Northern NEXUS Dual Diagnosis Service

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By April 17, 2015 No Comments

Authors: St. Vincent’s Health (Melbourne)

Year: 2005

Event: 2005 TheMHS Awards


Type of resource: TheMHS Awards

Award state: VIC

Award level: Winner

Award category: Dual Diagnosis

Abstract: St Vincent’s Mental Health (SVMHS) provides an innovative Dual Diagnosis Service as part of the Victorian Dual Diagnosis Initiative. Northern NEXUS offers a range of service strategies aimed at building the capacity of stakeholders to work with dual diagnosis consumers to collaboratively achieve improved outcomes across the Mental Health (MH), Alcohol and Drug (AOD)and Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation Support Service (PDRS) sectors. SVMHS recognizes that consumers with multiple problems and complex needs are part of every clinician’s everyday practice. Northern NEXUS works to develop sustainable skills, resources and organisational structures across the health care sector via collaborative clinical interventions, education and training, service development, and ongoing research and evaluation. Because the experience, focus and needs of our stakeholders are broad, we deliver our interventions flexibly, while working towards developing core competencies in dual diagnosis across the health care sector.

Description of Facility/Organisation:
In 2000, The Mental Health Branch of the Department of Human Services in partnership with the Drugs and Health Protection Branch of the Public Health Division jointly funded a new initiative focusing on people with concurrent mental illness with problematic substance use (dual diagnosis). As part of this initiative, Northern NEXUS and 3 other statewide dual diagnosis services have been formed to improve the responses of mental health and drug treatment service to people with a dual diagnosis. Northern NEXUS was initially funded for 3 EFT and a 0.2 consultant psychiatrist. The brief was to provide dual diagnosis clinical advise, training and support to Adult Mental Health (MH), Alcohol and Drug (AOD) and Psychiatric Disability Rehabilitation Support Services (PDRS) in the municipalities of Yarra, Boroondara, Nillumbik and Banyule (approximate combined population of 400,000), as well as to the rural regions of Bendigo / Loddon Mallee Campaspe and Mildura / Northern Mallee (approximate population of 320,000). The service is jointly auspiced by St Vincent’s Mental Health Service, St Vincent’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Studies and Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre. In 2003, the Department provided additional funding to extend the Northern NEXUS adult service to include a youth specific program staffed by two senior clinicians. Key stakeholders for the youth initiative were identified as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Youth Alcohol and Drug Services (YADS). Northern NEXUS is currently staffed with 5.4 EFT, a consultant psychiatrist 0.2 and a psychiatric registrar) 0.2 (rotating quarterly), in addition to 1 EFT in Bendigo and 1 EFT in Mildura (Appendix 1) and operates with a budget of $476, 000.

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