During August, Neami's MHCSS (Mental Health Community Support Service) intake assessment service celebrated two years of providing easier access to Victorian community mental health services.
Since 2014 MCHSS has assessed 8257 people and has allocated 5832 support packages.
Before MHCSS, navigating, and accessing, services was more difficult. Two years ago, MCHSS introduced a single point of entry, with a comprehensive prioritisation process. Consumers went from applying for many services to a single intake point.
Phil Watson, the Service Manager of MCHSS Intake, said: "It has been challenging for us to set up the first Central Intake Team at Neami. It has been an ongoing process of improving and responding to the needs of consumers and the community. We have learnt a lot about the Western and Southern areas of Melbourne over the past two years.
We also developed a Priority Upgrade tool to take into account a wider spectrum of issues that may affect a person’s mental health. This means that assessment is no longer limited to pre-defined eligibility criteria.
The intake assessment service is a primarily phone based – although face-to-face assessments get offered when the need arises.
The intake assessment service model has seen a growth of closer partnerships within the sector, with services having a better understanding of each other, cooperating with greater ease.
“We've also developed a lot of new partnerships through this new program. We look forward to the challenge of transitioning this program into NDIS over the next 2-3 years’ Mr Watson said.