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Helen Morton: Mental Health Minister (WA)
WA's Mental Health Minister, Helen Morton has praised the merging of the Drug and Alcohol Office (DAO) with the Mental Health Commission (MHC).
Minister Morton said she believes it will ensure better integration of the State’s network of mental health and drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services.
“There is no doubt that there is a substantial link between people experiencing mental illness and harmful drug and alcohol use,” Mrs Morton said.
“Given the common occurrence of drug and alcohol issues coexisting with mental health problems, this merger will support a timely and effective response to both issues," she added.
The Minister said that the Stokes Report highlighted the need for improved liaison between mental health and drug and alcohol services to co-operatively provide care and intervention for patients with dual conditions.
“The new arrangement will encourage culture change, reduce the incidence of ‘silos’ in service delivery and improve the delivery of mental health and drug and alcohol services across the State.
The MHC and DAO currently operate primarily as the purchaser of services across government. This proposal will strengthen the ability of the departments to negotiate and manage contracts.
The board of the DAO will continue to operate and be supported by the MHC until changes to the Alcohol and Drug Authority Act 1974 can be enacted to amalgamate the DAO and the MHC.