Mental Health Alliance
The current Mental Health Alliance commenced in September 2013. A pre-existing Mental Health Alliance had been in place in the catchment for eight years prior. In transitioning to the Peninsula Model, the Alliance membership expanded to now include private practitioners.
Mental health is an important population health issue for the catchment. Nearly half (45%) of the population will experience a mental disorder at some stage in their lives and almost one in five Australians (20%) will experience a mental illness in a 12 month period. Mental illness is a significant issue for the catchment for the following reasons:
- High prevalence rates amongst groups of people within the community
- Significant issues of disadvantage and social issues within pockets of the community
- Under resourced services in the catchment
The prevalence of people diagnosed with mental health problems is much higher in Frankston (West) than in other areas in the catchment and there is substantial pressure on the Frankston hospital emergency department to deal with presentations of people with serious mental health conditions.
Although the issues of mental health are complex, the Mental Health Alliance has chosen four key focus areas:
- Service Connections - including care pathways
- Peer Support - development of a peer (lived experience) workforce
Individuals with poor mental health can find it difficult to obtain and maintain appropriate housing. It is estimated that up to 85% of homeless people have a Mental illness. There has been a large increase in the number of rooming houses, particularly in Frankston, which presents some challenges and opportunities. The Alliance aims to identify and address these challenges, and harness the opportunities for improved housing options by working with local government and private investors.
Service Connections – including care pathways
Mental health services are stretched and operate in a fragmented service system. Care pathways specific to Mental Health that provide clear directions to service providers and consumers regarding referral management and service navigation are currently lacking. This work aims to improve the client journey through the care system by implementing care pathways.
Peer Support – development of a peer (lived experience) workforce
Currently there is no “shared vision or agreed approach” for a peer (lived experience) workforce across services within the catchment.
The evidence for positive outcomes from using a peer workforce in both mental health and addiction recovery is growing. The Alliance will develop a consistent and shared approach to developing, implementing and supporting a peer workforce as part of a genuine recovery based service system.
At least one third of young people have had an episode of mental illness by the time they are 25 years old. Mental health and substance use disorders account for 60-70% of the burden or disease among 15-24 year olds.
Currently only one in four young people experiencing mental health problems receive professional help. Evidence demonstrates improved outcomes for young people when opportunities for interventions are available, particularly as they transition into adulthood.
This work seeks to take a multi-sectoral approach to working with young people by focusing on health promotion, early intervention and improved coordination between services.
The current membership of the Mental Health Alliance includes representatives from the following organisations working with mental health consumers and carers across the Frankston Mornington Peninsula: