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Local Health Support

Murrumbidgee Local Health District.

Our Mental Health Services are largely for individuals experiencing high levels of distress as a result of an acute or severe and complex mental illness or drug and alcohol use.

We are based in six centres across Murrumbidgee including Wagga Wagga, Young, Tumut, Temora, Griffith and Deniliquin and cover all other areas in Murrumbidgee by outreach services. Our community mental health teams work across a number of specialist areas.

Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (0-17 years) add

Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services provide a range of services in the local community to children, adolescents and their families. The service is for young people with psychological difficulties that are seriously impacting on their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Clinicians work closely with the young person and their family to provide support and specialist treatment including offering assessment, education, access to psychiatrists and psychological therapies for a range of mental health issues including: anxiety, depression, severe emotional trauma, suicide risk and self-harm, eating disorders and psychosis.

Got It (Getting on Track in Time) Program

Got It is a NSW specialist mental health early intervention program for children in Kindergarten to Year 2 (5 to 8 years) who display emerging behaviour problems. The Got It team, consisting of Specialist Mental Health Clinicians, work with select schools to train teachers to deliver a universal program to all children (in Kindergarten to Year 2) in the classroom setting. The program aims to improve emotional recognition, social and friendship skills and develop problem solving and coping strategies.

Got It Clinicians run a small group program delivering attachment based interventions for children and their parents/carers. This supports parenting practices and strengthens family units to improve social skills, emotional resilience and self-esteem in children.

(Source: HNEKidshealth)

Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services add

Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services provide clinical advice and support to women and parents, who are the primary care givers for an infant up to 2 years of age, and who have complex and/or severe mental health problems. Clinicians work to improve the mental and physical health of parents and their infants; reduce the risk of relapse; and lessen the impact of the mental illness on the infant.

The State-Wide Outreach Perinatal Service (SWoPS-mh)

The State-wide Outreach Perinatal Service is a tertiary Consultation Liaison Perinatal Psychiatry service based in Westmead working alongside NSW public mental health services. The service aims to strengthen specialist mental health care for pregnant women, mothers, their infants and families throughout NSW. Priority access to the service is given to consumers and clinicians in remote, rural and regional districts.

The service provides advice and assistance in relation to preconception counselling for women, assessments and recommended treatment plans as well as clinical supervision (for local senior mental health clinicians) and perinatal/infant mental health education.

The Statewide service can be accessed by referral from the local Community Mental Health team.

Mums & Kids Matter

Offers mental health care, parenting skills training and practical support to mothers in NSW living with severe and persistent mental illness, who have children under the age of 5. The service includes a number of programs and interventions, both individual and group, tailored to meet the needs of the family. It is a state-wide service that includes: family coaching in the home/ community support, specialist support in short term residential care (in Sydney) and a range of other supports.

Specialist Youth Mental Health Services (14-24 years) add

The Specialist Youth Mental Health Service is for young people aged 14 to 24 years with complex or high needs who may be showing behaviour that suggests a serious mental illness including psychosis. Clinicians help to support the young person and their family to link with services, develop goals to assist with recovery and provide psychological therapies that have been shown to be effective for this group of people.

Specialist Adult Mental Health Services add

The Specialist Adult Mental Health Service provides a range of services in the local community to adults with an acute and/or severe and complex mental illness. Clinicians offer specialist support and treatment including offering assessment, education, psychological therapies for a range of mental health issues and access to psychiatrists. People may access the service for help with post- traumatic stress symptoms, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, personality disorders, suicidal thoughts or behaviours and psychosis.

Specialist Older Peoples Mental Health Mental Services (OPMH) add

The Specialist Older Persons Mental Health Service provides a range of services in the local community to adults aged 65 years and over or for Aboriginal people aged 50 years and over. Clinicians offer specialist support and treatment including offering assessment, education, psychological therapies for a range of mental health issues and access to psychiatrists. People may access the service for help with anxiety, depression, severe emotional trauma, suicide risk and self-harm, eating disorders, psychosis and dementia related behavioural and psychological symptoms.

Community Dementia Behaviour Assessment and Management Services (DBAMS) add

Community DBAMS are located in Wagga Wagga and provide outreach services across the Murrumbidgee Local Health District. The service aims to improve the quality of life for people with dementia related behavioural and psychological symptoms, their families and carers. Clinicians work in partnership with the person living with dementia and their care network to understand the causes and/or triggers that led to changes in behaviour. Dementia is experienced differently by each person and clinicians work to recognise and respond individually to these changes.

Family and Carer Support add

Family Sensitive Mental Health (MLHD Family and Carer Support Workers).

Murrumbidgee LHD Mental Health Family and Carer Support Workers each have personal experience as a family member or carer of someone with a mental illness and act as carer representatives within MHDA services. They have the following roles:

  • Advocacy for the inclusion of families and carers in assessment, treatment, discharge planning and community support.
  • Providing education and information to MH workers and the community concerning families and carer needs.
  • Providing short term support to families and/or carers of MHS consumers and/or referrals to ODMH and other relevant support agencies.

Farming Community Counselling add

Farming Community Counselling is a service created and delivered by Murrumbidgee Local Health District to provide a new way of helping farmers, farming families and the communities that rely on farming for their income. Dealing with stress from drought can be really tough. There are so many factors that may be out of your control. You might be worrying about your family, money and have feelings of loss. The stress of tough times doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. Stress makes it hard for everyone to think straight and make good decisions. Stress is also intensely personal – we all experience and respond to stress in different ways. One on one counselling can help you make sense of tough times, working with you so you can get back in charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your future and put you in contact with appropriate support services.

Farming Community Counselling is individual, private and confidential. It is available free to farmers, farming families and anyone who depends on farming for their income –agronomists to vets, seed resellers to shearing. If tough times on the land are making your life hard then do the right thing for yourself, your family, reach out and make the call to Farming Community Counselling on 0436 811 692. Alternatively you can call AccessLine on Free Call 1800 800 944. Farming Community Counsellors are based at Deniliquin, Griffith, Temora and Wagga Wagga.

Mental Health Inpatient or Hospital Based Services add

The Mental Health Service also has a number of hospital based services known as Inpatient Services.

Recovery Unit

The Wagga Wagga Recovery Unit provides a unique 8 week residential program for people with mental illness who reside within the Murrumbidgee catchment. The Recovery program provides a range of group programs as well as individually tailored recovery plans developed in partnership with families, carers and other services. The program introduces participants to a wide variety of subjects to help build skills and strengths that may support the person in their recovery. Areas covered include: practical living skills, healthy eating, building self-esteem, assertiveness, managing mental health, social anxiety, psychological therapies, men’s and women’s health groups, employment and drug and alcohol issues, where required. Consumers are encouraged to identify a goal(s) for their admission and demonstrate a willingness to participate in the program.

Mental Health Acute Inpatient Service

The Mental Health Acute Inpatient Unit provides support for people experiencing very high levels of mental distress who may pose a risk to their own safety or the safety of others. People admitted to the unit may have no previous history of mental illness or may have a continuing mental illness and have experienced an acute exacerbation of clinical symptoms.

Staff work collaboratively with people admitted to the unit, as well as their family and carers, to try and achieve the best possible mental health outcomes for the person and ensure the right supports are in place when the person returns to the community.

The unit has a team of staff that include: Consultant Psychiatrists and Registrars (Doctors), nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists, drug and alcohol nurses, rehabilitation assistants, consumer peer workers and advocates, dietitians, pharmacists and family and carer support workers.

Older Persons Mental Health Unit

Older consumers who require a mental health inpatient admission are admitted to Yathong Lodge on the campus of Wagga Wagga Base Hospital. There are 8 beds known as Transitional Behavioural Assessment and Intervention Service (T-BASIS) beds for people experiencing severe behavioural and psychological symptoms related to dementia. The unit has a further 8 beds in the Acute Older Persons Unit. This is for people over 65 years who are experiencing acute, severe clinical symptoms of mental illness.

Specialist Drug and Alcohol Services add

The Mental Health Service also has a number of hospital based services known as Inpatient Services.

Recovery Unit

The Wagga Wagga Recovery Unit provides a unique 8 week residential program for people with mental illness who reside within the Murrumbidgee catchment. The Recovery program provides a range of group programs as well as individually tailored recovery plans developed in partnership with families, carers and other services. The program introduces participants to a wide variety of subjects to help build skills and strengths that may support the person in their recovery. Areas covered include: practical living skills, healthy eating, building self-esteem, assertiveness, managing mental health, social anxiety, psychological therapies, men’s and women’s health groups, employment and drug and alcohol issues, where required. Consumers are encouraged to identify a goal(s) for their admission and demonstrate a willingness to participate in the program.

Mental Health Acute Inpatient Service

The Mental Health Acute Inpatient Unit provides support for people experiencing very high levels of mental distress who may pose a risk to their own safety or the safety of others. People admitted to the unit may have no previous history of mental illness or may have a continuing mental illness and have experienced an acute exacerbation of clinical symptoms.

Staff work collaboratively with people admitted to the unit, as well as their family and carers, to try and achieve the best possible mental health outcomes for the person and ensure the right supports are in place when the person returns to the community.

The unit has a team of staff that include: Consultant Psychiatrists and Registrars (Doctors), nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists, drug and alcohol nurses, rehabilitation assistants, consumer peer workers and advocates, dietitians, pharmacists and family and carer support workers.

Older Persons Mental Health Unit

Older consumers who require a mental health inpatient admission are admitted to Yathong Lodge on the campus of Wagga Wagga Base Hospital. There are 8 beds known as Transitional Behavioural Assessment and Intervention Service (T-BASIS) beds for people experiencing severe behavioural and psychological symptoms related to dementia. The unit has a further 8 beds in the Acute Older Persons Unit. This is for people over 65 years who are experiencing acute, severe clinical symptoms of mental illness.

Specialist Drug and Alcohol Services

Substance use can be a confronting and challenging issue. Specialist Drug and Alcohol Services provide non-judgmental support, advice and treatment options for people with complex and severe drug and alcohol issues as well as people affected by others substance use (including parents and children). Drug and alcohol clinicians are based in each of the community mental health drug and alcohol services across the Murrumbidgee.

Opioid Treatment Services

The Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) is for people who are dependent on prescribed or illicit opioids including heroin, morphine and oxycodone. The three primary medications used include Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Buprenorphine and naloxone combination.  The service supports individuals to access a range of supports for their drug dependence.

Specialist Addiction Counselling

The Specialist Addiction Counselling service offers brief interventions for a wide range of drug and alcohol problems. The service aims to help you and your family understand and manage the complex issues relating to substance use. An assessment allows us to inform you about available treatment options. The service is for people with varying levels of substance use – it is not restricted to those with substance dependence.  Specialist Addiction Counselling is offered at all sites where MHDA teams are located.

Hepatitis C Treatment Services

The word “hepatitis” means liver inflammation, there are a number of hepatitis viruses including A, B & C. They differ in the way they are transmitted and the symptoms they cause and may require different treatments. All forms of hepatitis can affect humans and they all target the liver.

The Hepatitis C Treatment Service provides support, assessment and treatment for chronic hepatitis C, runs programs to increase awareness of hepatitis C and provides information resources. Hepatitis C is a very treatable illness, with new generation medications which are capable of clearing the virus from the body.

Consultation Liaison Services

Drug and alcohol issues are common amongst people presenting at emergency departments. Drug and Alcohol Consultation Liaison services aim to: provide direct access to specialist services for support; provide treatment advice and assistance with the management of drug and alcohol issues; improve the knowledge and expertise of health staff to identify and refer people with substance use issues to appropriate services; and improve outcomes for people who may be experiencing problems with their alcohol and/or drug use. In Murrumbidgee, Drug and Alcohol consultation liaison positions are located at Wagga Wagga and Griffith.

Withdrawal Management

Withdrawal occurs in people who are dependent on alcohol and/or drugs and who stop or considerably reduce their drug use. Medically supported treatment for withdrawal can occur in a variety of settings. It can take place in the consumer’s home, as an outpatient where the person attends a treatment facility but is not required to stay overnight or as an inpatient where the person is admitted to hospital and required to stay in the facility for the duration of their treatment.

Calvary Drug and Alcohol Centre provides a range of withdrawal services in Wagga Wagga for the Murrumbidgee population. The Drug and Alcohol Centre offers inpatient detoxification for alcohol and cannabis and a medium to long term (3-6 months) residential illicit drug rehabilitation program based on a ‘therapeutic community’ model of care.

Treatment under the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Act 2007

The Involuntary Drug and Alcohol Treatment (IDAT) Program is a structured drug and alcohol treatment program that provides medically supervised withdrawal, rehabilitation and supportive interventions for individuals with severe substance dependence.

The NSW Health Drug and Alcohol Treatment Act 2007 provides the legislative basis for the IDAT program. Involuntarily admission requires that the following criteria be met: the person has severe substance dependence; the person does not have the capacity to make decisions about their substance use and personal welfare; care, treatment or control of the person is necessary to protect them from serious harm; the person is likely to benefit from treatment for their substance dependence but has refused treatment; and no other appropriate or less restrictive means for dealing with the person is reasonably available.

MLHD residents who require admission under the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Act are admitted to Bloomfield Hospital, Orange.

Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment (MERIT)

The MERIT program is a local court based voluntary diversion program for adults with criminal charges and illicit drug use who are motivated to undertake drug treatment and eligible for release on bail. The program runs for three months with sentencing generally coinciding with the completion of the MERIT program. Within the district, the MERIT program operates through the Wagga Wagga Local Court. 

Substance Use in Pregnancy and Parenting Consultation (SUPP-C) Service

A specialised support service to assist pregnant or new parents with their substance use. The SUPP-C service and Mental Health Drug and Alcohol clinicians in the district also work alongside the Women’s Wellness & Recovery Program provided by the Calvary Riverina Drug and Alcohol Centre (CRDAC) to support pregnant women and/or women with children under age 5 years who are experiencing difficulties with alcohol and other drug use.

Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network

Primary Health

What is Primary Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Care?

Primary mental health and drug and alcohol care is provided to people in the community setting when they are seeking support for their mental health and/or drug and alcohol concerns. Primary mental health care can be delivered by General Practitioners, psychologists, mental health nurses, mental health social workers, mental health occupational therapists and Aboriginal mental health workers. This level of care may be provided in a general practice, private practice, community managed organisation or in a community setting.

What is a Mental Health Treatment Plan?

Everyone’s treatment needs are different. Your GP will assess whether the preparation of a Mental Health Treatment Plan is appropriate for you.

When developing a Mental Health Treatment Plan your GP will first assess your presenting concerns, relevant history, assess risk and complete an assessment tool by asking a series of questions. They will then work with you to document your needs, goals, treatment, referrals and relapse prevention plan.

Your GP will ask for your consent and will write you a referral to an appropriate mental health professional.

Referral options include: 
– Private practitioner
– Better Access (Medicare)
– Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network Commissioned Mental Health Services

Accessing a mental health professional through Better Access (Medicare)

If you have a mental health treatment plan, you are eligible for Medicare rebates for up to 10 individual and 10 group sessions with a mental health professional per calendar year under the Better Access Initiative Fact sheet for consumers.

You will need to find out from the mental health professional if they are registered to provide Better Access and if you are required to pay a gap fee.

Your GP may refer you to a mental health professional they are aware of, or you can request a referral for one that you know of. The below directories might be able to help you to find a mental health professional with experience in your current situation:

Once you have identified an appropriate mental health professional, contact them directly for any questions about their practice, fees and appointments.

Accessing a mental health professional through MPHN commissioned mental health and drug and alcohol services.

Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network commission a number of mental health and alcohol and other drug services throughout the region. All services commissioned by the Murrumbidgee PHN are free to the client.

Click here for a complete description of mental health commissioned services

How do I make contact with the Central Intake Team?

Referrals can be sent via the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network via a Central Intake Service. This is not an emergency or crisis service. You may be required to leave a message. All messages are returned within one business day.

Phone: 1800 931 603
Fax: 02 6921 9911
Email: can@mphn.org.au

Website: https://mphn.org.au/mental-health

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Murrumbidgee Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Alliance have worked to develop MapMyRecovery, a free resource providing mental health information specific to the Murrumbidgee region. This includes the local government areas of: Berrigan, Bland, Carrathool, Coolamon, Edward River, Federation, Greater Hume, Griffith, Gundagai, Hay, Hilltops, Junee, Lachlan, Leeton, Lockhart, Murray River, Murrumbidgee, Narrandera, Snowy Valleys, Temora and Wagga Wagga.