Improving Mental Health Care In An Emergency Department

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Authors: Lisa Gill and Tricia Bulic, VIC

Year: 2005

Event: 2005 TheMHS Conference

Subject: St Vincent’s Mental Health Service, Acute care, Emergency Departments and Risk Management

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 0975765310

Abstract: St Vincent’s Mental Health Service, Melbourne, has a long history of collaboration between the Emergency Department and Mental Health Service dating back to 1992. This paper will outline the history of this collaboration and the positive outcomes of this relationship. In particular, the paper will discuss the activities over the past year where St Vincent’s has participated in two significant projects to continue to improve care to mental health consumers presenting to the Emergency Department. The first of these is the National Institute of Clinical Studies (NICS) – Mental Health Emergency Care Interface Project and the second is one funded by The Victorian Department of Human Services’ Clinical Innovation Fund. Many mental health consumers, along with the general public, are turning to Emergency Departments to access health care. The reasons for this are multi-factorial. In this context there is much debate about how mental health consumers are supported in their journey through the Emergency Department and the challenges that this department faces in meeting their needs. The paper will discuss one health service’s approach to ensuring consumers with mental health issues presenting to the Emergency Department receive the best possible care.

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