Authors: Joe Knight and David Tucker, QLD
Event: 2005 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Care-Full Institutions, community based mental health services, appropriate housing and disability support, cross-sectoral response
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Over the last nine years Queensland has been engaged in an innovative response to relocate up to 300 people with a psychiatric disability who have required more than clinical support to leave long-term mental health facilities and return to the community. A new, unique program named Project 300 was conceived to respond to their needs by adopting a tripartite approach (a “three legged stool”) of providing community based mental health services, appropriate housing and disability support . Nine years on, it is now accepted by mental health and psychiatric disability sector workers, policy makers, and other stakeholders that Project 300 has brought (1) a significant decrease in readmissions to hospital: the proportion of people returning to a psychiatric hospital setting (1.4%) compares favourably with overseas studies); (2) self-reported increases in quality of life. The aim of this presentation is to identify the key learnings from Project 300 which are potentially transferable to other jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand. The success of Project 300 is testimony to the need for adopting a cross-sectoral response by government and community agencies to the needs of individuals with a psychiatric disability to stimulate significant, positive improvements to their quality of life.