Authors: Dandenong Hospital Department of Psychiatry
Event: 1996 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Gold
Award category: Prevention or Health Promotion Service or Project
Abstract: In January 1993, Dandenong Hospital Department of Psychiatry recognised that one of the greatest challenges faced by psychiatric services was in developing effective working relationships with the Victorian Police. In response, a local forum was created which fostered a team approach between Dandenong Hospital Department of Psychiatry and Dandenong Police, Victoria. The aim of this innovative program has been to optimise client outcomes through ensuring that there is a consistent and respectful approach to psychiatric clients, by both police officers and psychiatric clinicians dealing with situations that require both parties interventions. The foundation of the model established at Dandenong Hospital Department of Psychiatry has been adopted as a state wide policy. Since 1993 the relationship has developed in a manner which has been mutually beneficial and has facilitates participation in joint projects including; Participation in Project Beacon training; participation in the development of a police training video which is used as a training tool for all polices (and is to be promoted internationally by Victoria Police), amendments to administrative protocol, staff education exchange program and participation in the development of the Victoria Police/ H&CS, psychiatric services state-wide protocols. Description of Facility/Organisation: Dandenong Hospital Department of Psychiatry is a mainstreamed psychiatric service that provides integrated mental health services to individuals residing in the municipalities of Greater Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia and offers a broad range of treatment options including a 47 bed acute adult assessment facility and 6 different community based programs for adult and aged clients. The Victoria Police "E" District, in an area considered the 4th fastest growing in Australia, provides a range of policing services including general uniform policing, traffic management, community policing and others. The police area covers 2483 sq. km and a population of about 330,000. There are 11 police stations housing 460 staff. The major complex being the Dandenong Police Station and Headquarters. The population is increasing rapidly and is an ethnic mix from many countries including the Slavic states, Italy, Netherlands, South Africa, Germany, India, Poland, South America and South East Asia.