| Aged mental health
Aged Persons' Mental Health Program (APMHP)
NWMH Aged Persons' Mental Health Program is a highly specialised and comprehensive service for people aged 65 years and over. It includes three acute inpatient units, three aged psychiatry assessment teams and five residential accommodation facilities (including psychogeriatric nursing homes and hostels) comprising:
- Aged Psychiatry Assessment and Treatment Teams - provide assessment, treatment, rehabilitation and case management, helping to prevent unnecessary hospitalisation and minimise the length of stay in acute inpatient facilities.
- Inpatient Care - provides voluntary and involuntary short-term management during an acute phase of mental illness, until recovery enables the person to be treated in a community-based setting.
- Residential services - inpatient services for people with high levels of persistent cognitive, emotional or behavioural disturbance.
The specialist multi-disciplinary Aged Psychiatry Assessment and Treatment Teams (APATT) service the entire North Western and South Western regions of metropolitan Melbourne. They are key components of the Program and operate within geographical boundaries:
- Mid West and South West APATT
Cities of Brimbank and Melton (including Sunbury), Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong and Wyndham.
- North West and Inner West APATT
Cities of Hume, Moreland, Moonee Valley and Melbourne.
- Northern APATT
Cities of Darebin and Whittlesea.
These teams are the first point of contact for elderly people who have been referred to the program for assistance. They work with the individual and their family to assess the severity of the person's mental illness and recommend an appropriate form of treatment and/or support. In all cases, there is a shared care arrangement with a general practitioner.
Supporting people with less severe mental illness to live in Commonwealth run, community-based residential settings has become an important priority for the Aged Persons' Mental Health Program. A multi-disciplinary team of specialist staff work in partnership with community-based nursing homes to equip staff with the skills necessary to manage the challenging behaviours often associated with mental illness in the elderly.