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Enhancing Mental Health Care in Residential Aged Care Facilities

Enhancing Mental Health Care in Residential Aged Care Facilities

Sydney North Health Network (SNHN) is seeking Expressions of Interest from Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) in the Northern Sydney Region who would like their residents experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues to receive support from
qualified mental health professionals.

Background

More than 47% of RACF residents have symptoms of depression. Despite this, mental health services are not routinely available to older people living in RACFs. The Australian Government is investing $82 million over four years to improve access to mental health treatment services for these people.

About the program

SNPHN have received funding from the Department of Health to commission Mental Health services for people living in Residential Aged Care Facilities in the Northern Sydney region. While undertaking a broader consultation and co-design process in the region, SNPHN is offering a number of RACFs the opportunity to receive services for an initial period of up to six-months.

This service is intended to enable residents of facilities with mental health concerns to access needed mental health services similar to those available to the community through such programs as Better Access and other mental health services commissioned by SNPHN.

The service will involve mental health professionals delivering evidence-based group or individual psychological therapies to residents identified as having mild to moderate mental health needs. Training will also be provided to staff of each RACF to build their capacity to assist with better identification and referral of these residents.

Benefits to the RACF
  • Increased access for residents to mental health services, delivered in an appropriate service model for older people
  • Increased overall mental well-being for residents
  • Training for staff to increase awareness and understanding of mental health in aged care
  • Increased staff ability to identify and support residents with mental health needs
  • Improved capacity of staff to make referrals to appropriate professionals
Eligibility & Requirements
  • Residential Aged Care Facility in the SNPHN region
  • Dedication to improving the mental health of elderly residents
  • Available room to deliver group therapy
  • Access to clinical staff (such as registered nurse, general practitioner, psychiatrist or psychologist) who can confirm a diagnosis of mental illness or reliably identify individuals who would benefit from these services
  • Commitment to participate:
    • Staff attend workshops
    • Identification of appropriate residents
    • Assistance to ensure residents attend appointments
    • Staff commitment to work with mental health professionals to improve mental health care of
      residents
    • Access to information about patient history relevant to mental health treatment, (including
      status of medications).

For further information please contact Craig Parsons, Mental Health Commissioning Manager – cparsons@snhn.org.au or Kahli Mason, Commissioning Manager- kmason@snhn.org.au

If your Facility is interested in participating, please complete the online form below by 21st December 2018.

Key contact for EOI

Eligibility criteria

Residential Aged Care Facility in the SNPHN region

YesNo

Willing to work with SNPHN & providers to improve the mental health of elderly residents

YesNo

Available room to deliver group therapy

YesNo

Able to make staff available to attend education

YesNo

Able to assist in identification of appropriate residents

YesNo

Staff commitment to work with mental health professionals to improve mental health care of residents

YesNo

Access to health professional to assist in diagnosis of eligible participants

YesNo

Will work with residents to facilitate participation

YesNo