Mental health treatment streamlined

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MENTAL health sufferers on the Mornington Peninsula now have access to a six bed psychiatric assessment and planning unit.

The unit will streamline the time spent in the busy emergency department at Frankston Hospital.

Peninsula Health supports up to 450 mental health patients at any one time with the demand for inpatient services expected to grow by 10 per cent over the next decade.

The PAPU was opened on 26 June by Frankston MP Paul Edbrooke. Peninsula Health CEO Sue Williams said it was a “significant boost” to Peninsula Health’s mental health services. “The purpose-built facility will receive mental health clients from the emergency department for up to 72 hours, adding much needed bed capacity within the mental health service,” Ms Williams said.

The PAPU also creates an alternative to acute inpatient care, Peninsula Health’s operations director of mental health Sharon Sherwood said.

She said mental health clients could be admitted to PAPU to receive faster access to specialist psychiatric assessment and short-term treatment. This would help them with their planning and partnering support arrangements for when the client back is back in the community after discharge.

More than 90 people have been admitted to the PAPU since it started taking patients last month. The six-bed facility, next to the emergency department, is designed to incorporate natural light and therapeutic colours and furnishings.

If you or someone you know is experiencing mental illness, call Peninsula Health’s Mental Health Triage Service any time on 1300 792 977.

First published in the Frankston Times – 3 July 2017

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