Caring or supporting a person in the Flynn Unit
The admission of someone you care about to the Flynn Unit at LRH may be a little scary or intimidating, particularly if it's your first time visiting a mental health inpatient unit. We have welcoming and supportive staff to assist you including carer consultants who have lived experience of caring for someone with mental health issues. This page may have the information you need to help you navigate the next few days or weeks.
You may well feel a range of emotions both negative and positive. Please ask for assistance if you find you are experiencing distressing feelings or any serious concerns.
What do we mean when we say 'Person-Centred Care'?
One of Latrobe Regional Hospital's core values is 'Person-Centred Care'. It offers a collaborative and respectful partnership between the person experiencing ill health, carers and staff. You and your person are treated with dignity and respect. This facilitates two-way communication and information sharing. Person-Centred Care also offers and provides you with the opportunity to actively participate in and be involved with decision-making, goal setting and the planning of those you care for.
With the consent of the person you care for, it is hoped relevant discussions and clear communication between clinician, person and carer about ongoing treatment is provided. This is a vital component in the care process and helping you to best support the person in your care. You may, as a carer, be invited to participate in the development of care plans to facilitate their recovery.
Before you enter the Flynn Unit
It is the Latrobe Regional Hospital Mental Health Service (LRHMHS) policy to search all bags and belongings in the inpatient environment.
There are lockers available outside Flynn and staff will assist you to place your belongings safely inside.
- Mobile phones are allowed on the unit provided the consumer follows rules about their usage. Our nursing staff will outline the conditions and a form must be signed consenting to the requirements associated to their use. Phones can only be used in the consumer’s room.
- There are two public telephones.
- Laptops are not permitted however tablets may be used. The same rules apply as with mobile phones. The hospital has free Wi-Fi.
- An authorized person may conduct a search if they reasonably suspect a person is carrying anything that presents a danger to the health and safety of the people in the unit.
- Latrobe Regional Hospital is a totally smoke free zone. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the grounds
Resources available to you
There are two booklets you may find useful:
- Information for families and carers of people with a mental illness
- Psychiatric medication information: a guide for patients and carers
And you may find some useful information in our brochures:
- Mental health services - Carer Consultants
- Carer Support Fund - Information for Carers
- Your rights and responsibilities
An information pack with these resources are available from our team members.
Some important information in your pack
The second Psychiatric Opinion Service provides an independent second psychiatric opinion to ‘entitled patients’ under the Mental Health Act 2014, in circumstances when a second opinion via other means is not available or feasible.
Please refer to ‘Second Psychiatric Opinion Service’ fact sheet in your information pack.
Carer Support Fund
The Carer Support Fund meets the needs of mental health carers by providing funding to assist in their support role, and improve their wellbeing.
(See brochure 'The mental health Carer Support Fund. Information for carers’).
Some of the people you may encounter frequently during your person's stay
Mental Health Nurses | Activities Staff | Psychiatrists | Consumer Consultants |Social Workers | Lived Experience Workers
What is a Carer Consultant?
Carer Consultants have lived experience as carers of people with mental health issues. They understand the needs of those in a caring role. They can provide direct support to you through advocacy, information and referral to carer and family supports that are may be available.
Please refer to the 'Mental Health Services - Carer Consultants' brochure for further relevant Carer Consultant information.
Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers
Latrobe Regional Hospital acknowledges the Gunaikurnai and Bunurong peoples as the traditional custodians of the land on which our health services are located. Our commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples is supported by our respect for their connection to their ancestral lands.
Our Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers provide support, information and education to staff and Aboriginal people who receive care across our health service. The goal is to provide accessible, equitable, culturally appropriate preventative and mainstream health services for Aboriginal people.
Our Aboriginal liaison officers help patients and/or family members while in hospital or when using hospital services. They visit inpatient units and aim to provide an accessible and culturally responsive service that works in partnership with community members for better health outcomes. They work closely with community to strengthen pathways and aim to ensure health services are delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families in a culturally sensitive and appropriate way.
Aboriginal Liaison officers are available Monday-Friday between 8.30am-5pm. Phone: 5173 8653 or 5173 8831.
Visitor emergency guidelines
Sometimes during your visit to the Flynn Unit, you may hear an emergency announcement over the PA system. Below is the meaning behind the emergency codes. Staff will direct any actions you need to take and support you during a code.
➢ Code red: fire, smoke.
➢ Code blue: medical emergency.
➢ Code purple: Bomb threat.
➢ Code yellow: Internal emergency.
➢ Code grey: personal threat.
➢ Code black: Personal threat, weapon.
➢ Code brown: External emergency. do not leave, await instructions.
➢ Code orange: Evacuation. Evacuate to safe location.
Feel free to ask questions of staff during your person's stay. If the person does not give consent to share information, staff may still be able to support you but may be restricted in the information they share.
Some common questions you may have:
• what are my rights to information as a carer?
• how can I be involved in treatment planning?
• can you explain the diagnosis and prognosis?
• can I have information on diagnosis?
• what is a treatment plan?
• do you have information on the medications they are using and any side effects I need to be aware of?
• can I have a medication information brochure?
• who will support my person when they go home?
How do I provide feedback or make a complaint?
LRH has a robust feedback process and the health service welcomes your views. Click on this link to find out more
There are also independent bodies to refer a complaint:
Mental Health Complaints Commissioner: 1800 246 054
Independent Mental Health Advocate. 1300 947 820
Keep these numbers handy
Within Australia: 1300 737 412
(www.withinaustralia.org.au) Collaborative Recovery
Within Australia delivers accessible programs and services that help people achieve optimal health and wellbeing by being better able to respond to challenges they face in their daily lives. Within works with people to build resilience, overcome barriers, regain hope, reconnect with their communities and realise their goals.
Carers Victoria. Advisory line: 1800 242 636
Carers Victoria is the state-wide voice for family carers, representing and providing support to carers in Victoria.
Mental Health Carers Australia (www.mentalhealthcarersaustralia.org.au)
For information and advice on supports available in your area, please contact the National Information and Support Line on: 1300 554 660
Mental Health Carers Australia is the only national advocacy group solely concerned with the well-being and promotion of the needs of families and carers supporting someone with mental ill health. Its mission is to be the national voice for families and carers to enable the best possible life.
Family drug support (www.fds.org.au)
Support Line: 1300 368 186 (available 24 hours 7 days a week)
LRH Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers
Available Monday-Friday 8.30am-5pm Phone (03) 5173 8653 or 5173 8831
Flynn based services:
Flynn Unit: Low dependency Unit (LDU) or High Dependency Assessment Unit (HDAU) Phone (03) 5173 8641
Community Residential Care Unit (CRCU) Phone (03) 5128 0080
Secure Extended Care Unit (SECU) Phone (03) 5173 8638
Prevention and recovery care services (PARCS). (Bairnsdale) (03) 4141 5380