Multi-agency collaboration means No Wrong Door for Pilbara community

No matter where you go, you will end up where you’re supposed to.

This is the commitment from like-minded agencies across the Pilbara to make it easier for people to get what they need from mental health and alcohol and other drug services in the region, when they need it.

It follows the ‘No Wrong Door’ Pilbara Regional Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Workshop held in Karratha last year, co-ordinated and co-hosted by WA Primary Health Alliance and Mission Australia.

The workshop sought feedback from agencies working in the sector on the state of the system, particularly on the existing gaps in service provision and current referral systems.

The consensus among agency staff was referral and assessment processes were complicated and varied greatly between agencies, and as a result consumer were being redirected several times before they were offered a service, having to tell their story many times in the process.

It was from this feedback that the No Wrong Door approach was developed, a concept that aimed to improve the experience of consumers and reduce barriers by having agencies share service information, line up referrals and assessments.

Mission Australia Pilbara Integrated Primary Mental Health Program Manager Helen McMahon said Mission Australia was committed to ensure its own practice didn’t act as a barrier for people seeking help.

Service providers from across the Pilbara took part in the workshop.

“We’ve started that journey by making some changes internally,” she said.

“If every organisation in this region works towards reducing barriers, then there will be no barriers.”

To implement this, workshop participants was asked to develop key recommendations to drive integration and collaboration across multiple agencies, as well as a coordinated strategic approach for the provision of mental health and alcohol and other drug services in the region.

This included creating a community directory of mental health and alcohol and other drug service providers.

WA Primary Health Alliance Regional Manager, Winny Henry said as part of the recommendations a Pilbara Regional Mental Health and Alcohol and other Drugs Managers Group had been formed.

“They will guide the scope and direction of collaborative activities and advocacy to address the needs of clients and the concept of every door in the service system being the right door for clients,” she said.

“Ensuring all agencies are aware of the services and the resources available, through a new directory of mental health and alcohol and other drug service providers, is also a great first step.”