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Blue Mountains News

Mental Health Boost Gives Long Term Support to Older People

Source: Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith
Posted: 9 Aug 2018
The NSW Government will spend $15 million over 10 years in three partnerships between mental health services and aged care facilities to support older people who have been in hospital for long stays.

Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres said the Pathways to Community Living Initiative is being implemented in the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District with $307,500 annual funding being provided to improve pathways into community care for people experiencing long stays in mental health facilities.

“This will see older people with complex mental health needs move from hospital to specialist 10-bed units located in the Governor Phillip Manor residential aged care facility in Penrith,” Mr Ayres said.

It’s one of three new services including Hunter New England and Northern Sydney Local Health Districts. The Nepean Blue Mountains service is now operational and has so far received its first people with severe and enduring mental illness and challenging behaviours who were long-stay hospital patients.

Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies said the new $15 million partnerships between the NSW Government and aged care providers is part of the response to the NSW Mental Health Commission’s Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW: Living Well.

“Like people of any age, older people in our community can experience mental illness. But with the right treatment and support, they can experience improved long term mental health and wellbeing,” Mrs Davies said.

The multi-million dollar initiative will enable three kinds of services to be delivered:

  • Mental Health Aged Care Partnership Initiative transition units to provide intensive, tailored and high quality support for older people with challenging behaviours within residential aged care facilities;
  • Specialist Residential Aged Care Facilities that work with people experiencing the impacts of severe and persistent mental illness and  ageing, drug and alcohol issues and/or risk of homelessness; and 
  • Enhanced partnerships with Generalist Residential Aged Care Facilities.

Additional funding has been provided to clinical mental health services to support the new initiative. 

If you or someone you know needs crisis support please call Lifeline 13 11 14, MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78, or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800. For mental health services in Parramatta phone NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511.

 
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