The Mental Health and Sexual Assault Project

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By April 17, 2015 No Comments

Authors: The Education Centre Against Violence

Year: 2010

Event: 2010 TheMHS Awards


Type of resource: TheMHS Awards

Award state: NSW

Award level: Finalist

Award category: Specialist Service or Part of a Larger Service

Abstract: It has been identified through both national and international research along with clinical experience that mental health consumers are subjected to sexual assault across the lifespan in greater numbers than the general community, ECAV has been at the forefront of advocating for the human rights & needs of consumers in terms of best practice within both adult and child & adolescent mental health services. This involves promoting clinical practices that address the promotion of safe environments, the prevention of sexual assaults, gold standard responding when incidents occur and the minimising of re-traumatisation for consumers with histories of past sexual assault. In order to achieve these outcomes, ECAV has been developing & delivering high quality education, resources , tools & evaluation processes to mental health staff across all areas within NSW, advocating and influencing mental health guidelines and policy at local and state levels to improve outcomes for consumers and accountability for services, providing education to Official Visitor’s & General Practitioners programmes as well as advocating for trauma informed practice within mental health services. Description of Facility/Organisation: The Education Centre Against Violence (ECAV) is a NSW Health statewide, specialist organisation auspiced by Sydney West Area Health Service. ECAV is committed to producing high quality learning and development opportunities, resources, and statewide consultation and input into policy development for NSW Health and interagency professionals working with children & adults who have experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, aboriginal family violence and/or physical and emotional abuse and neglect. ECAV receives funding from both federal and state sources. The NSW Mental Health & Drug & Alcohol Office (formerly the Centre for Mental Health) provides funding to the Mental Health & Sexual Assault portfolio to provide a specialist service in consultation and development and provision of training to mental health professionals across NSW around issues related to sexual assault with specific attention on the Promotion, Prevention & Responding to sexual assault and sexually inappropriate behaviours within adult & child & adolescent inpatient facilities. This team has 1.8 FTE educators on staff and utilises external educators when needed to meet training demands across the state.

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