Media Releases

Partnership to benefit mental health

 Pictured (left) are LRH Director of Mental Health Cayte Hoppner, Inspector Dean Thomas and (right) Snr Sgt Peter Watson, LRH MHaP team leader Grace Edgar and senior clinician Bruce Metcalfe.

25 January

People who need urgent mental health support will benefit from a new partnership between Latrobe Regional Hospital and Victoria Police in the Latrobe Police Service Area.

From 26 January mental health clinicians from LRH will work with police to deliver a more timely response to a person experiencing a mental health crisis.

The Victorian Government has provided $226,560 to fund the Mental Health and Police Response (MHaP Response) in Latrobe. The program has already been rolled out to a number of centres across Victoria.

A clinician from LRH will be based at the police station in Morwell each afternoon and into the evening to assist police with responding to people who need specialised mental health support.

LRH Director of Mental Health Cayte Hoppner said MHaP Response will ensure people with a mental illness receive the most appropriate and least-restrictive care while reducing pressure on police, ambulance and the emergency department.

 “This is a new model of care for the region where our specialised mental health clinicians will be brought in to the assessment process much earlier,” Ms Hoppner said.

“Our clinicians will now be part of a front-line service which will ensure people seeking our support are able to be connected to an appropriate program to assist with their recovery,” Ms Hoppner said.

Latrobe Police Service Area Inspector Dean Thomas said similar MHaP Response programs in Victoria have enabled people experiencing a mental health crisis to access professional support and advice in a more timely manner, effectively freeing up police units for other duties.

“We already have a good relationship with Latrobe Regional Hospital and the launch of the MHaP Response will only seek to strengthen that,” Inspector Thomas said.

“We anticipate the MHaP Response will save police a significant amount of time in responding to mental health incidents and ultimately produce a far better and appropriate service for people experiencing mental health issues.”

LRH clinicians will also offer telephone support to police outside the Latrobe police service area.