Providing a Safe Haven for people with mental health issues

  • Perth and Kununurra will be the sites of the first Safe Haven Cafés in Western Australia
  • McGowan Government sets out mental health priorities for the next four years 
  • Two Safe Haven Cafés will open in Western Australia this year, providing an alternative to emergency departments for people with mental health issues experiencing distress.

    The Safe Haven Cafés will be located at Royal Perth Hospital and Kununurra District Hospital, and are expected to open by mid-2020.

    Safe Haven Cafés work alongside emergency departments during after-hours and are for people experiencing mental health issues. They offer peer-based support for those who may otherwise attend emergency departments, but do not need intensive clinical and medical support.

    The McGowan Government has allocated $700,000 in funding to the Mental Health Commission over three years for the operation of two Safe Haven Cafés in Western Australia.

    Co-design workshops were held late last month in both Perth and Kununurra to develop the operational model for the Safe Haven Cafés. 110 representatives attended, including consumers, carers and service providers.

    Providing alternatives to emergency departments for people with mental health, alcohol and other drug issues is identified as one of the McGowan Government’s immediate priorities in the WA State Priorities Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs 2020-2024 released today. They were also a recommendation of the Sustainable Health Review.

    The McGowan Government will focus its efforts in 29 key areas over the next four years to shift to a more effective, sustainable and consumer-focused system. These priorities have been identified as likely to have the maximum positive impact on the system and will provide for further improvements in the future.

    Visit to download the WA State Priorities Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs 2020-2024.

    Support services are available for people who need help. Visit your general practitioner in the first instance or call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 for 24/7 free counselling. More services can be found at

    In a crisis situation call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Mental Health Emergency Response Line on 1300 555 788 (metro) or 1800 552 002 (country).

    As stated by Mental Health Minister Roger Cook:

    “The McGowan Government is committed to prioritising the delivery of person-centred, high-quality mental health care across the State.

    “We know emergency departments are not always the best place for people with mental health issues who are experiencing distress. By providing more alternatives, people can receive care and assistance in an environment more suitable to meet their needs – and get the right kind of help as early as possible.

    “The priorities released today tackle the complex issues associated with mental health, alcohol and drugs by focusing on the first, immediate steps required to develop a world-class mental health system for Western Australia.”

    /Public Release. View in full here.