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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1922 ..


the ACT regional mental health and suicide prevention plan 2019-24 as key to improving mental health and wellbeing outcomes.

Step up step down services are a crucial pillar for delivering a stepped care approach to mental health support within the ACT mental health service system. Step up step down services provide a “step up” from the community, with additional mental health support to prevent the need for acute inpatient admission; or “step down” from an acute inpatient stay to continue mental health recovery and smoothly transition back to living at home in the community.

The ACT now has six step up step down services—five residential, including the new southside service, and one outreach; a six-bed service for adults aged 18 to 65 years in Garran; a five-bed service for adults aged 18 to 65 years in Lyneham; a five-bed service for young people aged 13 to 17 years in Watson; a six-bed service for young people aged 18 to 25 years in Kambah; and an outreach step up step down service for adults—transition to recovery for 18 to 64 years—that has capacity to support up to 35 people at any one time.

The new Southside Community Step Up Step Down service in Garran is delivered as a partnership with Stride Mental Health, providing 24/7 psychosocial supported accommodation; Canberra Health Services; mental health; justice health; alcohol and other drug services, providing on-site clinical support; and Woden Community Service, providing outreach. The facility is a for-purpose new build within existing ACT government assets in Gaunt Place in Garran. The Southside Community Step Up Step Down service provides capacity to support up to six people at any one time, increasing the accessibility of this type of service close to home for people living in the south of Canberra. As of last week, the facility had a bed occupancy of 83 per cent, with 20 admissions since opening in May.

The Southside Community Step Up Step Down service is unique in its contribution to the adult step up step down suite of services. The model of care features a short stay of up to two weeks, with an additional four weeks of outreach support following completion of the residential component of the program. This aims to provide support in-home as much as possible and to empower participants to live independently whilst continuing their recovery.

The Southside Community Step Up Step Down was opened in May this year. Overall, the cost to establish and operate the Southside Community Step Up Step Down is approximately $5.3 million over the life of the project, to date. This includes planning and design work, infrastructure costs to build the facility and contracts with community mental health providers to deliver services. Canberra Health Services also contributes staff for clinical care.

This model of mental health service enables people receiving care to maintain connections to the community and in a warm and welcoming environment. The built infrastructure supports this by providing a homelike environment where people receiving care can spend time with visiting friends and family. The step up step down model is a best practice model proven to provide effective support for reducing inpatient acute admissions and increasing sustainable progress on recovery outcomes.


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