Authors: Barwon Health Mental Health Service
Event: 2004 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Mental Health Promotion or Mental Illness Prevention Program or Project
Abstract: Educating young people about mental health has many challenges and requires innovation and development of youth-friendly products. A fresh approach in providing mental health information in the Barwon Region, Victoria is the “Flipper Card”. The cards aim to improve young people’s mental health literacy and knowledge of services. The card includes positive mental health messages, facts about adolescent mental health and a listing of services that young people can access for help. The unique design, which enables the card to “flip” between sequences of panels, provides a new format for presenting information to young people. The card is bright and attractive: combining photographs, graphics and colour to engage young people. The project was funded by Rotary and managed by a reference group with consumer and service representation. TAFE students undertook the design and artistic aspects. 10,000 copies have been distributed to students in years 9/10 across Geelong with a mental health education program. Results of research conducted shows over 70% of young people thought the card was a good way of getting mental health messages to young people and nearly 50% would use the card to seek help for themselves or a friend. Description of Facility/Organisation: Barwon Health is the largest regional health service provider in Victoria, serving the Geelong community and Barwon-South-Western region that encompasses the Surf Coast Shire, Golden Plains Shire and City of Greater Geelong. Population – 410,000. The main programs are acute medical and surgical services, rehabilitation and aged care services and community and mental health services. The Barwon Health Mental Health Service provides a comprehensive package of specialist services, including assessment, treatment and ongoing care to people of all ages, who have a serious mental health problem. Specialist services provided include drug and alcohol services, dual diagnosis services, rehabilitation services, services for children of parents with a mental illness, clozapine support program, high prevalence disorders primary mental health team and early intervention service, mental health promotions, consumer consultants, aged residential high level care facility, court liaison service, family education courses, homeless outreach service and a shared disordered eating service with the GP Association. There are 24 acute psychiatry inpatient beds for the region and 15 rehabilitation beds. The service has 250 FTE staff, which is multidisciplinary with psychiatrists, registrars, nursing staff, social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists, alcohol and drug workers and speech pathologists. The service has an egalitarian approach to service delivery with generic case managers across most service areas. The budget is approximately 20 million and is sourced from Victorian State Government Department of Human Services and the Commonwealth Department of Family and Ageing. Barwon Health Mental Health Service has approximately 1226 active clients.