Mid North Coast Local Health District focuses on future of mental health services in Hastings

Reform underway: Director Mental Health and Integrated Care for the Mid North Coast Local Health District, Sara Shaughnessy.
Reform underway: Director Mental Health and Integrated Care for the Mid North Coast Local Health District, Sara Shaughnessy.

INVESTMENTS are being made to enhance and improve mental health services across the Hastings.

Mr Hancock says the experience highlighted to him the gulf in treatment between people suffering a physical injury and those with mental health issues. 

Mr Hancock said he could not fault the professionalism of the staff. His concerns were based on the need for better funded, and better access to, mental health services.

Director Mental Health and Integrated Care for the Mid North Coast Local Health District, Sara Shaughnessy, said mental health care in NSW is in the midst of a decade-long, whole-of-government reform, with a focus on improving community-based supports.

“After an assessment at Port Macquarie Base Hospital, the patient was discharged and contacted by phone later that day. Follow up support services were offered and we have maintained contact with the patient,” Ms Shaughnessy said of Mr Hancock’s treatment.

“Care and support for anyone experiencing mental health issues is available through the Mid North Coast Local Health District. Anyone who presents to Port Macquarie Base Hospital for assistance will receive a thorough assessment and an appropriate mental health plan to aid recovery. 

“If following an assessment an admission is needed to offer more intensive treatment and support to the community member, there is a fully equipped mental health unit to provide this care.”

The Health District has announced a commitment to engage with service users by developing a peer workforce to provide input into the design and future planning of mental health services in the Hastings.

“We have invited local community members to participate in this process,” Ms Shaughnessy said.

“This process focuses on recovery-based services and the reduction of the stigma associated with mental health, a very important issue where we believe many members of our community can add real value.”

The NSW government is investing $17.5 million to expand the Port Macquarie Base Hospital Mental Health Unit. This project, due for completion in the second half of next year, will double the number of mental health beds at the hospital to 24.

“Mid North Coast Local Health District values the voice of mental health service users, their families and carers, and we acknowledge the unique contribution that individual patient experiences and stories can make in improving mental health services.”

If you or someone you know needs crisis support phone Lifeline on 13 11 14, for local mental health services in the community phone the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.

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