In 2020/21, we commissioned 67 mental health services worth over $37 million dollars and supported a total of 15,401 people
Introducing headspace Marion
The headspace Marion centre opened its doors in February 2021. The service provides tailored, youth friendly mental health, alcohol and drug, and work and study services to support young people aged 12-25 in the inner southern region of Adelaide.
The service celebrated an official opening event in March 2021, which included a smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country, and a speech from their youth reference group.
The centre has received some great feedback from clients already. Take a read at some of the good news stories below.
Ben attended five sessions at headspace Marion, and initially he shared that he wasn’t too keen on attending because it was “Mum’s idea”.
During the first session, Ben identified that he wanted to explore how he was feeling in relation to anger and communication with others. After some time exploring in the next session, Ben stated that he believed he was feeling angry due to wanting others to change their actions. The question was posed to Ben, can you control the actions of others, and Ben answered “yes” straight away. He believed the actions and communication of others was his responsibility and shared that he would blame himself when conversation may not have been pleasant.
Through working with headspace Marion, Ben identified that he was unable to control the actions of others. From here he explored his own behaviour in certain social settings.
Ben shared that after practicing strategies learned at headspace Marion, he’d take a deep breath, and was able to respond without yelling, and I was even able to make a joke sometimes.
At his last appointment, Ben reported that he had many strategies that he had learned in session, that he believed would assist him to support his mental health in the future. Ben reported that his relationship with his Autistic brother had improved, and that he and his Mum were planning on spending more time with each other playing board games. Ben thanked me in his final session, however, I turned it on himself and he was able to identify that he deserved credit for his action, and he repeated a metaphor that had been used in session 1 “you can’t get better at the piano if you don’t practice in between sessions”.
Sarah presented with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Initial Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) was 33, which indicates moderate to high severity of symptoms.
For a long time, Sarah held the belief that “if I were to tell people (about my trauma), they will see me as weak or worthless”
Since engaging in CPT at headspace Marion, Sarah has been able to challenge her above belief by safely sharing her experiences of trauma to close friends. Her weekly PCL score has since decreased to 11 representing clinically significant and positive change. She continues to address her PTSD symptoms on a weekly basis. Sarah reports she has seen a general improvement to her overall mental health since attending headspace Marion.
Since opening, headspace Marion has supported over 400 young people.
Collectively, our 5 headspace centres have supported 4,804 young people, providing over 18,000 occasions of service.
*These stories have been deidentified.
Below: headspace Marion team members on the opening day
A new service providing non-clinical suicide prevention support to people in central Adelaide
2021 saw the launch of The Way Back Support Service (TWBSS) – a Beyond Blue initiative, delivered in collaboration between Adelaide PHN, Anglicare SA, and the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN).
The service is for people living in the CALHN region, primarily taking referrals from the Royal Adelaide and Queen Elizabeth hospitals. The service works alongside existing Anglicare SA suicide prevention services, also funded through Adelaide PHN.
TWBSS is a non-clinical suicide prevention service focused on psychosocial support for three months following a suicide attempt. The goal of the service is to assist individuals to address the circumstances that lead to their attempt, engage individuals in suicide safety planning, support goal setting, wellbeing, recovery and connect people with resources and community.
A key focus with our participants is that they feel that they are thriving, not just surviving, that their distress has decreased and that they are connected to services or community that can support them longer term. This is done utilising a broad range of strategies and skills. Support Coordinators at TWBSS build a strong rapport with their participants and utilise the person’s inherent and learned strengths to build a foundation for recovery and wellbeing. Initially using tools such as safety planning and support planning to lay a groundwork of short-term coping skills and future thinking, the program works in a holistic manner to address biological, psychological, and social/environmental factors which impact participants’ welling and add to their suicidality.
TWBSS offers individuals a safe, trauma informed space to process their suicide attempt and the factors which lead them to it and then builds a path moving forward to a life worth living. After laying groundwork around support, TWBSS support coordinators assist individuals to implement strategies, practically support them when needed to make initial steps and connect them with ongoing resources to continue their journey after the service has resolved.
Many participants have stated that they have found immense benefit from the service and that they would recommend the service to anyone in need of it. One client told their Support Coordinator “Thank you for all your support and guidance during one of the toughest times in my life”.
Since commencement, the service has received over 128 referrals, with 96 clients receiving service.
Supporting mental health referrals via our Central Referral Unit
Our Central Referral Unit (CRU) continues to clinically triage referrals for primary mental health care services across the Adelaide region. This centralised point of entry allows easy access to a wide range of services commissioned across the stepped care continuum.
To support the safe and secure exchange of clinical information between health care providers and our CRU, Adelaide PHN disabled fax on June 30 2021 and adopted the use of secure messaging. Since then, the CRU has been able to safely receive electronic referrals from HealthLink, Argus and ReferralNet.
The adoption of secure messaging has been well received by general practices and has meant that the CRU team are able to reject less referrals due to missing patient information, which has overall led to improved processing times.
Across the year, our CRU processed over 8,800 referrals from providers.
Providing psychosocial support for local community
In 2020, we announced that a consortium led by Neami National and delivered by Wellness Connect, was selected to deliver the Continuity of Service (CoS) Program within the Adelaide region.
CoS provides non-clinical psychosocial support to consumers who previously access the Partners in Recovery (PIR), Support Day-to-Day Living in the Community (D2DL), and Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) programs. The service supports people with complex mental illness who have been assessed as ineligible for the NDIS.
Support workers from the program engaged with consumers to develop their goals and connect with group programs to support their recovery.
Each week Wellness Connect featured over 20 groups across 3 categories - social and recreational, practical skills, and emotional self-regulation, to support the different aspects of a person’s journey. Together this represented a holistic approach which is strength based, recovery oriented and trauma informed.
Through our support, the CoS program supported 239 people their recovery from mental illness, helping them to reconnect with community and live their best life beyond formal supports.
Towards Wellness - our landmark partnership to improve mental health care systems and support continues
The Towards Wellness Adelaide Metropolitan Integrated Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan Steering Committee continued to meet regularly to review progress against the Towards Wellness Plan which was formally approved by all parties in late 2020.
Implementation groups were established to review and progress the actions against each of the 6 areas of focus within the Towards Wellness Plan. This included participants from Adelaide PHN, all metropolitan Local Health Networks in the region, Wellbeing SA, the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, and participants with lived mental health experience.
The 6 areas of focus include:
Suicide prevention - implementing a Towards Zero Suicide approach to service delivery and improving timely follow up after a suicide attempt
Youth - improving access and coordination of services for individuals aged 12 - 25 years
Adults with chronic and complex mental health conditions including physical health - improving service and care coordination
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - the development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan
Service quality and improvement - ensuring a consistent approach to patient outcome and experience measures between partner services
Older people - improving access and service delivery
Actions have progressed against each of these areas of focus for greater integration between the sectors. In addition, children under the age of 12 have been added as an additional priority in response to the identified service gaps for this cohort. The Way Back Support Service is a great example of what has been achieved through this plan and cross sector integration.
The Towards Wellness Plan will run until 2025. We look forward to keeping the local community updated on progress in the coming years.