S78: The HOMHS model: A consortium approach to homelessness for individuals with severe and enduring mental illness.

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Fiona Markwick, Aoife Pollins, Kate McHardy

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Service Systems, Delivery, Implementation,Funding – Changing Models, Systems

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Homelessness remains a significant problem in Inner Melbourne and, despite the efforts of multiple agencies, those with severe mental illness are over-represented in the homeless population.

As a consortium, cohealth (lead agency), Inner West Area Mental Health Service, McAuley Community Services for Women and Launch Housing, established the Homeless Outreach Mental Health and Housing Service (HOMHS) in 2013 through Breaking the cycle: reducing homelessness funding. The service aimed to address the complex care needs of people experiencing entrenched homelessness and its subsequent health, social and economic impacts as a result of severe and enduring mental illness.

HOMHS built on existing initiatives of the partnership agencies to effectively provide a coordinated, enhanced, intensive and recovery-centred team approach in working with this client group in the Inner West and CBD areas.

This innovative collaboration has improved access for clients to mental health services, housing and support, physical health care and practical assistance. Outcomes included a 42% decrease in emergency department admissions and 4.9% reduction in psychiatric specific hospital admissions. 79.4% of homeless clients were able to access stable housing and 98% maintained stable accommodation.

This presentation will share the journey, learnings and outcomes for staff and clients in the delivery of this distinctive service model.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: The audience will gain an insight into the benefits, challenges and outcomes of an integrated team approach in the delivery of distinctive specialist supports to individuals whose mental illness is impacted by entrenched homelessness. Through an overview of the model, service delivery and outcomes, along with the provision of case studies, the presentation will look at how a consortium approach can enable a team to work together to achieve shared and related recovery goals that could not be achieved as effectively by working alone.

Learning Objective 2: This topic is relevant to mental health services and mental health issues as it provides an example of an integrated and effective response for individuals experiencing repeated homelessness and severe and enduring mental illness. The HOMHS model demonstrates benefits to the individual, staff and the system that could influence the future development of, or changes to, mental health services working with this client group.

Mueser K T, Salyers M P, Rosenberg, S D, Goodman, L A, Essock, S M, Osher, F C. Swartz M S, Butterfield M I. (2004). ‘Interpersonal trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in patients with severe mental illness: Demographic, clinical, and health correlates’. Site Health and Risk Study Research Committee, Schizophrenia Bulletin, Vol 30(1).
Holmes A, Hodge M, Newton R, Bradley G, Bluhm A, Hodges J, Didio L and Doidge G (2005). ‘Development of an inner urban homeless mental health service’, Australasian Psychiatry, vol 13, no 1.

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