People needing urgent mental health treatment will get the specialist care they need, allowing busy emergency departments to treat other patients, thanks to a major investment by the Andrews Labor Government.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley today joined specialist staff at the Royal Melbourne Hospital – one of six sites across the state set to be part of a rollout of new emergency department crisis hubs made possible by a $100.5 million investment in the Victorian Budget 2018/19.
The other five crisis hubs will be established at Barwon Health, Monash Medical Centre, St Vincent’s, Sunshine and Frankston hospitals – and will include separate 24-hour, short-stay units in emergency departments to treat people during times of crisis.
The investment directly responds to an increasing number of people with mental health, drug and alcohol problems who seek help in emergency departments, when their condition has reached crisis point.
New data shows that across the state, emergency departments experienced an increase in mental health patients of almost 20 per cent over the last four years.
People presenting with urgent mental health, alcohol and drug issues will be fast-tracked to these hubs for specialist, dedicated care – relieving pressure on our emergency departments and our hardworking doctors and nurses.
Patients will be assessed and treated by an ED and mental health team – made up of psychiatrists, mental health nurses and social workers – and referred to other services as required.
The new hubs will ensure people presenting with mental health issues get the right support, sooner, and that our general emergency departments are able to focus on caring for other patients.
They are part of a record $705 million investment in this year’s Budget to give Victorians with mental illness and addiction and their families the treatment and the support they need.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Our hard-working ED nurses and doctors are dealing with more mental health patients than ever before. We’re taking the pressure off them, so that they can give more Victorian families the emergency care they need.”
“These hubs will give people suffering an urgent mental health crisis the specialist care they need, and free up our busy emergency departments to do what they do best.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“This will fundamentally change the way we deal with mental health presentations in EDs – freeing up important frontline resources in our hospitals.”
“We want to end the revolving door in our emergency departments – that means giving people with a mental illness or addiction access to the immediate, dedicated services they need.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020