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MEDIA RELEASE: Further elevating the voice of lived experience

Cook Government to Further Elevate the Voice of Lived Experience in the Health and Mental Health Sectors

Today the Minister for Health; and Mental Health, the Hon. Amber-Jade Sanderson MLA, announced the final Government position on outcomes recommendations 14 and 15 of the Independent Review of WA Health System Governance (IGR).

These recommendations involved moving key responsibilities from the Mental Health Commission to the Department of Health, which would have the effect of diluting the voice of Lived Experience in service design and commissioning, and were at odds with contemporary developments in mental health including a greater focuson recovery models and community based care.

Since receiving the IGR report and understanding the mental health sector’s concern on these recommendations, the Minister established a Ministerial Working Group, and engaged with a wide cross section of key stakeholders, including Consumers of Mental Health WA (CoMHWA) and Lived Experience representatives, to provide advice on governance reforms.

CoMHWA is pleased to report that the Minister, on advice from the Working Group, has made the decision to not support Recommendations 14 and 15.

Furthermore,the Minister has committed to several new initiatives that will involve elevating the voice of consumers, carers and families within both the Mental Health Commission and Department of Health, as well the establishing a Ministerial Advisory Panel comprising mental health and AOD community sector leaders and Lived Experience leaders, meeting with the Minister quarterly.

An avenue for the voice of Lived Experience to speak directly to the Minister via the Ministerial Advisory Panel is an outstanding initiative, and one that CoMHWA has advocated for.

CoMHWA commends the Minister and the Chair of the Ministerial Working Group, Ralph Addis, for their commitment to listening to the concerns of the people with a lived experience of mental health issues throughout this process, and for taking courageous steps to further strengthen and enhance the ability for people to have a say in the policies, systems and services that affect them,” says CoMHWA CEO, Darren Munday.

“CoMHWA looks forward to working with the Minister, the Mental Health Commission and the Department of Health on the implementation of these new initiatives.”


For further comments, please contact Darren Munday, CoMHWA CEO on 9258 8911 or email

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