Authors: Julie O’Sullivan, QLD
Event: 2006 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Acute & Community Service Integration, ACUTE SERVICES IN COMMUNITY / HOSPITAL
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Changes within mental health service delivery demand the development of cost effective programs that reduce length of stay and provide better transition between discharge and return to community living (Hampson et al 2000; Reynolds et al 2004). There is also a need for enhanced working relationships between public mental health services and community non government organisations (NGOs), who together provide the much needed support to clients in the community. This paper outlines a clinical initiative undertaken in 2006 by the Inner North Brisbane Mental Health Service, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, called the Early Discharge Support Program. This program provides a brief period of home treatment for clients nearing the end of their hospital admission, delivered by support workers employed by a non government organisation. The program aims to emulate the positive outcomes shown in the literature in relation to home treatment (Muijen 1992). Further, it serves to highlight the important role that support staff, when working alongside mental health professionals, can play in assisting a person in the transition home from hospital. The Early Discharge Support Program is reflective of an emerging drive in mental health to reach a new understanding and collaborative working relationship between public mental health services and NGOs.