- 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)