Our region’s first Prevention and Recovery Centre (PARC) is due for completion in the next few weeks and is expected to start accommodating residents in October. The $4.8m state-funded development will provide 24/7 short-term sub-acute mental health care.
SWH Mental Health Services will deliver the service in partnership with other organisations and will focus on building strong connections with community mental health services; alcohol and other drug services; and housing, primary health, education and vocational/training services.
SWH Mental Health Services director Karyn Cook says the commissioning of PARC, encompassing sub-acute models, means there’ll be a much needed expansion of mental health treatment options in the region.
She says there are no immediate plans to make changes to any current models of care but the PARC development provides the opportunity to consider the future best fit and purpose for the existing beds in SWH’s Extended Care Inpatient Unit (ECIU). Currently the Warrnambool Base Hospital-located ECIU provides five beds for residential recovery treatment to enhance the pathway for clients between different models of community-located, recovery-focused care.
‘We are working closely with staff, consumers, carers and stakeholders to plan and deliver evidence-based, modern and effective mental health services for now and into the future. Any proposed changes to our model of care will only be made after consultation with consumers and carers in our region, along with our staff, to ensure their needs are central.’
Committed to holistic, systematic and trauma-informed care, PARCs provide short term, residential, recovery-oriented treatment services for people over 16. You’ll often hear PARC programs referred to as Step-Up Step-Down programs because they allow mental health services to care for people living in local communities who need short-term residential support but not to the degree that they need acute inpatient admission (Step-Up), as well as caring for people who would benefit from short-term, intensive treatment and support in a residential setting after discharge from an acute hospital (Step-Down) to further enhance their recovery.
Photo: PARC project officer Rochelle Morrison (left) and SWH Mental Health Services director Karyn Cook are thrilled with how the $4.8m purpose-built PARC is shaping up.