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 four (4) discrete stand-alone Atlases – Perth North, Perth South, Country and Kimberley.

The Australian National University (ANU) completed a comprehensive data integrity check and service coding/classification review at the end of May 2018.

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 – updated June 2018


The Australian National University (ANU) completed a four month comprehensive data integrity check and service coding/classification review  and is currently finalising the Perth North and Kimberley Mental Health Atlases.

The Concordance Mapping Project:

Since July 2017, the Australian National University (ANU), the University of Queensland (UQ), WAPHA and the MHC have been engaged in a project to achieve what is known as semantic interoperabililty or  concordance mapping.  This means that the  frameworks (taxonomies) of the National Mental Health Service Planning Framework tool (NMHSPF tool) and the Atlas will be able to be used together as mental health service planning tools.    The Report for this project was finalised on 1 May 2018.

Negotiations are currently underway with the Mental Health Branch of the Cth Department of Health in relation to further testing and validation of this process by other jurisdictions which have an Atlas  and to put in place the requisite privacy protocols related to the NMHSPF tool usage, this additional testing will involve.

Interim Access to Atlas information for WAPHA staff:

From 15 January 2018 until the Atlas is  publically launched and decisions made about how/by whom it can be accessed,  selected WAPHA staff can access the Atlas data.  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 has partnered 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:

The Finalised Report will be tabled for consideration by the  WAPHA Executive, Project Reference Group, MHC and 4 participating hospitals for comment in June  2018.  It is anticipated that this Report will be published on the WAPHA website in late June 2018.

Access the Atlas data:

Due to the technical nature and intended purpose as a mental health and AoD service planning tool the Atlas dataset will be administered and managed by analysts from the WAPHA Health Planning Team.  This team will work with WAPHA staff who have  Atlas-related mental health and AoD data inquiries to assist them to frame their data requests to ensure the most effective use of the Atlas dataset is achieved.  This process will be outlined at the launch of the Atlas.

Submission Process:

Following the launch of the Integrated Atlas there will be a two-month period for public comment.  An email facility will be set up for this purpose.


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.