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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 23 September 2010) . . Page.. 4514 ..

internal review of CATT. The recommendations from this review, including the recommendation to rename CATT, are still under consideration and no final decisions have been made.

Health—mental health
(Question No 1061)

Ms Bresnan asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 26 August 2010:

(1) If a person is to be discharged from a mental health facility such as The Canberra Hospital Psychiatric Services Unit or Calvary Hospital Care Mental Health Unit, and they are homeless, is a discharge/rehabilitation plan provided in all cases; if not, why not; if so, in what way is it limited because of the person’s homelessness.

(2) Does Mental Health ACT allow people who are homeless to be treated at the Step-up Step-down mental health facility; if not, why not.

(3) If a person is exiting a mental health inpatient unit and is homeless, what specific government and non-government options are considered for that person’s immediate housing and what options are dominantly pursued and engaged.

(4) Have people who have exited from a mental health inpatient unit been sent to Dickson Backpackers or any other backpacker hostels; if so, how often has this occurred.

(5) Are people exiting mental health facilities ever taken to stay at Samaritan House; if so, what (a) specialist mental health services are provided to those clients while they are at Samaritan House, and how often are they provided, (b) training and/or assistance is provided to Samaritan House workers to assist them in their care of people who are suffering from a serious episode of mental illness and (c) requirements are placed on the staffing with regard to managing medication.

Ms Gallagher: I am advised that the answer to the member’s question is:

(1) In all cases where a consumer is identified as homeless, assertive community follow up is provided following discharge. All consumers have a nursing and medical discharge plan developed for them. A copy of the discharge plan is provided to the consumers GP (where one has been nominated).

(2) Homeless people are not generally admitted to the Step Up Step Down Residential Program. It is an entry criteria that consumers accepted into the Step Up Step Down have exit accommodation identified. This ensures that the Step Up Step Down can have flow through for the following presentations:

(a) for people for whom a short stay at the Adult Step Up Step Down Program may offset the likelihood of an acute hospital admission; and

(b) for people who have experienced an acute relapse of mental illness and no longer require psychiatric inpatient care, but who do require a period of recovery in a supported accommodation setting.

There is a maximum length of stay of 3 months.

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