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The Resource and Access Services (RAS) Academic Clinical Unit (ACU) provides mental health services to the community. The primary aim is to provide a comprehensive mental health triage, assessment and brief intervention service that is skilled, timely and responsive for individuals who are in a mental health crisis. Holistically, RAS recognises that effective access to services for individuals experiencing mental illness is crucial to reducing the burden of disease.
RAS provides a responsive service that minimises the psychological distress of individuals, stabilises mental health status for those experiencing acute mental illness, and provides information and access to appropriate pathways of care for individuals and their carers and families.
The following list identifies the most common conditions managed by the RAS ACU:
The RAS ACU has four core service delivery areas:
Acute Care Teams (ACT) function as the first point of contact to public mental health services - 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. The components include triage, assessment, brief/crisis interventions, and linkages and onward referral. ACT provides a multidisciplinary service to consumers with an acute mental health issue taking into consideration safety issues, individual and clinical needs, level of distress, disability and supports in the community. Service provision will occur, wherever feasible, at the consumer's home, a community clinic, a General Practice or other nominated place.
Recovery, Resource and Partnership Teams (RRPT) provide a structural response to the roll out of strategic policy to ensure we are leading service reform in identified speciality areas. The RRPTs are centred on the concepts of primary care which include health promotion, illness prevention, care of the sick, advocacy and community development. Providing mental health treatment and care through a primary mental health care model will improve access and promote better health outcomes at lower costs for individuals, families and governments. Additionally they support a range of specific clinical activities that value add to the mental health needs of community.
The Homeless Health Outreach Team (HHOT) links clients into the mental health service system, including access to long-term housing augmented with outreach support, and improve the coordination and working relationships between mental health and homelessness services. HHOT also provide assessment and secondary consultation to homelessness services and other mental health workers. HHOT are not currently available in all catchment areas.
Alternatives to Admission/Hospitalisation Services provide safe alternatives to care for people who are experiencing severe and acute mental health illness who would otherwise be likely to require admission or increased hospital stay.
Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services can be contacted via:
All initial assessments conducted by the triage team will assess the risk and immediate mental health needs of the individual.
Being referred into our service can be a stressful time for individual, carers and families. However, the RAS ACU will help navigate the mental health service system and connect to the right service in a timely way. Where possible, the RAS ACU would request the following information at the time of referral.
The Mental Health Act 2016 not only provides for the involuntary assessment and treatment of persons with mental illness, but also ensures the protection of persons with mental illness. Depending on local arrangements, the involuntary assessment and treatment could occur in a hospital or community facility of an authorised mental health service.
Under the National Health Care Agreement, Queensland public hospitals and clinics can bulk bill Medicare for some services. This applies where we have a ‘named referral’ from your GP to an approved Consultant Psychiatrist. It is the consumer's choice to be seen as a bulk billed patient or a public patient. If consumers are seen as a bulk billed patient, they may have access to one of our Consultant Psychiatrists (if available) with right of private practice, rather than being treated by a publicly appointed doctor. Our clinics will continue to offer services free-of-charge and there will be no additional ‘out of pocket’ expenses for your consultations.
Interventions for the treatment of mental health presentations in adults fall into two main categories:
Consumers will be supported to access a range of biological, psychological and social interventions such as: