Ex­tra men­tal health staff

Pilbara News - - News - Tay­lar Amonini

Res­i­dents in the Pil­bara will soon have in­creased ac­cess to men­tal health care, thanks to a new pro­gram by WA Pri­mary Health Al­liance.

The WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice will part­ner with the Pil­bara Men­tal Health and Drug Ser­vice to em­ploy two af­ter-hours clin­i­cal nurse spe­cial­ist men­tal health li­ai­son staff. The new staff will be work­ing in the Emer­gency Depart­ment Di­ver­sion Pro­gram to pro­vide a strong clin­i­cal fo­cus.

The pro­gram will of­fer tar­geted face-to-face af­ter-hours men­tal health care in the emer­gency depart­ment set­ting, and pa­tients pre­sent­ing with men­tal health care needs will also re­ceive ap­pro­pri­ate re­fer­ral and fol­low-up.

Mem­ber for Du­rack Melissa Price said the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment was com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing men­tal health is­sues in ru­ral and re­mote ar­eas.

“This is great news for peo­ple liv­ing in the Pil­bara re­gion,” she said.

The ser­vices will be pro­vided at Hed­land Health Cam­pus and Nickol Bay Hos­pi­tal, with video con­fer­enc­ing links to in­land hos­pi­tals in Tom Price, Parabur­doo, New­man and Onslow, as well as Mar­ble Bar and Nul­lagine Nurs­ing Post, as re­quired.

WAPHA re­gional co-or­di­na­tor Winny Henry said the cre­ation of the ad­di­tional roles would en­sure pa­tients and emer­gency depart­ment clin­i­cians were bet­ter sup­ported.

“It will al­low for the sup­port of clients with men­tal health and al­co­hol and other drug con­cerns fol­low­ing an emer­gency depart­ment pre­sen­ta­tion, ef­fec­tively link­ing them into ap­pro­pri­ate com­mu­nity sup­port ser­vices,” she said.

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