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Alcohol and substance use patients to benefit from Hollywood mental health expansion

Oct 06, 2019

People with alcohol and substance use challenges will be among those to benefit from a mental health expansion underway at Hollywood Private Hospital.

The multi-million dollar expansion will deliver a dedicated mental health day hospital with an additional 31 inpatient mental health beds bringing the total number of inpatient mental health beds at Hollywood to 101.

The expansion is the result of a 60 per cent increase in mental health admissions over a five year period at Hollywood. In the lead up to Mental Health Week (6-12 October), Alcohol and Substance Use Program Co-ordinator, Steph Mattys, said the expansion would help increase the hospital’s capacity for a number of mental health programs, including its alcohol and substance use program.

The three phased program is comprised of:

• an inpatient stay (optional) of between seven and 14 days providing participants with the opportunity to safely withdraw from alcohol under the supervision of a specialist medical team

• a 12-day intensive alcohol and substance use program, which explores the factors contributing to substance use

• an ongoing weekly group follow up support service.

“The program has been available since 1999 and helps participants address the issues around the misuse while reconnecting with others and exploring how to avoid relapse,” Steph said.

Construction work at the hospital will be completed by July 2020 increasing capacity for the wide variety of mental health services offered by the hospital.

More than seven million Australians aged 16 to 85 will experience a common mental health disorder during their lifetime.

Ramsay Health Care Mental Health Chair, Kevin Cass-Ryall, said there had been a gradual increase in the number of older people (65+ years) and younger people (16+ years) seeking assistance for a mental health condition.

“Patients want more specialised treatment and a more holistic approach to their recovery, along with a care regime that draws on a multidisciplinary team,” he said.

Ramsay Health Care Australia’s largest provider of private acute mental health services has compiled a list of its five most commonly treated mental health disorders to help raise awareness of the condition:

1. Mood disorders - Comprise 45 per cent of all patients treated. Includes depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia and other disorders characterised by the elevation or lowering of mood.

2. Addictions - Comprise 25 per of all patients treated. Physical and emotional dependence on substances or behaviours which may include drugs, alcohol, gambling and/or gaming.

3. Anxiety disorders - Comprise 15 per cent of all patients treated. Symptoms can include muscular tension, heart palpitations, inability to concentrate, sleep or undertake normal activities and a feeling of intense fear and persistent and excessive worry.

4. PTSD - Comprise 10 per cent of all patients treated. A set of stress reactions in response to witnessing a life-threatening event such as an attack or assault, wartime conflict, natural disaster or serious accident. Symptoms may include re-experiencing the traumatic event, avoidance of any reminders, hyper-vigilance and feeling emotionally numb.

5. Psychotic disorders - Comprise five per cent of all patients treated. An impaired interpretation of reality commonly associated with hallucinations and delusions.