a holistic response to meet their complex needs. The program targets up to 10 young people with complex needs and whose risk levels are very high.  Funding of $15.3 million across three years has been committed to establish an Early Psychosis Youth Centre (EPYC). The EPYC, the first centre of its kind in Western Australia, is scheduled to commence in 2014 and will provide opportunities for wraparound services for young people experiencing mental illness.    In addition, $5 million was allocated over two years in the 2012-13 State Budget to establish Western Australia’s first ever Mental Health Court Diversion Program, headed by a full time magistrate and supported by a team of professionals providing assessments, individualised treatment and liaison to community mental health services.   A further $1.7 million has been allocated to provide mental health expertise in the Perth Children’s Court, with the associated programs to be implemented in early 2013. 

 The Greens (WA) recognise that too many people in our community are falling through gaps in service delivery because their needs are multiple and complex, and often fall across different portfolio and service areas. We welcome and support a number of programs which address this need in a more coordinated way, including the People with Exceptionally Complex Needs, and Young People with Exceptionally Complex Needs programs. However, these programs do not meet current need and should be expanded. Within the justice system we believe intervention, justice reinvestment and court diversionary programs which successfully address offending behaviour including the Mental Health Court, Intellectual Disability Diversion Program (IDDP) and the Perth Drug Court should be expanded. More broadly, addressing the needs of this group of people requires a coordinated, innovative and flexible approach to service delivery including better acute inpatient and community treatment options, support for prisoners, and a better legislative framework.

  The response from the National Party did not address the individual priorities. Please refer to their letter for more details of their response, please click here.
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