Authors: The Centre for Rural Mental Health
Event: 2002 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Bronze
Award category: Shared Care Program
Abstract: The DART-R-GP program was established to provide expertise and resources to GPs working in rural areas in the assessment and treatment of individuals with depression and anxiety disorders. Clients with mental health issues often present first at the primary care level, however rural GPs generally have limited training or clinical support to manage people with mild to moderate anxiety or mood disorders and inadequate access to the appropriate referral options for people with severe presentations. The DART-R- GP Program offers a range of education and support services to address these issues, including: • Psychiatrist Practice Visits • General Practice Supervision • Education and Training for GPs • Assessment Clinic Description of Facility/Organisation: The Loddon Campaspe Southern Mallee Area Mental Health Service (AMHS), which is part of the Bendigo Health Care Group, provides mental health services to children, adolescents, adults and aged persons. The geographical area covered by this AMHS is approximately 35,663 km2 (one-sixth of Victoria’s landmass) and stretches from Gisborne (51 km north-west of Melbourne) to beyond Swan Hill (on the Murray River). The population is approximately 224,000 people with indigenous communities in the north and centre of the region. The region also has significant areas of disadvantage with a number of localities having twice the proportion of low-income families compared with the state average and high levels of unemployment. In contrast, there are areas of affluence in the south with a significant proportion of high-income families. The service provides a comprehensive range of specialist mental health services within Bendigo and in satellite regional areas through teams located in Kyneton, Castlemaine/Maryborough, Echuca and Swan Hill. Multidisciplinary teams provide case management across the region while acute inpatient facilities are located in Bendigo.