Mental Health Regional Triage Service (MHRT)

What we do

Mental Health Regional Triage (MHRT) service is staffed by senior mental health clinicians. It involves an initial assessment of a person (typically over the phone or face-to-face to determine the type and urgency of the response required from mental health or other services.

If specialist mental health services are not the most appropriate option for the person, they may be referred to another service (for example, general practitioner or medical specialist) or given other advice.

How to access this service

Mental health regional triage service can be contacted on 1300 363 788. It provides 24-hour access to mental health services across the region and is the single point of initial contact. 

Triage can receive quite a number of contacts in one day. We aim to provide a timely response to all calls but at times delays can be experienced.

Commonly asked questions

What should I expect?

When calling Triage, the information we ask you includes:

Who the call is about and some basic demographic details for that person for example name, age, residential address/suburb. Whether the person the call is about is aware that the Triage service is being contacted on their behalf. We will ask for a description of what is happening for the person including current presenting problem, any risks, concerns or issues.

It is helpful for triage worker to know of any previous history including diagnoses and medications if relevant/known, who else may be involved in the care of the person for example family and/or carers, a GP, case manager, private psychiatrist or private psychologist. If you can think of any other issues the person may be experiencing such as safety concerns, other health issues, disturbed behaviour, drug and alcohol issues please inform us.

This information contributes to the initial assessment and helps to determine the urgency of the response and type of response required from mental health or other services. 

If the situation is deemed an emergency or very serious, the call may be transferred to 000.

Who we care for

The triage services Victoria and allows members of the community to speak to a trained mental health practitioners and receive advice, assisted access to services and/or the arrangement of a psychiatric assessment when required.

Emergency Department

Ground Floor, Bendigo Hospital

Location

Drought Street, Bendigo, VIC, 3550

Phone

1300 363 788

How to refer your patient

Regional Mental Health Triage Service 1300 363 788. Patients can self-refer to this service.

It provides 24-hour access to mental health services across the region and is the single point of initial contact.

Clinical service overview

Mental health triage service is staffed by senior mental health clinicians and exisits to provide access for those residing in the Loddon Campaspe Southern Mallee regional communities. 

Mental health triage conducts mental health telephone triage assessment and screening. At times that are deemed appropriate this can be conducted utilizing our telehealth system. The triage process refers to the Victorian State-wide Mental Health Triage Scale to determine appropriate response and provides expert mental health advice and information.

The team provides therapeutic informed responses with individualized interventions and coordinates AMHS response to community psychiatric crises. Staff will communicate with appropriate community AMHS regarding all Triage category responses, for them to continue their case management of clients.

Triage work within the Mental Health ACT 2014 and are guided by The Acute Community Intervention Service guidelines (2014). These guidelines reflect that a “response is generally required when the mental healthcare needs of a person are beyond family, friends or usual care approaches, and when one or more of the following occurs: Severe and acute psychological distress with risk of serious harm to the person or others, there is rapid first onset illness and distress, acute relapse of a pre-existing mental illness.

Response is appropriate when there is an unplanned presentation to a mental health service by an existing or recently discharged consumer (patient) because they are in psychiatric crisis or a person has recurrent presentation to an emergency department as a result of drug or alcohol intoxication and high-risk behaviour in the context of a probable mental illness.

Triage will not consider assessment where substance use is the presenting concern and treatment needs can be better met with specialist AOD or primary care sectors or when a person experiences high prevalence disorders such as mild depressive disorders, generalized anxiety disorders and adjustment disorders.

All interventions aim to enable recovery or maximize individual functioning and independence. Interventions are individually tailored and responsive to the patients fluctuating and changing needs. Collaborative Clinical Plans can be used for patients where there is a level of complexity around their care and treatment.

Emergency Department

Ground Floor, Bendigo Hospital

Location

Drought Street, Bendigo, VIC, 3550

Phone

1300 363 788