ED Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Response (Engage) Team to commence at Monash Medical Centre

An innovative new model-of-care has commenced at Monash Medical Centre that will enhance how the emergency department cares for some of the most vulnerable members of our community. 

For people arriving in need of mental health support and/or are affected by drugs or alcohol, the Engage Team (Emergency Department Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Response) will be from todayready to provide specialised care. 

“Monash Medical Centre is one of six emergency sites across Victoria to receive extra DHHS funding to boost specialist mental health, drug and alcohol services in our emergency department. We’re very pleased to add to the services already provided by our experienced and dedicated workforce,” said Nicole Edwards, Project Coordinator. 

Additional consumer and family/carer lived-experience peer worker support, social work, nursing, medical and psychiatric resourcing will be available, and a change to the model-of-care means consumers and their family/carers will have shorter waits before being seen and assessed by the ‘Engage Team.’ 

The service will also introduce an assertive outreach service for up to 28 days following discharge from the emergency department. 

The Engage Team will work alongside existing specialist services provided by the emergency psychiatric service, addiction medicine and toxicology to deliver a comprehensive assessment and treatment response to consumers in the emergency department.  

A Rapid Response Team consisting of ED medical staff and mental health nursing will be available during the day and added drug and alcohol nursing support will mean consumers will be seen faster. 

“The emergency department is not normally an ideal environment for people experiencing a mental health crisis, or those affected by drugs or alcohol,” Nicole said. “We are seeing an increase in presentations and with these extra resources we hope to see consumers and their family/carers sooner, with the best possible support from a multi-disciplinary team.” 

The emergency department redevelopment project is currently constructing a separate Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Hub that will be located alongside the adult and paediatric emergency departments. Upon completion of the project the Engage Team will occupy this new dedicated space in the expanded emergency department. 

Approved by Paula Hakesley, Program Director of Mental Health


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