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The frontline of defence in mental health crisis care

10 December 2020

A successful mental health program has seen more than 1000 people transferred away from Emergency Departments in Metro South Health.

The Mental Health Co-Responder model (CoRe) puts mental health clinicians on the road with Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Police Service to respond to incidents in the community where mental health concerns could be a factor.

Co-Responder and Clinical Nurse Consultant Paul Meehan said he is honoured and proud to be part of the Co-Responder team, helping to shape and advocate for what he believes is an amazing service.

“This partnership has been incredibly successful. 

“Our teams have attended more than 3,500 incidents since its commencement, and more than 70% of the individuals assessed have been successfully diverted from the Emergency Department ensuring that they receive care that is more appropriate to their circumstances,” he said.

“Importantly, this program may help prevent a health issue escalating into a police matter.

“We perform the same assessment and referrals that occur in an Emergency Department.

“However, often we do this in the patient’s home environment.

“A busy Emergency Department is not always the best place to treat a person in a mental health crisis,” he said.

Addiction and Mental Health Services Executive Director Kieran Kinsella said the mental health clinician on the scene conducts a risk assessment and plans accordingly.

“This will often involve supportive counselling and finding community supports for people via NGOs, our 1300 MH CALL service or even a follow-up with a phone call from CoRe.

“Providing support, education and advice is an important part of the role of CoRE,” he said.

“It’s important that people seek help in times of mental ill-health; your GP should be the first port of call.

“However, people can access local mental health services for information and assistance in times of mental health crisis 24 hours a day in Metro South Health,” he said.

If you or someone you know needs access to a public mental health service call 1300 MH CALL (1300 64 22 55) 24/7.

Last updated 19 August 2021
Last reviewed 4 August 2020

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