Hospital chief muses on mental health idea

Colac Area Health director of community services Marg White says Barwon Health’s Jigsaw program’s co-location at Youth Health Hub is an example of how adult mental health services could be integrated into Colac Hospital.

Colac Area Health patients presenting with mental health conditions could benefit from basing mental health workers at Colac Hospital, chief executive Geoff Iles says.

Barwon Health provides community mental health services for adults from its site in Dennis Street, Colac, which includes providing an outreach service and secondary consultation to Colac Hospital patients.

The service, which has seven mental health clinicians and a part-time consultant psychiatrist and part-time psychiatry registrar, also provides an on-call service for crisis assessments in Colac Area Health’s urgent-care unit outside of business hours.

But Mr Iles said Colac Area Health had seen “an increase” in patients requiring mental health services, and the separate locations could cause delays when the hospital called for assistance.

“One of the big problems for people who are vulnerable is that break, and that loss of immediacy,” Mr Iles said.

“Once that happens, then it’s often very difficult to get them back in.”

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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