MHC and the DAO to amalgamate in WA

Wednesday, 10 April, 2013

The WA state government today announced the Drug and Alcohol Office (DAO) and the Mental Health Commission (MHC) will be joined. Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said this would 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,” 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.

“The Stokes Report highlighted the need for improved liaison between mental health and drug and alcohol services to cooperatively 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 amalgamation will also ensure integration of professional education and training and research activities in the drug and alcohol and mental health sectors.”

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.

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