Two years of supporting our community – AWH Brain and Mind Centre and Acute Community Intervention Service
Friday, 29 July 2022 / Albury Wodonga Health
Albury Wodonga Health marks a milestone in July, with the two year anniversary of implementing the Acute Community Intervention Service, and the opening of the Brain and Mind Centre.
The service, which started on 1 July 2020, provides a single point of access to the entire mental health service, consisting of multiple facets.
They have a 24/7 phone triage, Mental Health clinicians working in the Albury, Wodonga and Wangaratta Emergency Departments, short term crisis support in the community and consultation liaison support throughout the general wards
The first point of call to access any of the Mental Health services is the Acute Community Intervention Service (ACIS) operating from the Northern (Albury/Wodonga) and Southern (Wangaratta) hubs of the Mental Health service.
By calling our ACIS 24/7 Mental Health triage on 1300 104 211, community members will be supported by experienced mental health clinicians to access and navigate the mental health service or alternatively support the consumer in accessing another appropriate service.
Having our own service wide triage means that the triage clinician can access information specific to that person, if they have had previous engagement with us, and their care and support needs
The whole of service triage has been a game changer for our community and can be accessed by anyone of any age at any time – whether you need to access services or support for yourself or you’re reaching out for support for a loved one.
Prior to ACIS’s establishment, entry to the service was undertaken via seven different programs, across three major regional towns, and surrounding rural areas. The significant geographical spread, and lack of a single entry point, meant the system was difficult to navigate.
Operations Director for Mental Health, Dr Leah Wiseman explains how the establishment of the Brain and Mind Centre and the implementation of ACIS in July 2020 proved both challenging and timely, as it coincided with the first border closure in our community followed by a prolonged period of compromised and adapted service access and delivery that came with the COVID pandemic.
“We instantly saw local mental health demand double, and remain at this level since” Dr Wiseman said.
“The work we had done around streamlining of access to the service, beginning each day with a meeting involving representatives across our entire mental health service – and the work of our dedicated mental health clinicians and support staff, has enabled us to continue to provide a mental health service across our region including the purpose built mental health space at Brain and Mind.
The positive impact has also been felt by our three Emergency Departments, where the responder ACIS clinicians are able to provide timely mental health specialist assessment and response.
Watch a video on the Albury Brain and Mind Centre here
The ACIS 24/7 Mental Health triage can be contacted on 1300 104 211
This service is staffed 24/7, and is available to anyone seeking support for themselves or for others.
In addition to triage, ACIS provides:
Short-term crisis support including up to 6 weeks of follow-up
The Hospital Outreach Post-Suicidal Engagement (HOPE) program
Telehealth Mental Health assessments when face-to-face assessments are not possible
The Albury Wodonga Health Mental Health Service has a number of services, including
Two in-patient units, Nolan House and the Kerferd Unit
Blackwood residential aged care facility
Willows and Benambra continuing care units
Jarrah Prevention and Recovery Centre
As well as Albury, Wodonga and Wangaratta Adult community teams, Child and Youth Mental Health Service, the Older Person Mental Health Service and the Early Intervention and Capacity Building team