Authors: Lorraine Andrieu, VIC
Event: 2008 TheMHS Conference
Subject: PROMOTION OF MENTAL HEALTH, Addressing Violence and Abuse
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The Building Partnerships project is a state mental health initiative to improve services to those mental health consumers who have a history of sexual assault and/or family violence. (DHS:2006). A project was undertaken by Peninsula Health Psychiatric Service (PHPS) now PMHS to explore how service improvement might occur and, was overseen by representatives from PHPS and South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SECASA). A literature review informed the development of the questionnaire to gain a greater understanding of clinician’ experience of working with these clients and their training needs. The findings were conveyed to clinicians in a seminar. The seminar also provided an opportunity for staff to discuss further information about cross service referral and ongoing training. The findings indicated that all clinicians work with clients who have a history of child sexual assault/sexual assault with 77% of clinicians reporting they have had a client disclose a history of sexual assault/child sexual assault. 15% of clinicians reported feeling uncomfortable in responding to clients who disclose a history of Child Sexual Assault/Sexual Assault (CSA/SA) and, a further 8% reported feeling extremely uncomfortable in responding to disclosures. All clinicians indicated an urgent need for further training to enhance their capacity to work with these clients. Future collaborations with SECASA were supported and memorandums of understanding, referral pathways, joint assessments and secondary consultations are to be developed and formalised between both services.