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Consumer information

Do you have a mental illness?  Here you will find information about mental illness in general, as well as the services we provide to you on your journey to recovery.

What is a consumer?

Our services use the word “consumer” to describe people who use, or are potential users, of health services. This including their family and carers. Consumers may participate as individuals, groups, organisations of consumers, consumer representatives or communities.1

References
1. Health Consumers Queensland, (2010). Consumer Engagement Framework: August 2010.

What is a mental illness?

Mental illness is a general term that refers to a group of illnesses affecting the mind, in the same way that physical illness refers to a group of illnesses affecting the body. About one in five Australians will experience a mental illness in any given year.

What types of care will I receive?

Assessment

An assessment is the first part of your journey through Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services. Assessments, on average, can last between 60 to 90 minutes. The assessment may be conducted in your home, a community clinic, a hospital, or other setting.

Some areas that you will be asked about include: 

  • the reason you would like to see a mental health professional
  • what has been happening to you recently - for example, have you been under stress recently? What has been happening in your life
  • what symptoms you have been experiencing - this usually includes asking questions about your sleep patterns, mood, appetite and other symptoms and for how long
  • if you have seen anyone from mental health in the past and if you have had any psychological or psychiatric treatments
  • if you have any medical conditions or take any medications
  • if you use drugs or alcohol and if so, how regularly
  • your education, employment, relationships and other parts of your life, this information helps us to develop a treatment plan and set goals or your recovery 
  • if you have support from a partner, family or others in your community

You will also be asked whether you have had any recent thoughts about suicide or harming yourself, or other people. It is common for people who are upset to have thoughts like these, and it is important for you to be open about these issues with your mental health clinician.

If you feel uncomfortable answering some questions during your assessment, please let the mental health clinician know. You are welcome to bring a friend or family member to support you during your assessment.

Inpatient care

There are three inpatient units across Metro South Health – one at Redland Hospital, Logan Hospital and the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Admission to these units is usually based on where you live. Admission is used for short term intensive support.

Ongoing community mental health support 

Providing services to consumers and their families in the community is one of our priorities. We believe it is better to care for consumers in the community, rather than an inpatient setting, where we can.

Will I recover?

What is recovery?

The definition provided in the National Mental Health Policy 2008 is:

A personal process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and/or roles. It involves the development of new meaning and purpose and a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life as the person grows beyond the effects of psychiatric disability. The process of recovery must be supported by individually-identified essential services and resources.

People can and do recover from even the most serious and long-term mental health problems. Recovery is a unique and individual experience and while there may be common themes and experiences, no two people’s recovery journey will be identical.

In talking about recovery, we acknowledge that it is not necessarily easy or straightforward. Many people describe the need to persevere and to find ways to maintain hope through the most trying times. We believe that by sharing experiences (through our network) we can have a positive impact.

Our clinicians and doctors will work alongside consumers and carers to assist in each person's recovery journey. The services provided by Metro South Mental Health Servies to assist in the recovery journey include social, psychological and, where appropriate, vocational treatment programs.

Key themes of recovery

While recovery is a unique and individual experience, it is possible to identify key themes and ideas in relation to the experience. The following list, while not exhaustive, highlights some of the most commonly identified elements.

Recovery as a journey
The recovery journey can have ups and downs and some people describe being in recoveryrather than recovered to reflect this.

Hope, optimism and strengths
Hope is widely acknowledged as key to recovery. There can be no change without the belief that a better life is both possible and attainable. One way to realise a more hopeful approach is to find ways to focus on strengths.

More than recovery from illness
Some people describe being in recovery while still experiencing symptoms. For some it is about recovering a life and identity beyond the experience of mental illness.

Control, choice and inclusion
Taking control can be hard but many people describe how it important it is to find a way to take an active and responsible role in their own recovery. Control is supported by the inclusion of people with experience of mental health issues in their communities. It is reduced by the experience of exclusion, stigma and discrimination.

Self management
One way to gain more control over recovery is to develop and use self management techniques. One such self management tool which Scottish Recovery Network promotes is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan

Finding meaning and purpose
We all find meaning in very different ways. Some people may find spirituality important, while others may find meaning through employment or the development of stronger interpersonal or community links. Many people describe the importance of feeling valued and of contributing as active member of a community.

Relationships
Supportive relationships based on belief, trust and shared humanity help promote recovery.

What are my rights and responsibilities?

As a consumer of our services, you are entitled to:

  • the best health care we can provide, in a place where you can be safe
  • care which considers and respects your personal needs, choices and dignity at all times
  • personal privacy
  • confidentiality of your personal health information
  • have your cultural, spiritual and religious beliefs respected
  • be treated without discrimination
  • the right to apply under Right to Information legislation for a copy of your clinical file
  • an explanation of all aspects of your status under the Mental Health Act 2016 in terms and language that you understand
  • participate in decisions regarding our care and treatment
  • obtain a second opinion, the cost of which may be charged to you 
  • seek legal advice
  • receive visits from family members and friends of your choice within specified visiting hours and subject to approval  
  • have someone of your choice with you whenever possible when you are discussing your treatment with your psychiatrist, doctor or case manager
  • contact people by letter or phone
  • make complaints about any aspect of your treatment that you are not happy with
  • access an advocate / allied person of your choice
  • access a staff member of your own gender, wherever possible.

Your responsibilities as a consumer of the Metro South Mental Health Service are to:

  • make sure you have enough information to understand your condition, the purpose of tests, treatments and any possible alternatives before you start treatment
  • inform your health care team of your needs so they can provide the best care and advice for you
  • inform your health care team of any past problems and illnesses experienced by you or your family
  • be considerate of the rights and property of other consumers, staff and the health care facility
  • ask questions if you do not understand any part of your condition or care
  • treat any agreement made between you and your health care team about your treatment seriously
  • be aware that choices you make about your lifestyle affect your health
  • follow rules, policies and procedures set down by your Mental Health Service
  • take responsibility for the consequences of your choice to accept or reject advice.

Your public healthcare information

From mid-2017, Queensland’s general practitioners will have secure online access to patient healthcare information from Queensland’s public hospitals. This access will bridge the information gap between Queensland‘s general practitioners and public hospitals to help ensure you receive consistent, timely and better coordinated care.

What if I don’t want my general practitioner to see my public healthcare information online?

If you would prefer that your treating general practitioner did not have online access to your public healthcare information, you have the right to opt-out.

You can do this by calling 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84). Translation and interpreter services can be arranged to assist with the opt-out process.

Visit Queensland Health’s website for more information.

Learn more about your rights in treatment and download the Mental Health Act 2016 Statement of Rights for patients of mental health services now.

Independent Patient Rights Advisors

What is an Independent Patient Rights Advisor (IPRA)?

As an authorised mental health service, Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services has systems in place to ensure that patients, the patient’s nominated support persons, family, carers and other support persons are advised of their rights and responsibilities under the Mental Health Act 2016. 

You can expect that your treating team and people involved in your care keep will you informed of your rights and responsibilities. 

In addition to information and advice that you receive from the treating team, you will have access to Independent Patient Rights Advisors (IPRAs).

IPRAs are available to provide advice to people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and are currently receiving treatment through Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services (MSAMHS).

To maintain independence, Independent Patient Rights Advisors (IPRAs) have been employed separately to the MSAMHS through Aftercare.

Aftercare supports thousands of people with a lived experience of mental illness across Australia to lead fulfilling, independent lives.

Who can contact the Independent Patient Rights Advisor Service for advice?

IPRAs are available to provide advice to people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and are currently receiving treatment through MSAMHS.  IPRAs may also provide advice to nominated support persons, family members, carers and other support people.

What advice is available from the Independent Patient Rights Advisor Service?

IPRAs can help people to understand how to:

know their rights under the Mental Health Act 2016 (Qld)

express their views about treatment and care
access legal advice and support for Mental Health Review Tribunal appearances
express concerns and make complaints
understand the benefits of making an Advance Health Directive and the steps involved to create one.

Contact details

A member of the treating team may arrange a referral into the Independent Patient Rights Advisor Service, or you can contact 1300 477 243 or email IPRABrisbane@aftercare.com.au

Standard operating hours are between 7:00 am and 5.30 pm

Last updated 28 June 2018
Last reviewed 17 May 2015