Authors: Anna Love, Julie Anderson, Frances Sanders, Randolfo Obregon
Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Equally Well in Victoria - Physical Health Framework for Specialist Mental Health Services
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Randolfo Obregon is Senior Project Officer at the Office of the Chief Mental Health Nurse in the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
Randolfo has ten years’ experience in public service, with a focus on workforce development policy and translation of policy into practice.
Each time a consumer engages with a clinical mental health service provides an opportunity to explore physical health issues, consider how they might impact on recovery goals and offer help.
The Physical health framework for specialist mental health services is the first of its kind in Victoria. It describes a range of initiatives for organisations and clinicians to work in partnership with consumers and carers to discuss physical health in the context of a recovery plan. This framework provides information to help mental health services and clinicians to think about how to tailor treatment and strategies to the realities of the daily lives of consumers.
Under the leadership of Victoria’s Chief Mental Health Nurse, Chief Psychiatrist, in partnership with peak organisations Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council and Tandem, the framework was developed as Victoria’s response to the Equally Well National Consensus Statement. The framework describes consumer, carer and clinician’s perspectives on how physical health issues can be worked on by mental health services.
An Expert Reference Group comprised of mental health consumers and carers, experts from mental health, general practice, community health and peak health organisations guided the approach and content of this document.
Five interconnected domains support physical health care in Victorian specialist mental health services. They are:
• Consumer physical health needs
• Collaborative planning and therapeutic interventions
• Healthcare setting
• Workforce considerations
• Supporting safety
The framework describes the necessary elements at the organisation and clinical practice levels to guide implementation of physical health in a consistent way across Victoria. It asks services and clinicians to use a recovery approach to physical health, and offer help to consumers that extends beyond biomedical screening, diagnosis and treatment. It asks clinicians to work in an interprofessional manner to understand each person’s recovery journey and using collaborative recovery plans to enquire about the person’s physical health, appreciating the complex interplay with mental illness and how this operates in the context of the person’s life.
The framework is an important first step for Victorian mental health services.
Presented by Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services Chief Mental Health Nurse, , this presentation will describe the framework in detail, as well as implementation plan for Victoria over the coming years.
Learning Objective 1: An understanding of Victoria's vision for addressing physical health in government funded specialist mental health services, through a framework that describes a range initiatives for organisations and clinicians to work in partnership with consumers and carers to discuss physical health in the context of a recovery plan
Learning Objective 2: An understanding of the process undertaken in partnership with consumers, carers and clinicians to develop the framework