Partners in Recovery

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Psychological treatment services for people with mental illness in RACFs

There is evidence that residential aged care facility (RACF) residents have very high rates of common mental illness with an approximately 39 per cent of all permanent aged care residents are living with mild to moderate depression. It is important to address the current service gap as mental health services are not routinely available to older people living in RACFs and are not within scope of the personal care or accommodation services RACFs provide.

PHNs have been funded to commission psychological treatment services to provide support directly to residents in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs). Over the next three years GCPHN will work to make sure the services are accessible to every RACF in the Gold Coast Region. To do this GCPHN is undertaking consultation to inform a service model that is most appropriate.

Brisbane South and Gold Coast PHNs have engaged Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) to consult and engage with stakeholders to understand current issues and opportunities for psychological therapy services in residential aged care to

  • present better practice service delivery model options with clearly defined features as a business solution that:
  • align with contemporary models of person centred care
  • have a direct link to the PHNs Older Persons Strategy
  • have a specific focus on workforce capacity and capability
  • address the needs of significant others such as carers and families.

A series of focus groups and surveys facilitated by GCPHN and BSPHN lead by ACSA will help gain insight into understanding the barriers, challenges and opportunities for psychological services in RACF’s. The focus groups consist of GP’s, RACF’s, service providers, consumers, peak bodies and local specialist services who will highlight and inform a co-design a service model from 1 July 2019 and develop a Request for Tender.

For other Gold Coast events and activities visit the Gold Coast Primary Health Network’s website:

PIR is a Federally funded program. Other consortia members include Gold Coast Health and Mental Health Association QLD