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 Service Planning Framework tool (NMHSPF tool), the WA State Mental Health Plan (which utilises the NMHSPF tool) and the Atlas undergo a process to ensure that all three mental health planning tools are able to be used interchangeably.  This concordance mapping process is currently being  finalised  and specific outputs are anticipated to be finalised by end of February 2018.

Interim Access to Atlas information for WAPHA staff:

From 15 January 2018 until the Atlas is published on the WAPHA and MHC websites,  selected WAPHA staff can access the Atlas.  These staff are: WAPHA GMs, Metro/Regional Managers and Special Projects Managers.  The process involves completing a WAPHA data request (button located on WALLACE under the Purchase Order button).  The request will be forwarded to the Data Custodian.  Any assistance required please contact Leigh Newman on 0472 844 224 or

My Community Directory:

WAPHA is partnering with My Community Directory to ensure that mental health and Alcohol and Other Drugs service providers identified in the Atlas are also  listed in a directory of Community and Health Services (searchable by WA regions), if they choose to be.  This initiative will ensure that both service providers and community members will be able to identify and connect to services available in their communities, as it is often difficult to know where to look for this information or to be able to find it all in one location.  The Directory is free to join, update and use and provides an efficient way of ensuring that service provider listings are kept current and updated.

HTP Report:

Draft Report in final stages.  Report will be provided to WAPHA Executive, Project Reference Group, MHC and 4 participating hospitals for comment in February 2018.  Anticipated Report will be published on WAPHA website February/March 2018.

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 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.