Authors: Northern Area Mental Health Service
Event: 2004 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Winner
Award category: Specialist Service or Part of a Larger Service
Abstract: The Northern Area Mental Health Service (NAMHS) has an ongoing commitment to consumer participation in the planning, design, implementation and review of services. Consumer Participation in Staff Selection (CPSS) was a consumer-initiated strategy that, from the outset, was directly informed by the National Standards for Mental Health Services. Since July 2001, consumers have been recruited and trained to participate as members of staff selection panels. To date, in excess of 50 staff have been appointed by interview panels that have included a consumer. An independent evaluation of this strategy in November 2003 concluded, “…the CPSS has been a highly successful strategy and an innovative example of collaborative partnership between consumers and providers of mental health services.” Description of Facility/Organisation: The Northern Area Mental Health Service (NAMHS) is part of NorthWestern Mental Health, a division of Melbourne Health. NorthWestern Mental Health comprises 4 adult area mental health services, an Aged Persons’ Mental Health Service and Orygen Youth Health. It is the largest Mental Health service in Victoria. The NAMHS was established in 1995. It is a public sector clinical mental health service that provides an integrated range of hospital and community based psychiatric services for adults and their families in the local government areas of Darebin and Whittlesea in metropolitan Melbourne, with a total population of approximately 235,000. It currently has 150 staff, and approximately 800 registered clients. The NAMHS is funded by the Mental Health Branch of the Department of Human Services, Victoria and receives an annual budget of $13.5 million. The service comprises a 25 bed Acute In-patient unit at the Northern Hospital, a Crisis Assessment & Treatment Team (CATT), Psychiatric Consultation & Liaison Service, 2 Community Mental Health Centres (CMHC), a Mobile Support & Treatment Service (MSTS,) a 20 bed Community Care Unit (CCU), and a Primary Mental Health & Early Intervention Team.