About the event

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In June and July 2018, Magistrate Felicity Zempilas from Perth’s Mental Health Court, Start Court, travelled to the US on a Churchill Fellowship to study mental health courts around the country; in San Francisco, New York, Anchorage and Seattle. Dr Adam Brett, the psychiatrist attached to Start Court accompanied her on visits to courts in two of the cities.

San Francisco and Seattle on the west coast, with established and burgeoning homeless populations, have had mental health courts in operation for nearly 20 years and have had to be innovative in how they connect with their participants.

New York has a number of different versions within the neighbouring but contrasting boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. Relying on the support of elected District Attorney’s and with ethnically diverse and dense populations, they have all evolved in a distinct location.

Anchorage, the most distant but arguably a city much like Perth, has one of the oldest mental health courts in the country and has adapted itself successfully through many changes over the years. It has worked well with the Alaskan Native population and is well entrenched in the court system.

Following the Fellowship, Start Court began to further examine how it operates and for whom, so it can practically deliver better outcomes for its participants and the community as a whole. By looking at evidence-based practice and innovation in a range of locations in the US, each presenting its own particular issues and challenges, Start Court hopes to adapt and refine its own model and share this experience with other therapeutic courts in Australia.

Level: General

Date & Time:

Wed, 28 November 2018 4.30pm - 6.00pm


Level 5, 160 St Georges Terrace PERTH wa

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CPD Points:

none Points Professional Management

1.5 Points Professional Responsibility

none Points Skills

none Points Ethics







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