Parent Infant Unit (PIU) is a five bed mental health inpatient unit for parents and infants. We assess and treat the mental health of the parent and support/strengthen the attachment relationship between parent and infant.
The unit provides pregnancy and early parenting mental health specialist assessment and treatment in the form of individual and group therapy and medication management.
We care for the primary caregiver (Mum, Dad or other carer) and their infant under the age of 12 months and pregnant women in their third trimester. Each room is equipped with a double bed, partners are able to visit anytime and/or stay the night provided they are actively involved in the care of the infant and the recovery process (this may exclude the first 48 hours).
Referrals must be made to Mental Health Regional Triage Service 1300 363 788.(24 hours a day, 7 days per week).
Can I smoke in PIU?
No. Bendigo Health is a smoke free hospital. A full range of NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) is available and referral to the TTSN (tobacco treatment specialist nurse) for consultation and advise.
Can partners stay?
Yes. Partners are welcome to stay and be involved in unit programs provided they are supportive of their partner and infant.
Is only mum or dad admitted?
Mum or dad are admitted to the unit and their partner stays as a guest.
How long are admission for?
This depends on individual family needs but are usually from two to four weeks.
Do patients need to be on a Mental Health order to be admitted?
No. The Parent Infant Unit admits patients both voluntarily and on compulsory mental health orders.
When are visiting hours?
With the exception of partners, visiting hours are from 2-8 pm each day for family members, friends and siblings.
Mental Health Regional Triage Service 1300 363 788.
It provides 24-hour access to mental health services across the region and is the single point of initial contact.
Referring persons are asked to provide the following information:
Any recent presentation/concerns and any new findings and recent medical investigations (Pathology, neurological testing/reports, Histology and Medical Imaging).
A list of current medications (if prescribed), relevant patient history, relevant family history, any other information pertinent and that may assist in decision making with patient, family/carer about their care and treatment.
Inpatient admissions are open to antenatal women in their third trimester of pregnancy and primary caregivers (mum, dad or carer) of infants up to the age of 12 months (unless walking) in the following circumstances: There is an existing diagnosis, or risk, of a serious mental illness with risk issues which may include the involvement of child protection, the needs and safety of caregivers and infants can be managed appropriately and safely in an open ward environment.
Patients can be voluntary or compulsory under the Mental Health Act 2014 if there is low risk to the infant. If on assessment the primary caregiver is considered to be a danger to: The infant, someone else’s infant, themselves and is unable to be managed within an open ward admission to PIU will not be considered. Primary caregivers with risks such as outlined may need to be assessed within the Acute Adult Unit (AAU) until stabilized before consideration for a Parent Infant Unit admission with an infant.
Admission to PIU may not be considered also in the following circumstances: If on review post admission the primary caregivers condition deteriorates and they are unable to be managed within the Parent Infant Unit environment, being with the infant contributes to the deterioration of the primary caregivers mental state, there is no improvement in the primary caregivers mental state after a pre-determined number of days and they are unable to care for the infant.
Priority of access to the Parent Infant Unit will be determined based on clinical need and potential risk to the primary caregiver and infant, or risk of separation that may be avoided through an admission. Admission will occur following a referral and a subsequent comprehensive mental health assessment by Parent Infant Unit clinical staff to assess need and eligibility.