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District mental health team award finalist

Camperdown, Marrickville and Redfern Acute Care Service finalist in the 2022 NSW Health Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards. 

Group of people socially distancing standing on the grass outside a buidling
SydneyConnect Image: Acute Care Service staff

A team of dedicated Sydney Local Health District clinicians who care for consumers experiencing mental health crises in the community has been named as a finalist in the 2022 NSW Health Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards.

The Camperdown, Marrickville and Redfern Acute Care Service provides trauma-informed and compassionate mental healthcare 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

The 25-member team provides mental health assessments and interventions for people experiencing acute mental health problems including treatment, assistance with admissions to inpatient treatment facilities and referrals for ongoing care in the community.

“We care for people on what may be the worst day of their life. We’re committed to making a difference to their lives, and providing high-quality, person and family-centred mental healthcare in the community,” Donna Beeson, who manages the service, said. 

“We provide intervention, hope and a future for people,” she said.

The team receives more than 500 referrals a month, with the number of referrals doubling since 2019, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New referrals are categorised according to their level of urgency with some requiring an immediate response.

“The Acute Care Service staff have displayed our CARE values of Camaraderie, Acceptance, Resilience and Empathy and clinical skill in providing mental health interventions for our consumers. They work together to put the needs of the consumer first and provide a high standard of care,” Lance Takiari, the Director of Nursing at the District’s Mental Health Service, said.

Since its inception in 2016, the team has expanded to include the Police, Ambulance and Clinical Early Response (PACER) team, who provide clinical intervention to consumers, advice, consultancy and support to police at South Sydney Local Area Command about managing mental health issues in the community and reducing mental health presentations to the Emergency Department.

It also includes the Emergency Department (ED) Mental Health Liaison Nursing team, who respond to requests for mental health interventions in EDs and SafeHaven, a non-clinical service where peer support workers and a mental health clinician together help consumers navigate their recovery journey.

“I’d like to acknowledge our hardworking and passionate team at the Camperdown, Marrickville and Redfern Acute Care Service and thank them for their dedication to caring for members of our community when they are at their most vulnerable,” Dr Teresa Anderson, the District’s Chief Executive, said.

The team is among 30 finalists across eight categories nominated for the 10th annual NSW Health Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards.

They are one of three finalists vying for the Nursing/Midwifery Team of the Year Award.

The winners will be named at an Awards ceremony in November.