MH Teams & Their Role

Community Mental Health Teams & Their Role

There are three main teams in every Community Health Centre:

  1. Intake Service: This provides an initial point of contact for all people. The Intake Team provides information about mental health and referral to the most appropriate treatment services, as well as comprehensive assessment services.

  2. Adult Mental Health Team: These teams are based at the Community Mental Health Centre and provide assessment, treatment and case management services for adults experiencing mental health problems such as psychosis, schizophrenia, depression, mood disorders and severe anxiety. The teams also provide support and education for families and carers. The case manager or care coordinator on a mental health team is usually the main contact person for a client or carer. They are usually a mental health nurse or allied health professional such as a social worker, psychologist or occupational therapist. They provide information about mental health problems, provide individual treatment, and/or refer to other services within and outside the health service that may be able to help. If a case manager is not available on contacting a Community Mental health Service, you should ask to speak to the person on Intake. Not everyone receives a case manager / care coordinator - it is dependent upon need and assessment over time.

  3. Mental Health Acute Care team: The Acute care team provides mental health service and crisis care in people's homes or at the Centre.

Typical teams based in Community Mental Health Centres,or provide services for the area, are:

  1. Community Rehabilitation Team: The service provides a range of individual and group programs including social and leisure activities, vocational assessments and work training programs for people requiring assistance with community living. Referral to the Rehabilitation Service would normally be made through a clinician at the Community Health Centre.

  2. First Episode Psychosis Services: This service provides specialist treatment for young people under 25 years of age with first onset psychosis.

  3. Adolescent Community Mental Health Services: The Adolescent Community Mental Health Service is a specialised and mobile service for young people aged from 13 to 18 years who are experiencing:

  • Changes in moods or ways of thinking

  • Behaviours reflecting mental health concerns

  • Issues around relationships

  • problems with schooling or conduct

The team offers acute assessment, support and counselling and help with links to other specialist services. The team helps young people with mental health problems in the community stay safe and well. The team also provides preventative and educational programs as well as a consultation to other health professionals.

There are also teams which only cover specific areas:

  1. Mobile Assertive Treatment Team (MAT Team): The MAT Team provides assertive case management for adults aged 18 to 65 who have been assessed and referred from mental health services through the hospitals (Rozelle and Missenden Unit) and Community Mental Health Centres (Camperdown, Marrickville and Redfern) The MAT Team operates 7 days a week from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and Saturday from 12:30pm to 9:00pm on weekends.

  2. Aboriginal Mental Health Service: The Aboriginal Mental Health Service works in partnership with other service providers such as The Aboriginal Medical Services at Redfern. The Team offers initial asssessment, referral, consultation and liaison.

  3. Boarding House Teams: works with residents who require mental health interventions and are living in private boarding houses (Licensed Residential Facilities). These boarding Houses are generally located in the inner West of Sydney (for the Sydney South West Area). Boarding house residents with mental health issues have been identified as a "special-needs" group. They are primarily a population with mental health problems approaching senior years, whose problems are often increased by physical illness/disability, poor nutrition, socioeconomic disadvantage and the stigma associated with mental illness. The BHT liaises with a range of services to ensure that clinets with a mental illness are linked with the mental health & related services they require.