Mid­land help for meth is­sues

Avon Valley Gazette - - NEWS -

READ IT FIRST ON­LINE AT MID­LAND hospi­tal will have more help with drug- af­fected pa­tients in an ef­fort to ease the pres­sure in­side emer­gency de­part­ments from Jan­uary on­wards.

Men­tal Health Min­is­ter An­drea Mitchell said six nurses would pro­vide the WA ser­vice across hos­pi­tals in an at­tempt to re­duce metham­phetamine use and di­rect peo­ple to the new Meth Helpline.

The other hos­pi­tals to ben­e­fit are Ar­madale- Kelm­scott, Royal Perth, Rock­ing­ham and Bun­bury, and Joon­dalup and Peel health cam­puses.

“The spe­cial­ist nurses will pro­vide screen­ing, as­sess­ment and in­ter­ven­tion, as well as sup­port to other hospi­tal staff re­spond­ing to com­plex meth- re­lated cases,” Ms Mitchell said.

“They will also sup­port meth users and their fam­i­lies to con­nect with treat­ment op­tions and train other med­i­cal staff, to build longterm ca­pac­ity in the work­force to re­spond to pa­tients with drug and al­co­hol prob­lems.”

The Gov­ern­ment ex­panded its new Meth Helpline af­ter more than 1,200 call­ers sought help in the first 10 weeks of op­er­a­tion.

“Calls have in­cluded users who had stopped us­ing and wanted help to keep off meth, users who wanted help to stop us­ing and fam­ily and friends who wanted to help peo­ple close to them af­fected by meth,” Ms Mitchell said.

Health Min­is­ter John Day said the ad­di­tional nurs­ing sup­port would lessen the stress in emer­gency de­part­ments.

The Meth Helpline 1800 874 878 is free, con­fi­den­tial and anony­mous.

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