Authors: Southern Area Mental Health Service & SE NSW Division of General Practice
Event: 2000 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: NSW
Award level: Silver
Award category: Integrated Locality Based Service
Abstract: The Joint project was developed following a "Needs Analasis" of GPs, MHS staff, consumers and carers identified expressed and inferred needs for improved communication, better processes for accessing sevices, greater knowledge and understanding of roles and responsibilities. For the first time, either in Australia or abroad, the 'basic' or minimum standard of partnership and shared care, detailing what MHS and GPs could reasonably expect of each other, and how they were to be researched, designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated, were identified. Theses standards have been widely recognised as standards of best practice (NSW Centre for Mental Health, Integration Support and Evaluation Resource Unit and the Alliance of NSW Divisions). Description of Facility/Organisation: Southern Area Mental Health Service (SAMHS) covers a wide geographic area in the south-east quadrant of NSW, stretching from Young to Eden and the Victorian border. It includes a large number of remote rural locations which are isolated from specialist services. THere is only one 20 bed inpatient facility which is located in Goulburn and is between 350 to 400 kilometres (4 - 5 hours travel by road) from these areas. The largest towns are Goulburn, Queanbeyan, Batemans Bay and Bega. It has 3 administrative Sectors, the Southern Tablelands, Monaro and the South Coast and nine prinicpal Mental Health Centres. The Service employs a total staff of about 130, serves a population of slightly less than 200,000 and has a current case load of well over 1,000 active clients. SAMHS is almost completely congruent with the South-East NSW Division of general Practice with approximately 160 GPs.