Community mental health service to open in Kalgoorlie

Western Australian gold mining capital Kalgoorlie will be home to a 10-bed community mental health service before the end of next year.

Site works have started at the Davidson Street site, which will provide support for people experiencing mental health issues in a residential style setting so they can be close to support from family and friends.

The Western Australian Government has invested an extra $10.48 million in public mental health in the Goldfields region: $5.63 million for the step up/step down service and a further $3.8 million to expand Kalgoorlie’s acute inpatient mental health service.

Mental Health Minister Roger Cook said he was pleased to see the government deliver on its election commitment to provide more mental health services in the region.

“We know people recover from mental health issues when they can receive care, support and treatment within their own community, close to where they live and their family and friends,” Cook said.

“These 10 beds will help people avoid the need to stay in hospital or help people transition from hospital back into the community.”

In 2018, the Medical Journal of Australia conducted research into the mental health of mining and construction workers in remote Australia communities, including fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers.

Of the 1124 workers surveyed, 311 workers (28 per cent) had scores indicating high to very high psychological distress.

Frequent stressors related to mining workers included missing special events (86 per cent), relationship issues with partners (68 per cent), financial stress, shift rosters (both 62 per cent) and social isolation (60 per cent).