S62: Volunteer model for mental health consumers in Emergency Departments.

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Lisa Jones

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Summer Forum

Subject: Service Systems, Delivery, Implementation,Research & Evaluation Informing Practice,Change, Innovation, Reform

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) are often the first point of service contact for mental health consumers, particularly those seeking support for the first time. Research demonstrates increases in numbers and acuity of presentations across Australasia. Locally at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Psychiatric Emergency Centre (RBWH-PEC) there has been a 13% increase over four years. Only one quarter of those who present will be admitted to the mental health service. Increasing demand impacts clinicians and consumers are experiencing delays in access to care. Promoting a positive experience for consumers and reducing burden on clinicians are essential to best outcomes.

In 2016 Mental Illness Fellowship Queensland (MIFQ) approached MNMH to partner and develop a Volunteer Service Model (VSM) utilising MIFQ allied health students as volunteers within the RBWH-PEC to support mental health consumers. MIFQ and MNMH were successful in receiving funding to develop, implement and evaluate the VSM through the LINK innovation funding. The VSM project commenced in early 2017 and aims to develop, implement, trial and evaluate a VSM in the RBWH-PEC. Based on the outcomes of the project evaluation the desire is to replicate the VSM and implement it in other EDs within the Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: The audience will learn about origin of the VSM and provided an update about where the project is currently up to.

Learning Objective 2: This project is unique in that the volunteers will be specifically trained to support mental health consumers, carers and families as they navigate the ED pathway into mental health services.

Morphet J, et al. Managing people with mental health presentations in emergency departments—A service exploration of the issues surrounding responsiveness from a mental health care consumer and carer perspective. Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal 2012 15:148-55.
Mental health services provided in emergency departments. Australian Government: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare https://mhsa.aihw.gov.au/services/emergency-departments/
Weiland TJ et al. Management of mental health patients in Australian emergency departments: Barriers and solutions. Emerg Med Australas. 2011;23:677–88.

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