Focus Areas

EMPHN has consulted with stakeholders in eastern and north-eastern Melbourne to improve the care of our community. The plan will aim to: improve integration between mental health, alcohol and other drugs, and suicide prevention services; and enhance the consumer experiences of the health system.

1. Improving outcomes for young people
There is a need to develop a mental health stepped care model for young people involving key stakeholders in the east of Melbourne. This model will consider young people, families and carers, education and workplaces, and primary, community and acute care, with the aim of increasing the identification, support and wellbeing of those who are vulnerable or at risk. Integrated governance to achieve greater coordination and simplification of the service system has been raised.

2. Improving pathways of care for people with alcohol and other drug issues
Key service priorities identified include whole of person care, communication, integration and access, needs of families and carers and workforce development. Integration with the mental health service system and alignment of state funded and EMPHN commissioned services is critical.

3. Better meeting the needs of people with severe mental illness and complex needs
It is of critical importance that people with chronic and complex needs, including clinical, psychosocial and care coordination, have easy access to a responsive, simplified and individualised service system. This model of care will need to enhance linkages and pathways across health and social services. Ensuring the workforce is supported to enhance the quality and responsiveness of care is essential.

4. Improving physical health outcomes for people with severe mental illness
People with complex mental illness are more likely to have poor physical and dental health outcomes. There is a need to improve identification of those in need and access to appropriate primary and specialist care.

5. Enhancing our mental health response for older people
Developing systems to better enable our workforce and consumers and carers to earlier identify older people at risk of mental health or alcohol and other drug issues, and encourage access to supports. Creating a more connected system of care will be considered.

6. Suicide Prevention
A coordinated systems based approach, well developed pathways for care and follow up, cross sectoral agreement and inclusion of key local factors in order to shift service delivery to earlier intervention are required.

7. Improving the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
A need to address the social and emotional wellbeing of individuals in communities at risk. Specific actions in this area require further consultation and identification.

8. Increasing support for general practice
General practice is an essential component of the mental health and AOD service system. Consideration of how best to support and value the GP workforce and the primary care sector in the longer term management of consumers with mental health and drug and alcohol issues was raised.

9. The role of quality and safety and clinical governance in complex integrated care
A shared clinical governance framework to support more effective care pathways, simplified referral mechanisms, quality processes and the capacity to learn from adverse events and poor outcomes.

10. Information management and data sharing
The importance of information management and data sharing in order to understand the health and service system needs of the region to inform integrated and coordinated service system planning. A shared understanding of how we will manage the effectiveness of the implementation of the plan will need to be developed.