EMPHN launches Mental Health and AOD Atlas

EMPHN launches Mental Health and AOD Atlas

17 September, 2018

Late last month, EMPHN launched the EMPHN Integrated Mental Health and AOD Service Atlas (the Atlas), an important mapping tool which assists EMPHN and other service decision makers to identify gaps and opportunities to inform planning for mental health and alcohol and other drugs (AOD) services.

The first release of this Atlas has identified that the availability of mental health and AOD services is variable across EMPHN’s catchment. An important function of the Atlas is enabling comparisons to be made between similar regions across Australia and overseas.

The overall pattern of mental health care across EMPHN’s catchment is similar to comparable regions in Australia including poor access to acute community residential care, acute day care, or social-related acute outpatient care, and relatively low levels of non-acute day care and supported accommodation initiatives. These are needs which will be taken into consideration through EMPHN’s planning processes.

Federal Member for Menzies Kevin Andrews MP said the development of the Altas demonstrates that EMPHN is focussed on planning for high quality services for the people in Melbourne’s east and north east.

“The needs of our community aren’t the same as those in far north Queensland or even in other parts of Victoria, it’s clear EMPHN has invested in a deep understanding of the sector to better plan local health solutions,” he said. 

The Atlas was developed by Associate Professor John Mendoza from ConNetica on behalf of EMPHN, utilising a standardised classification system and his wealth of experience in mental health and AOD research and integrated health care.

Assoc. Prof. John Mendoza said one of the main benefits of using the Atlas in health planning is how it helps inform local models of care.

“Let’s not keep doing what we’ve been doing in mental health for 30 years.

“This Atlas will assist EMPHN and other organisations to make smart planning decisions so we can have mental health care which is tailored for the region and focussed on the consumer,” he said.

Eastern Melbourne PHN CEO Robin Whyte said her organisation is taking action to design and fund effective local mental health and AOD services.

“We’ve invested in the Atlas and stepped models of care for mental health, and alcohol and other drugs, because we believe that services need to be developed to fit the community’s needs, not the other way around,” she said.

Information in the Atlas was collected from 22 eligible non-government organisations (NGOs) as well as 13 consortia or partnerships and five public health sector organisations.

The Atlas can be accessed on EMPHN’s website at https://bit.ly/2o1kGtR

The Atlas was funded by the Australian Government under the PHN program.

Media enquiries: Ellie Cope, EMPHN Communications Advisor, ellie.cope@emphn.org.au 0488 382 033.