New mental health service for alcohol, drug users

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New clinic in Hobart CBD provides easy access to help for people alcohol and drug issues

The Hobart Clinic has opened Hobart’s first easily accessible, early intervention outpatient, mental health service called Murray Street Clinic. Conveniently located at Level 8, 39 Murray Street, the Murray Street Clinic provides anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol support and therapy.

The Hobart Clinic’s clinical director, Dr Michael Davie, said the Murray Street Clinic will use group programs that provide opportunities for people to better understand their condition, how to manage cravings, and better cope with stress.

“Our eight-week group session programs are co-located with our doctors consulting suite, where people can have one on one appointments with specialists in addictions, depression and anxiety if they need it. We are seeing people in our community with much more complex needs than ever before. It’s often the case that people who present with a depressive illness may also have problems with alcohol and/or drugs. Tasmania has high rates of people taking benzodiazepines, such as Valium and sleeping tablets including Temazepam, so we support patients in their withdrawal and help them develop new ways of coping,” Dr Davie said.

The Hobart Clinic’s CEO, Amanda Quealy, said the Murray Street Clinic will broaden mental health services in Southern Tasmania, and is the first of a number of new services the Hobart Clinic is working on. “Being a not-for-profit organisation, we put people first, which is reflected in the central location of the Murray Street Clinic, its non stigmatising environment, and sessions scheduled at times that suit working people.”

Tasmania has the second highest rates of alcohol abuse and suicide, behind the Northern Territory. “The combination of intoxication and depression can be very dangerous and significantly increase a person’s risk of self-harm. We use a recovery-oriented model so patients can better understand their condition and learn new skills to cope and improve their well being. “By making access to mental health care easy, we are confident we can help people deal with their problems before they become life threatening,” Ms Quealy said.

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