Extra mental health support for older people
MORE than $22 million in funding has been consolidated to help older adults access mental health services in Perth.
Deputy Premier and Mental Health Minister Roger Cook made the announcement last Thursday at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital.
The funding will support the hospital’s 12-bed Ursula Frayne unit, which takes public patients.
The unit helps older adults learn how to manage their symptoms, with the goal of increased understanding about how lifestyle factors affect mood and mental health and re- ducing the risk of relapse.
“We’ve funded the Ursula Frayne unit for some time, but there’s been different agencies involved; the Mental Health Commission has consolidated that funding,” Mr Cook said.
He said the additions of more access to consultants, stronger links to psychiatry services at St John of God Midland Public Hospital and increased admission hours were important enhancements to the contract.
“With between 10 to 15 per cent of older adults suffering from depression and 10 per cent from anxiety, we need a variety of ways to address a variety of needs,” Mr Cook said.
St John of God acting chief executive Vanessa Unwin said the consolidated services would help ease the transition of patients back into the community.
“It will help us own the unit, and enables us to grow where we need it,” she said.
CEO Vanessa Unwin, Mental Health Minister Roger Cook and patient Shane Stevenson.