Annual Conference

TheMHS 2014 S006: Forensic Mental Health – Overview

By August 27, 2014 No Comments

This session had three separate presentations.

You can also read the abstracts here.

1)      Improving health, social, criminal and community outcomes for prisoners with mental disorders on release in Western Australia

The current prison population is significantly affected by disadvantage, stigma, social exclusion and poor health. There are high rates of childhood and adult trauma and those in prison are often from disadvantaged communities. 32.1% of individuals with a psychiatric illness were arrested between the years of 1985 and 1996 in WA.

Upon release from prison common outcomes are: injury, poisoning, mental disorders, acute and chronic effects of substance misuse as well as re-offending.

The partners in recovery service provides support to the individual on their recovery journey by enhancing their physical and mental well-being with the aim of reducing re-offending and preventing deaths (including suicide).

Developed a reintegration service – Partners in recovery which helps with housing, employment, health, family and community.

2)      Forensic Clients: the right to contributing life

Lucy spoke about Catherine House Inc, a NGO in South Australia (est 2003). It houses 48 women per night who are homeless for reasons other than domestic violence. It provides a specialist mental health program which focuses on crisis management and relapse prevention.

Aims towards helping the clients live a ‘contributing life’ comprising of three main points.

a)      Relationships and connections

b)      Stigma and discrimination

c)       A sense of personal control

Catherine House provides mentoring, coaching, role-modelling, and an in-house education and employment program/activity centre to help clients live a contributing life.

3)      Therapeutic pathways within forensic settings

The Forensic Hospital in NSW is in the process of developing a standardised model of program delivery moving toward a centralised model for group treatment programs. Instead of providing services to patients based on their location within the hospital, services will be provided based on the patient’s needs. The model is based on the American model of a “treatment mall” and attempts to normalise therapy to reflect therapy received in the community. This shift has taken a recovery focus and a multidisciplinary team approach.