Mental Health Atlas title graphic


The Integrated Atlas of Mental Health, Alcohol and other Drugs (AOD) – Western Australia (the Atlas)

WAPHA in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of WA (MHC) is at the stage of finalising WA’s first comprehensive Mental Health Atlas.  On its completion, WA will be the first state in Australia to map and document all government funded and not-for-profit services in the mental health and AOD sectors.

The Integrated Atlas will function as a decision making and system planning tool rather than a mental health and AOD service directory.    It is designed to integrate information on social and demographic characteristics, health-related needs, service availability and care capacity which allows mental health service planners (such as PHNs) to understand the landscape in which they work (including areas of gap or oversupply), make bridges between the different sectors and to better allocate services.  Overall, the Atlas will help close the gaps in services and build a more collaborative, coordinated and integrated mental health and AOD service system.  This integration becomes more important as mental health and AOD services become more ‘person centred’ (placing the person and their needs at the centre of their care) and public investment focuses on person-centered care coordination programs such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Atlas will be divided into two discrete stand-alone Atlases – Metro and Country.


Hospital Transition Pathways Project (HTP)

Also nearing completion is a WAPHA/MHC jointly funded project related to the Atlas in that it is designed to improve and integrate mental health services across WA.  The HTP maps existing transition pathways to and from hospital and the community with a view to improving mental health services consumer experience and quality of these consumers’ transitions.

This project examined four WA public hospitals, three metro (Rockingham, Joondalup and Sir Charles Gairdner) and one country hospital (Albany), to better understand the current existing pathways into and out of hospital for a range of ’typical’ mental health consumers, to identify where and how delays, bottlenecks, barriers and poor-quality service occur.

The project engaged key stakeholders, including mental health service providers (both government and NGOs), consumers and carers with experience of the mental health and AOD sector to provide insights and identify issues, key roles and responsibilities, then used this information to design ‘ideal’ whole -of-sector transition pathways.   The project Report will provide recommendations for improvements along with an action plan to move from the current process to the ideal process.


Project Updates


The Atlas will be launched publicly as well as online when the frameworks (taxonomies) of the National Mental Health Planning Framework, the WA State Mental Health Plan and the Atlas undergo a process to ensure that all three mental health planning tools are able to be compared to each other and used together.  This concordance mapping process is currently underway and is anticipated to be finalised by end of February 2018.

HTP Report:

Anticipated to be finalised  by beginning of December 2017.


Education and Support to Access the Atlas data:

Due to the technical nature of the Atlas, WAPHA and MHC staff will be provided with a range of opportunities to attend presentations, workshops or access webinars and recorded demonstrations designed to assist them to locate, access and navigate the Atlas.  A comprehensive Executive Summary as well as a ‘cheat sheet’ on how to read the Atlas codes (able to be torn out of Atlas and laminated) will be provided.  The launch strategy will be well promoted to ensure all interested parties can take advantage of the range of information sessions on offer.


Submission Process:

Following the launch of the Integrated Atlas there will be a two-month period for public comment.


For information about either of these projects please contact:

Leigh Newman, Integrated Atlas and Hospital Transition Pathways Project Manager, WAPHA on 0472 844 224 or


To learn more about the Mental Health Atlas, click here.