Addressing mental health, the elephant in the room

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Epworth Clinic focuses on mental health programs across the spectrum of mental health conditions

Opened in Camberwell last year but officially launched by the Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, the new 63-bed Epworth Clinic focuses on mental health programs across the spectrum of mental health conditions. The clinic offers inpatient and day patient care for people experiencing Acute Stress Disorders, Depression, Bipolar Affective Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder and a range of other mental health conditions.

A suite of day programs for adults includes Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness, Schema Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy along with Bipolar Disorder, Parent-Infant, Weight Loss, and an Adolescent Program.

Dr Graham Wong, Epworth Clinic’s Director of Psychiatry and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), believes multifaceted treatment options to be vital. Thanks to key developments in mental health, the sector as a whole continues to improve.

“We have an extensive therapy program suitable for depressive, bipolar, anxiety and personality difficulties. An inpatient service is available for patients with acute difficulties. A team led by a consultant psychiatrist along with highly experienced mental health nurses and allied health staff help create a management plan which may often involve ongoing care within the Day Program, post-discharge,” Dr Wong said.

Dr Wong was part of the Mental Health Crisis Assessment and Treatment team for the northwest region of Melbourne over the last decade and acknowledges the challenges faced in general practice with patients who present in crisis. “Assisting with the establishment of a new holistic mental health service has been very exciting. Likewise, being able to establish an ECT service that will act as a benchmark for all other services, utilising the expertise and collaboration of expert ECT psychiatrists and the ECT nurse coordinator has been great.

“A new Mental Health Act (MHA) for Victoria was introduced in July 2014, which focuses far more on patients’ rights and a recovery model of patient management. Likewise, public mental health services have undergone major redevelopments that also focus on enhanced continuity of care. Epworth is dedicated to establishing contemporary multidisciplinary and recovery-based models of care in the private sector”, Dr Wong said.

An Epworth-wide Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Service has also been established to provide consultation support across Epworth locations and services.

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