Authors: Territory Health Services
Event: 2000 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: NT
Award level: Gold
Award category: Specialist Service or Part of a Larger Service
Abstract: The Remote Mental Health Team is a specialist component of the Central Australian Mental Health Service. The Team includes 8 staff - one part time psychiatrist, two aboriginal mental health workers, three mental health nurses and one social worker. The Team provides treatment and support to both the indigenous and non-indigenous popoulation of Central Australia, an area spanning approximately 1,000,000 square kilometres. 80% of the population supported by the Remote Team is Indigenous, with most living within clans and language districts. Communitiesm which are largely a non-indigenous creation typically range in size from 100 to 1200 people. The non-indigenous population supported by the Remote Team is scattered across small townships and cattle stations, with a numbe living and working in Aboriginal Communities. The Central Australia environment presents a unique challenge to mental health staff. Workers must cope with vast distances and harsh conditions. In addition to clinical competance staff must also be capable in 4-wheel drive vehicles and must also be experienced in survival skills. The rewards for the right people are enormous. Description of Facility/Organisation: The Central Australian Mental Health Servuce (CAMHS) is part of the Territory Health Services. The Service provides public mental health care to the population of approximately 50,000 living in Central Australia. CAMHS is made up of a number of teams including Acute Care Team, Community Care Team, Forensic Team, Child and Youth Team and the Remote Mental Health Team. There are 46 staff in the entire service with a budget of $3,000,000. The Reomote Mental Health Team is athe subject of the Award aaplication, The Remote Mentak Health Team covers a geographic area of approximately 1,000,000 square kilometres including the Central Australian cross border areas of Western Australa and South Australia. There are 8 staff including 1 part psychiatris, 2 aboriginal mental health workers, 4 nurses and 1 social worker. The team has a budjet of $360,000 and a client popoulation of 320. The Team covers 8 major language groups, which include in excess of 127 distinct dialiects. The remote population of Central Australia is approximately 27,000 of which 80% are indigenous people.