Territory Stories

Annual Report 2010-2011 NT Community Visitor Program



Annual Report 2010-2011 NT Community Visitor Program

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Tabled paper 1572


Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




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Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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Community Visitor Program Annual Report 2010 - 2011 Page 8 Range of Mental Health Services in the Northern Territory The Northern Territory is a small jurisdiction, and economies of scale result in largely generic services being offered. Over time, this is gradually changing, and in 2010/2011 there were three new initiatives. A Perinatal Mental Health Team/Project is leading the introduction of universal screening for depression for pregnant women shortly before and after birth. The team is also providing training to relevant health workers as well as a specialist consultation service for women with complex mental health presentations. Mental Health Services recently concluded a 12 month project in partnership with Territory Palliative Care Services. By the end of 2010/2011, Crisis Assessment Teams with a dedicated phone number (1800 NTCATT) were providing a 24 hour/day mental health crisis assessment and intervention service for all people living in the Territory. The Manager of TEMHS has informed the CVP that staff in TEMHS will be trained to provide a service for people who suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as part of the services commitment to trauma informed care. Initially and starting in 2011/2012, staff at the Tamarind Centre will offer a twice weekly clinic for people who have experienced trauma. Other specific mental health services are desperately needed. Early Psychosis There is no dedicated early psychosis team in the Territory. An early psychosis team has the specialist skills and knowledge necessary to work with young people (generally under 25 years) with first episode psychosis. Information from the Early Psychosis Prevention and Information Centre (EPPIC) website2 demonstrates the importance of the right intervention at the right time. A young person is most likely to experience psychosis in adolescence at a time when they are becoming independent; leaving school, starting work and developing relationships independent from the family. It is a crucial time with developmental tasks that can be adversely affected if the young person experiences mental illness. Specialist intervention addressing the biological, social and psychological needs of the young person is seen as being key to recovery from psychosis and improved long term outcomes. The CVP is aware that the Commonwealth has announced that 16 Early Psychosis Centres will be established around Australia using a competitive tendering process with a minimum 50% State or Territory contribution. The CVP strongly supports the establishment of EPPIC in the Northern Territory. Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) In the late 1990s, most other jurisdictions in Australia introduced assertive community case management for people with severe mental illness and enduring disability. Assertive case management is team case management available seven days/week, and delivered in the clients home. It is an intensive model of management with case managers having a case load of about 10 - 12 clients, and assertive because follow up is maintained. It is also expensive. 2 http://www.eppic.org.au

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