New adult community mental health services to support Canberrans

Released 10/12/2018

A redesign of adult community mental health services will aim to deliver more streamlined, accessible and responsive services for Canberrans.

Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury said the new community-based mental health services would deliver more effective care to adults in the ACT, particularly those experiencing major impacts from moderate to severe mental illness.

“A range of services have been redesigned to provide more effective and efficient care,” Minister Rattenbury said.

“These include a centralised intake, assessment and referral service to provide greater and quicker access to mental health services; a home treatment service to prevent unnecessary hospitalisation or assist people to transition from hospital back into the community; individual specialist therapy programs; intensive support for vulnerable groups with highly complex needs; and an approach to continuing care that focuses on individual strengths.”

“The services will be offered across a range of locations, including community health centres, outreach into people’s homes or other community settings, as well as provide inreach into our hospitals.”

Minister Rattenbury said reducing the impacts of mental illness and reducing the rates of suicide and self-harm across the ACT was a key priority for the Government.

“The services will take a flexible approach on how treatment, care and support is delivered, giving Canberrans more choices,” Minister Rattenbury said.

“The new services will improve the outcomes for people experiencing mental health issues and ensure that Canberrans receive high quality, safe and person-centred care.

“We want to make it easier for Canberrans to seek help and advice. Access Mental Health will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It provides a single point of contact across the ACT for advice, information on referrals, assessment and treatment, or mental health advice and information.”

Canberrans can contact Access Mental Health on 1800 629 354. This service will replace the Mental Health Triage phone line that was previously operated by the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team (CATT) and utilises the same phone number.

“The new services have been developed to ensure they are contemporary and aligned with best evidence and best practice approaches to mental health, particularly given the rapidly changing and complex landscape of the mental health system,” Minister Rattenbury said.

“This service redesign was informed by significant research, data analysis, expert advice, as well as consultation and input from and a range of key stakeholders across the ACT.

“I would like to acknowledge the significant contributions of the redesign project team and dedicated staff of the Adult Community Mental Health Services who have worked tirelessly to bring about these significant changes as they continually seek to improve mental health outcomes for the people of the ACT.”

Minister Rattenbury will be available for interview today at 12:45pm, at Belconnen Community Health Centre, 56 Lathlain Street, Belconnen.

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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