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‘I wasn’t aware of what was coming our way’: The stories behind the mental health statistics

There are calls for an overhaul of WA’s mental health services with concern there’s an over-reliance on hospitals.

Figures from the state’s peak body for the community mental health sector, the WA Association for Mental Health, show only one in five people who need community mental health support can access it.

But what about the stories behind the statistics?

President Kerry Hawkins says there’s no question psych wards are great for stabilising people, and she’d know better than most. This morning she shared her family’s remarkable story as they journey to support her husband John who has lived with significant mental health concerns.

It wasn’t until Kerry had been married to John for several years that she noticed that something started to change. Knowing better than most what is needed in terms of support for people with mental health concerns, she’s pleading for an overhaul of mental health services in WA.

If you, or anyone you know, needs mental health support, please call a helpline such as Lifeline 13 11 14; Beyondblue 1300 224 636; Rurallink 1800 552 002; Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467; The Samaritans Crisis Line 08 9381 5555.

Listen to Kerry’s story here: