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Eval Program Plann. 2014 Aug;45:29-41. doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2014.03.002. Epub 2014 Mar 11.

An evaluation of an Australian initiative designed to improve interdisciplinary collaboration in primary mental health care.

Author information

1
Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. Electronic address: justine.fletcher@unimelb.edu.au.
2
Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. Electronic address: k.king@unimelb.edu.au.
3
Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. Electronic address: jchristo@unimelb.edu.au.
4
Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. Electronic address: amachlin@unimelb.edu.au.
5
Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. Electronic address: b.bassilios@unimelb.edu.au.
6
Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. Electronic address: gblashki@unimelb.edu.au.
7
Mental Health Professionals Network, PO Box 203, Flinders Lane, Victoria 8009, Australia. Electronic address: c.gibbs@mhpn.org.au.
8
Mental Health Professionals Network, PO Box 203, Flinders Lane, Victoria 8009, Australia. Electronic address: angnic12@hotmail.com.
9
Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. Electronic address: j.pirkis@unimelb.edu.au.

Abstract

This paper reports on a multi-component evaluation of Australia's Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN). MHPN aims to improve consumer outcomes by fostering a collaborative clinical approach to primary mental health care. MHPN has promoted interdisciplinary communication and networking through activity in three inter-related areas: interdisciplinary workshops supported by education and training materials; fostering ongoing, self-sustained interdisciplinary clinical networks; and a website, web portal (MHPN Online) and a toll-free telephone information line. The evaluation showed that MHPN's workshops were highly successful; almost 1200 workshops were attended by 11,930 individuals from a range of mental health professions. Participants from 81% of these workshops have gone on to join ongoing, interdisciplinary networks of local providers, and MHPN is now supporting these networks in a range of innovative ways to encourage them to become self-sustaining and to improve collaborative care practices.

KEYWORDS:

Collaborative care; Interdisciplinary network; Mental health; Primary care

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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