The Chief Psychiatrist has issued this guideline for the use of audiovisual communication in response to the requirement of the Mental Health Infection Control Directions. These Directions were issued under the Public Health Act 2016.
The Direction enables Audio Visual Communication to be used when conducting MHA 2014 section 48 examinations & MHA section 79 examination assessment criteria in the prescribed specified situations.
It is essential that all medical practitioners and AMHPs read the attached Audio-Visual Communication guideline and the Mental Health Infection Control Directions (No.2) which were effective from 2 September 2020.
Should you have any queries, please discuss with your service Clinical Lead in the first instance.
Chief Psychiatrist’s Guideline: Audiovisual Communication (December 2020)
Mental Health Infection Control Directions (No. 2) (September 2020)
The Chief Psychiatrist was requested by the Minister for Mental Health to undertake a Review into the tragic death of Ms Kate Savage, age 13 years. The scope of this Review also considered any gaps in mental health service provision for this cohort of children.
Kate’s death cannot be rationalised. This was and is an unimaginable loss for Kate’s family.
The Review identified a huge surge in demand for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in recent years. CAMHS development has not kept pace, and this has placed significant pressure on clinical staff and the WA community. It is critical to provide mental health treatment services for young children, as well as for older adolescents – if we do not provide this early life care, we will condemn a generation to worsening mental health throughout their lives.
Seven recommendations have been made, which will facilitate improved care in the short term, and also, importantly, create steps to rebuild CAMHS.
Report: Chief Psychiatrist’s Review into the Treatment of Ms Kate Savage by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
- The Chief Psychiatrist is responsible for setting and overseeing the standards of care provided by mental health services to consumers in WA.
- Ensuring people accessing mental health services feel and are sexually safe is essential to their recovery.
- The Chief Psychiatrist has developed Guidelines for the Sexual Safety of Consumers of Mental Health Services in Western Australia, which provide guidance and practical strategies to improve sexual safety in mental health services.
- The guidelines were launched by the Honourable Alanna Clohesy MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health
- The launch was well-attended by clinical service leads, health and mental health agencies and community sector representatives, and consumer and carer representatives.
Sexual safety refers to being and feeling psychologically and physically safe, including being free of, and feeling safe from behaviour of a sexual nature that is unwanted, or makes another person feel uncomfortable, afraid or unsafe.
The Guidelines are aimed at ensuring that all people- consumers, their families, visitors and staff- are sexually safe in WA mental health services. The guidelines are part of a commitment to providing person-centred, recovery-focused and trauma-informed care, through developing best practice guidelines for mental health services. They were developed through wide consultation with consumers, carers, community members and clinicians.
While they apply to mental health services under the Chief Psychiatrist’s remit, all services in WA who provide therapy or support for individuals with mental illness are strongly encouraged to use the Guidelines to improve sexual safety within their agency.
The Guidelines are available on the Chief Psychiatrist’s website – Chief Psychiatrist’s Sexual Safety Guidelines. Copies are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (please note mental health services under the remit of the Chief Psychiatrist will receive copies in the mail)