Journal article

A team approach to providing mental health services in a regional centre using a comprehensive primary health care framework

Health Social services Communities Aboriginal Australians Torres Strait Islanders Australia South Australia
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The value of comprehensive primary health care is often not appreciated in developed countries where technology and economics can limit its potential. Indigenous health workers and women's health workers have long understood that psychiatric diagnosis is not always helpful for some of the people who access their services, and have developed ways of working that are respectful and empowering without the use of diagnostic labels. In Murray Mallee Community Health Service (MMCHS), a Health and Wellbeing Team was established, combining Aboriginal health workers, women's health workers and mental health workers. Through strategic planning, a common philosophy and values base was developed. Some of the outcomes have been programs within limited resources and partnerships across health disciplines. This paper presents a brief historical overview of primary health care, outlines the MMCHS model, and calls for policy to be formulated and implemented in the comprehensive primary health care framework.

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