Authors: St Luke's Anglicare
Event: 2001 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Gold
Award category: REHABILITATION/RECOVERY PROGRAM OR SERVICE
Abstract: The Intensive Home Based Outreach Service was developed after practitioners, consumers and carers in the Bendigo community identified a service gap for severely mentally ill people who were seeking discharge from a local “High Needs” mental health facility. The clients had a long history of mental illness and institutionalisation which blocked their way out. At the time of discharge, these clients would be transferred from 24 hour nursing care to perhaps four hours of support a week. Clearly, a new approach was needed. The IHBO program was initially funded as a 2 year pilot and commenced in mid 1998. After an evaluation it has since been funded for a further two years. By using partnerships with service providers and engaging the client whilst they are in the institution, a staged step down model of community entry is possible. This flexible collaboration program allows workers to purchase resources on the client’s behalf by using a brokerage budget. Services that are specific to the client’s goals and needs can be purchased to assist the person back into the community. Eighteen clients have used the service over the past three years and eleven have moved on from the program and are living interdependently in the community. Description of Facility/Organisation: Vahland House is a regional 20-bed mental health inpatient facility located in Bendigo, Victoria. It is managed by the Bendigo Health Care Group, Division of Psychiatry. Within Vahland House there are 12 beds allocated in four continuing care units and eight beds located in a secure “High Needs Unit”. The clients within this facility were involved in “in house” rehabilitation and treatment programs provided by the clinical staff and non-government agencies within Bendigo. In 1997, Vahland House staff, St. Luke’s Psychiatric Disability Support Service and Loddon Mallee Housing identified there were a number of clients who were unable to make the next step to community living because of a lack of transitional support services. The gap between 24 hour nursing care and the four hours per week traditionally provided by Housing Support services in Bendigo was too great.