About the Mental Health Network

The Mental Health Network aims to improve health outcomes for people with mental health conditions by enabling consumers and carers, health professionals, hospitals, health services and the Department of Health WA as system manager to engage and collaborate effectively to facilitate health policy and increased co-ordination of care across the State.

The Mental Health Network is WA’s 18th health network and includes ten sub networks.

Mental Health Network leadership

The Mental Health Network is currently led by Dr Helen McGowan and Ms Alison Xamon.

Dr Helen McGowan

Dr Helen McGowan is a Psychiatrist of Old Age and works as Clinical Director of the Older Adult Program for the North Metropolitan Mental Health Service. She is Secretary for WA Branch of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), is a Past Chair of the WA branch of the Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age and was recently appointed to the binational RANZCP Community Collaboration Committee.

Helen combines management and clinical roles with teaching and clinical support for rural services. She has a particular interest in strategic planning and the development of services and workforce. She is keen to work with the Mental Health Network to build consensus and partnerships across the mental health sector, to optimally support the mental health of the WA community.

Ms Alison Xamon

Alison Xamon is a lawyer and is the former President of the WA Association for Mental Health, Vice Chair of Community Mental Health Australia and Director of Mental Health Australia.  She is also a former Member of the Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention.

Previously Alison was a Member of Parliament where she held the portfolio of mental health amongst others. Alison has a long history of involvement across a number of social justice sectors as both an Advocate and a lawyer and is well placed to use this experience to inform a collaborative approach to mental health reform.

Executive Advisory Group

Helen and Alison are supported by an Executive Advisory Group who meet regularly to review and agree priorities for the Network.



Timothy Marney Mental Health Commissioner
Nathan Gibson WA Chief Psychiatrist
Kingsley Burton Executive Director, Clinical Support Directorate
Rod Astbury Chief Executive Officer, WA Association for Mental Health
Danny Rock WA Primary Health Alliance, General Manager of Mental Health
Brad Hayhow Chair, Statewide Mental Health Clinical Reference Group
Mike Civil Primary care representative
Kylie Fryer Carer and family advocate
Tara Reale Consumer representative