S24: Improving access to psychological services in far East Gippsland: an innovative model of care.

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By September 21, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Keith Sutton, Cassie Moore, Amanda Proposch, Cayte Hoppner

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Promotion, Prevention, Early Intervention, Change, Innovation, Reform, Service Systems, Delivery, Implementation

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: This presentation will describe an innovative approach to increasing access to psychological services to the communities in far East Gippsland, Victoria. It is well documented that individuals experiencing psychological distress and/or mental illness who live in rural and remote locations commonly encounter significant challenges accessing psychological support and treatment services. Factors that contribute to this situation include: geography, distance, stoicism, stigma, mental health workforce shortages and the limited range of treatment services available. Improving access to psychological services for communities living in the north eastern area of East Gippsland Shire was an identified priority of the Gippsland Primary Health Network 2016 needs analysis.

A novel approach that involves local Bush Nurses triaging community members presenting with psychological distress and/or mental illness and facilitating referral to an appropriate service and/or specialist assessment within a stepped model of care. The model of care options include: community capacity building; e- mental health; psychological support services; primary health services; and specialist mental health services. This novel model of care is being Implemented and evaluated by a collaboration involving the Royal Flying Doctor Service, local health services, the regional clinical mental health service, the Primary Health Network and a University Department of Rural Health.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: The audience will take away real world ideas of how to improve access to psychological support and mental health treatment services for rural and remote communities.

Learning Objective 2: This topic provides an example of an inter-sectoral approach to improving access to mental health services in a rural and remote setting.

Moore, T., Sutton, K. & Maybery, D. (2010). Rural mental health workforce difficulties: a management perspective. Rural and Remote Health. 10: 1519. (Online) 2010. Available at: http://www.rrh.org.au .
Boyd, CP., Aisbett, DL., Francis, K., Kelly, M., Newnham, K. & Newnham, K. (2006). Issues in rural adolescent mental health services in Australia. Rural and Remote Health. 6: 501. (Online) 2010. Available at: http://www.rrh.org.au .

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