Authors: Chris Lloyd, Hazel Bassett, Darren Taggart and Rod Nathan, QLD
Event: 2011 TheMHS Conference
Subject: COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: It has been estimated that every night around 105,000 people are homeless. There are many causes of homelessness. The Queensland Health Homeless Initiative has funded the development of specialist mental health teams known as Homeless Health Outreach Teams (HHOT) who provide comprehensive case management, assessment and intervention for homeless people who are experiencing mental illness or drug and alcohol issues. A multidisciplinary team works in the Gold Coast HHOT. The primary aim is to assist individuals to maximize strengths and to build skills to participate effectively in everyday activities. The role of staff involves conducting assessments (MSE and risk), goal setting, and formulating a relapse prevention plan, and focussed interventions. People who are homeless have many needs, for example employment, affordable housing, managing money, getting along with others and with using resources. Developing the role of the team has been challenging as the work practices have moved outside traditional case management with more of a focus on assertive outreach and active collaboration with both non-government and government agencies in an attempt to address the multiple and complex needs of the homeless.