Authors: St Vincent’s Health
Event: 2003 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Consumer or Carer Program or Service
Abstract: Carers at St. Vincent’s Mental Health Service have played a key role in the development of the Family and Carer Participation Strategy. Six carers joined with clinicians from all programs and management to form the Family and Carer Participation Committee, which have overseen the implementation of the Strategy since 1999. Key elements have been the development of family and carer policy for the Service, and projects to encourage best practice, education and support forums for carers and families, training for staff, and the employment of a carer consultant on the staff of the St. Vincent’s Mental Health Service. Members of the St. Vincent’s Carers Participation Committee have also played a wider role in contributing to State and National policy and service development. The Strategy’s success results from the leadership of highly committed and articulate carers, the willingness of mental health clinicians to participate, and the commitment of management to encourage, support, and financially resource the Strategy. Description of Facility/Organisation: The St Vincent’s Mental Health Service (SVMHS) is a publicly funded adult area mental health service which covers the local government area of the Cities of Yarra and Boroondara. The total adult population of this area, known as the Inner Urban East catchment, is approximately 229,000 consisting of 69,000 in the City of Yarra and 160,000 in the City of Boroondara. SVMHS offers a comprehensive range of programs including a 44-bed acute inpatient service, two community mental health services (CMHS) - Clarendon CMHS and Hawthorn CMHS, and a 20-place community residential rehabilitation service. Approximately 800 people are ongoing consumers of the service, and about 1200 people are seen each year. There are approximately 196 clinical EFT staff and a budget of $18,356,600 mainly provided by the Department of Human Services, Victoria. The Service operates a number of specialist state-wide and regional mental health services: the Victorian Dual Disability Service, the Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit, the Northern Dual Diagnosis Service, the Yarra and Boroondara Primary Mental Health and Early Intervention Service and the Koori Acute Inpatient Service. The Service provides teaching and clinical affiliations for undergraduate and postgraduate students in medicine, nursing, social work, occupational therapy and psychology. Commitment to collaborative partnerships with other service providers and service networks is crucial to the successful operation of the Service. The Service works closely with psychiatric disability support services, community health services, general practitioners and private mental health providers, as well as generic welfare and support agencies.