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1300 MH CALL (1300 64 22 55)

The Metro South community can access local mental health services for information and assistance in times of mental health crisis 24 hours a day via a centralised phone number:

  • Phone: 1300 MH CALL (1300 64 22 55)
  • Fax: (07) 3078 2120

The number enables our community to access mental health services in a timely and effective way that is consistent with our ongoing commitment to the National Mental Health Standards 2010.

About the service

1300 MH CALL is a tele-triage service that delivers a single point-of-access to Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services (MSAMHS).

The service provides:

  • another entry point for patients (consumers) to access specialist mental health services in addition to face-to-face hospital emergency department assessments
  • access to mental health information and advice for mental health patients, carers and families, the community, general practitioners (GPs), non-government organisations and private health professionals.
  • a direct pathway of care for people seeking specialist support from within a primary care setting (for example, GPs).

The MH CALL team

The 1300 MH CALL team is a multidisciplinary team of nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers and psychiatrists. A consultant psychiatrist is accessible for urgent consultation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Permanent clinicians are appointed, or working towards becoming, Authorised Mental Health Practitioners.

Who the service is for

The community can use this phone number for advice, information and support. The service is also available to the wider community seeking support and information on mental health – such as people with questions or concerns about their own mental health, the mental health of a family member, friend or neighbour, or general mental health questions.

The tele-triage program delivers triage services to people aged 18 to 65 years 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During business hours child, youth and older adult requests are transferred to the intake officer of the appropriate service.

Community members who may call the service include:

  • existing and potential patients of MSAMHS
  • families, friends and carers of MSAMHS patients
  • frontline MSAMHS staff (e.g. case managers seeking assistance)
  • MSAMHS Central Referral Hub staff, GPs and Medicare Locals
  • Non-government organisations that support patients and potential patients in Metro South
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in Metro South
  • Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander community members in Metro South
  • lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) community members in Metro South
  • government departments.

During standard business hours (9am-5pm), calls related to children, youth and older adults are transferred to the intake officer of the appropriate service. However, all callers are delivered a service based upon their needs at the time, including younger and older caller requests.

When should I not use the service?

The service does not replace 000, which should continue to be used in an emergency. Existing consumers are encouraged to contact their case manager for support during business hours, except in times of crisis or emergency.

Benefits for the community

The MH CALL service offers benefits to the community including:

  • providing a streamlined pathway for the community to access specialist mental health services and advice
  • ensuring faster and accurate access to specialist mental health services for all members of the Metro South community
  • introducing evidence-based mental health triage tools to determine the caller’s ‘need’ and ‘urgency for service’
  • ensuring all enquiries/transfers-of-care are reviewed against a clinical framework to provide consistency and quality-of-service delivery
  • strengthening relationships and collaboration between all providers of mental health services in the Metro South area
  • improving continuity-of-care for patients and their families requiring access to services after hours
  • reducing emergency department presentations and representations
  • improving clinical, operational and statistical data collection regarding service access, entry and service impacts/outcomes—allowing the service to learn and grow.

What happens when you call

Initial telephone conversation

When a caller telephones 1300 MH CALL they will speak to an experienced clinician who will ask them a series of questions about why they are calling.

The aim is to:

  • determine whether the caller requires a specialist mental health service intervention
  • identify symptoms of acute mental illness
  • identify possible self harm and/or suicidal behaviour or thoughts
  • determine the level of risk of harm to self or others
  • determine the level of risk of harm to children (including pregnancy)
  • initiate an emergency response where extreme and high urgency is identified.

Where transfers-of-care are made by third parties (concerned friends, carers, health professionals, schools and others) every attempt is made to speak to the identified person in order to complete the assessment process.

Support needs established

Once the clinician has asked a series of question they will determine whether MSAMHS intervention is required and then do one of the following:

Where MSAMHS intervention is required
Following the triage assessment, a recommendation and an interim plan is formulated including a response timeframe for those accepted for care into MSAMHS. The caller will be transferred to the care of one of MSAMHS’ specialist Academic Clinical Units (ACU).

These comprise:

  • Inpatient Services
  • Psychosis
  • Mood
  • Older Adult
  • Child and Youth
  • Consultation Liaison
  • Rehabilitation
  • Addiction Services
  • Transcultural Mental Health.

Where MSAMHS intervention is not required

The clinician will:

  • identify the service most likely to meet the needs of the person (transition the caller to a more appropriate agency)
  • identify local community health services and other relevant services
  • give the caller clear and concise information about the services available and options for further assessment or treatment (including to call back should the situation escalate)
  • refer the person to the service likely to meet the identified need for further assessment or treatment
  • ensure inclusion of explanatory services which may be culture bound
  • ensure that the caller has a clear understanding of the triage process and subsequent follow-up actions.

Resources

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Last updated 19 May 2017
Last reviewed 9 October 2015

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