The EPPIC program is a sub-clinic of the Orygen Youth Health - Clinical Program (OYH-CP). The Clinical Program of OYH provides a range of specialist services from initial referral to discharge and all clinical stages in between.
Youth Access Team (YAT):
YAT is a 24-hour, seven day a week service that provides three main functions: Triage, Assessment and Acute Care. It is a multidisciplinary team made up of psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatric registrars and consultant psychiatrists.
Triage is the first contact point for people wishing to refer a young person to the Orygen Youth Health (OYH) Clinical Program (of which EPPIC is a sub clinic). Anyone is welcome to make a referral, including the young person themselves. Triage staff will discuss the young person’s difficulties with the referrer over the phone, and make an initial assessment about whether the person requires a specialist mental health assessment, the level of risk, and the urgency of the situation. The Triage worker may also contact relevant people (young person, family/significant other) to discuss the issues raised. If interpreters are needed, YAT staff will organise this. Depending on the circumstances, they may also contact other services involved with the young person (with consent); for example a school welfare coordinator, general practitioner or protective services. This process may take several days and referrers will be informed of the plan that Triage have for following up each referral.
Triage is available via a toll free phone number and pager system 24 hours a day, seven days a week (1800 888 320). Non urgent referrals should be made during business hours.
Timing of initial face to face assessments take into consideration the needs of the young person and the urgency of the situation. YAT will see a person accepted by Triage for assessment to determine whether EPPIC is the most appropriate service to treat the young person. Initial assessments generally involve a face to face interview for an hour to an hour and a half, with futher appointments made as necessary to make a clear diagnosis and treatment plan.
If a young person is accepted into EPPIC, YAT manage treatment until an Outpatient Case Manager (OCM) is allocated and care is transfered to the Continuing Care Team. Allocation of an OCM usually occurs within one week of being accepted into the EPPIC program. If, at the time of assessment, the young person is in need of an admission to the Inpatient Unit this will be facilitated by YAT. The young person will be allocated an OCM prior to discharge from the Inpatient Unit.
If after assessment the young person is not accepted into EPPIC, alternative treatment options will be discussed. This may include referring the young person to another clinic within OYH (e.g. Youthscope), or to a community based support service. Click here for more information about other clinics within OYH.
YAT is able to undertake crisis assessments (generally within 24 hours, and often much quicker) for young people newly referred to the service who are unable to wait for a routine appointment. YAT can also provide a crisis response outside business hours to current clients of EPPIC. YAT is able to offer short term intense community treatment and assertive outreach to current clients in addition to outpatient case management should this be required. YAT staff will personally communicate the nature of any after hours or crisis contact with the young person to their case manager.
Most people can be successfully treated while they continue to live at home. Sometimes this is not possible and it is necessary to spend a short time in hospital.
The two main reasons for inpatient treatment are:
- to make sure the young person is safe
- to provide intensive treatment to reduce their level of distress
If an inpatient admission is required, EPPIC patients can be admitted to the OYH purpose built 16 bed Inpatient Psychiatric Unit (IPU) in Footscray. Within this unit there are 2 Intensive Care beds. The unit can look after voluntary and involuntary patients.
Inpatient care focuses on getting people better and home as soon as possible, and encourages young people and families to be actively involved in this process. The inpatient unit has facilities to allow the young person to feel as comfortable as possible. For example, each patient has their own bedroom with ensuite, there's sports equipment such as table tennis and basketball, TV, books and board games. All meals are provided and there are coffee and tea making facilities. There are direct phone lines and flexible visiting hours. If the person is under 18 it is possible for that person to be admitted to another purpose built unit on the same grounds for people who need psychiatric care but are under 18.
The IPU is staffed by nurses who are dedicated to work with young people: there is also an active psychosocial group program led by trained group program staff.
While the inpatient unit has it's own medical staff, treatment decisions are usually made in collaboration with the young person's outpatient treating team.
Two key principles guiding our care are that of:
- continuity of care
- collaboration between the young person, their family and the whole treatment team
The inpatient unit is located at 35 Mavis St, Footscray, on the Western Hospital site.