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Mental Health Nurse Co-location at Corrections Dandenong

Organisation(s):

Monash Health (lead), Care Connect and Corrections Victoria

Project Description:

The Mental Health Nurse co-location at Corrections Dandenong project will address service gaps in metropolitan Melbourne’s South East providing a dynamic and flexible approach for people who are experiencing mental illness who are required to attend Corrections Victoria and who can access mental health clinicians at the site.

The project will involve a grade 4 mental health credentialed clinician from Monash Health being co-located at Corrections Dandenong two days per week.

Corrections staff will refer clients directly to the onsite mental health nurse where concerns are identified and the mental health nurse will provide appropriate responses. The mental health nurse will also act in capacity for secondary consultation to Corrections staff where a client reuses or does not engage.

The project will operate within a framework of prevention and intervention, holistic response, recovery based approach, flexible support and the creation and maintenance of partnerships.

The model will achieve the PIR objectives of facilitating better co-ordination of care, strengthening partnerships, improving referral pathways and promoting a community based-recovery model.

Project Outcome

The Mental Health nurse was located at Dandenong CCS two days a week with four appointments booked each day. Between November 2015 and May 2016, the mental health nurse assessed and case consulted in approximately 100 clients (65 Court Stream and 35 Parole Stream). In total, 30 case managers consulted the mental health nurse, 21 from the Court Stream and 9 from the Parole Stream.  The mental health nurse provided secondary consults as well. As a result of the mental health nurse assessments and interventions, a number of offenders have been referred to Partners In Recovery, local General Practitioners to complete mental health assessments, psychological counselling, community mental health services, ACAS and ACAT assessment, Supported Residential Services and any other services as appropriate.

Challenges

There was difficulty in creating and maintaining partnerships with community health and support services. Due to the mental health nurse being at the location, twice a week operational needs were prioritised.

Lessons learnt

The technical setup of the nurse to be located at Corrections took some time.  In future attempts would be made to have this done prior to the nurse commencing. 

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