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Swan Hill youth mental health project

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Ian Johansen

on 4 January 2017

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Transcript of Swan Hill youth mental health project

Swan Hill youth mental health project
LMMML established a six month youth mental health project in Swan Hill in December 2012.

LMMML funded this project to:
work closely with key stakeholders
co-ordinate an evidence based analysis of needs and service gaps in Swan Hill
identify and develop effective options in addressing the mental health needs of youth in the Swan Hill district.

Swan Hill District Health
Bendigo Health Psychiatric Services
Victoria Police
National Coroners Information Service
Benchmarking Swan Hill with a similar sized community

Data provided by:
The following themes are drawn from intelligence gathered from 106 stakeholders from education, health and community service providers.
Background to the report
Collaboration - Lack of collaboration in strategic management

“It would be good to see more management that inspires the cultural change
in the service system that needs to happen.”
“We need a clear picture of what we want to achieve.”
“There feels like there is no captain of the ship.”

Collaboration - Lacking in the service sector

No clear leadership at the coal face.
“It’s about the organisations, not the clients.”
“We need to focus on improving the way that we work with together as workers.”
“I’m surprised at the amount of services involved with some clients.”

Early intervention

Interventions also need to be focused in schools with primary aged children.
Between schools and BHPS .
No generalist youth workers in our community available to young people.
“If we don’t develop the youth service system we can’t develop the youth mental health service system.”
Department of Health youth counsellor position funded until June 2014.
Acute services
Concern about the communication levels between community services and acute services. Difference in expectations.
Concern about the availability of mental health workers to respond in person to acute mental health needs.

While a Headspace centre would make a positive contribution to the health and wellbeing of young people in Swan Hill, the recommendations of this report present an opportunity to make improvements to the current service system.
Pathways to the future
Interagency collaboration
1. Establish an executive coalition from key agencies to develop a Swan Hill interagency collaborative model for responding to young people with complex mental health needs and their families.
Backbone support organisation
2. Appoint a project worker to provide secretariat support to the stakeholders developing the interagency collaboration model.
Prevention and early intervention
3. Explore opportunities for a generalist youth service in Swan Hill.
4. Explore capacity building initiatives that will strengthen a co-operative culture amongst mental health service providers.
5. Promote Kids Matter as a program that can be provided in Swan Hill primary schools to strengthen health and wellbeing.
Acute Services
6. Engage the Swan Hill District Health emergency department and general practitioners as key stakeholders in the development of the Swan Hill collaborative model.
7. Establish regular targeted education events to increase the mental health literacy of staff providing acute mental health care.
8. Establish social work services at the Swan Hill District Health emergency department to assist young people in accessing community based support services.
Released 27 September 2013
Definitions of mental health
“Mental health is a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
World Health Organisation

“A person is described as having a mental illness when their thoughts, feelings and behaviour cause them or others distress and are not in keeping with their cultural background.”
Victorian Department of Human Services
Full transcript