St Vincents Health, O’Brien Urban Health Program, Caritas Mental Health Unit

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Authors: St Vincents Health, O’Brien Urban Health Program, Caritas Mental Health Unit

Year: 2012

Event: 2012 TheMHS Awards


Type of resource: TheMHS Awards

Award state: NSW

Award level: Silver

Award category: Clinical and Non-Clinical Services Supporting Recovery (Larger Organisation)

Abstract: The Caritas Mental Health unit at St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst has gone through a process over the last seven years moving the service towards becoming a recovery focused service. St Vincents has adopted the Strengths model as a way of introducing strengths based practice throughout all of its services. The Strengths model, initially developed in Kansas in the 1980’s requires a detailed assessment of the consumer’s strengths, abilities, resources and goals to be completed so that a recovery goal plan can be developed. In the inpatient ward, the Star Wards project has been introduced and utilises consumer involvement and participation principles: a project run and developed by the charity Bright in the UK. The program has 75 activities that make a consumers stay in an inpatient unit more comfortable and therapeutic. More information about Star Wards can be found at Description of Facility/Organisation: Caritas Mental Health Unit (27 beds) is part of a NSW public funded health unit within St Vincent’s Hospital, that serves the health needs of the Inner City of Sydney (122,000 residents). O’Brien Urban Health mental health program currently have 133 F.T.E. staff and a budget funded by NSW Health in excess of $22,000,000. St Vincent’s Hospital is located in a neighbourhood with the highest concentration of homeless persons, people living with HIV/AIDS, a high proportion of alcohol and drug use and one of the highest rates of street crime. St Vincents Emergency department had over 54,000 presentations last year, 64% being from outside our catchment area. Of these over 5,400 people were triaged as needing follow up mental health care; 780 were admitted to the P.E.C.C. (Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre 6 beds) for up to 40 hours and 385 admitted to Caritas Mental Health Unit for an average length of stay of 9 days.

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