The Older Adult Academic Clinical Unit (ACU) provides specialist assessment and treatment for consumers over 65 years of age who experience severe and complex mental health problems, especially those with complications of ageing. Community, inpatient and extended treatment services are available according to assessed needs. Contemporary evidence-based interventions are delivered either by structured program or care coordination. The Older Adult ACU has a strong focus on providing access to a range of evidence-based treatments, facilities, psychological treatments and support programs tailored to individual needs.
Conditions we treat
Typically common conditions treated by the Older Adult ACU include:
- bipolar disorder/mania
- schizophrenia/other psychotic conditions
- severe psychiatric complications of dementia
- other severe or complex mental health presentations not customarily managed by GPs or aged care providers alone.
Accessing our service
Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services can be contacted via:
- Phone: 1300 MH CALL (1300 64 22 55)
- Fax: 3078 2120
Following referral, our triage team negotiate service response time. Depending on urgency, this may include contact within 24 hours or notification of a scheduled appointment. At this stage the triage team may assist the individual access a service that is more suitable for their current needs (e.g. a non-government organisations or health professional).
To ensure your service needs are met in a timely manner we would request the following information at time of referral:
- Self or carer referrals: Our triage clinicians will guide you through any additional information that may be required. It is essential to know about active Guardianship or Power of Attorney arrangements.
- For health practitioners: Key assessment findings, treatment interventions provided or proposed, and current General Practitioner/other service providers.
- For General Practitioners: Key assessment findings including physical examination and current medications. Suggested pathology ELFT, FBE, TSH MSU, serum levels of medication (if applicable) and cognitive test scores and neuroimaging (if relevant).
- For residential aged care facilities: General Practitioner review prior to referral (see GP requirements above), Psychogeriatric Assessment Scale (PS), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and Cornell Scale for Depression results if available.
- Emergency services (Ambulance or Emergency Departments): These services can facilitate access for individuals in an acute crisis.
- What if the person won’t agree to be seen? The Mental Health Act 2016 provides for the involuntary assessment and treatment, and the protection, of persons with mental illness. Our triage service can advise you about this.
Services we provide
A specialised inpatient unit for older adults, Grevillea Place, is located at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Consumers are also admitted to the adult inpatient units at the Princess Alexandra, Logan and Redland Hospitals.
Outpatient mental health services are provided at the following locations:
- Logan Central
- Princess Alexandra Hospital
- Queen Elizabeth II Hospital
Home-based services are also available throughout the Metro South Hospital and Health Service.
Therapeutic interventions are provided on the basis of individual need and evidence-based guidelines depending on diagnosis.
Interventions fall into six main categories:
- healthy behaviours practiced by the individual, such as exercise, diet and routine
- psychological approaches, such as building skills in helpful thinking, problem solving and coping with strong emotions
- physical treatments, such as medication and (less commonly) electroconvulsive therapy
- changes in personal environment
- communication and care tips for friends, family and professional care staff
- helping people access services and help for unmet social needs, such as loneliness, transport and housing.