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Western Australia adopts ‘Cardiff Model’

6 July 2022

The Western Australian Mental Health Commission is piloting the Cardiff Model of Violence Prevention (Cardiff Model) to tackle alcohol-related violence, as part of a $252m Western Australian Government reform package to improve emergency care.

Royal Perth Hospital, located in the Western Australian city of Perth, has been selected to pilot the prevention model.

By gathering anonymous information in the hospital’s emergency department (ED) about alcohol use, violence and injuries, the Cardiff Model will inform multi-agency community-based strategies to address the causes of harm.

Mental Health Commissioner Jennifer McGrath said understanding where violence occurs will help empower the collaborative development of successful solutions to these problems.

“The Mental Health Commission is dedicated to its vision for the Western Australian community to experience minimal alcohol and other drug-related harms and optimal mental health,” Ms McGrath said.

“Our $3.5 million pilot of the tried and tested Cardiff Model is expected to bring benefits for all by preventing alcohol-related violence and injuries, reducing pressure on EDs and Western Australia’s other government services.”

Developed over 25 years by Cardiff University Violence Research Group founder and surgeon Professor Jonathan Shepherd, the Cardiff Model has been shown to effectively reduce violence by basing prevention strategies on information collected in EDs.

Professor Shepherd praised Western Australia’s decision to adopt the model which he said was also backed by academic findings in their country.

“Public health academics in Australia undertook a thorough review of violence prevention strategies and found that the Cardiff Model is not only particularly effective in reducing alcohol-related harm, it is also cost beneficial.

“It's excellent that, through the Mental Health Commission, the Western Australian Government has acted on this evidence and will be building the Cardiff Model into its emergency care plans.”

Established in 1997, the model is helping to prevent violence in many countries across the world, including the UK, USA, the Netherlands, South Africa and Jamaica.

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