Statewide Intellectual Disability Mental Health Outreach Service (SIDMHOS)
SIDMHOS is specialist mental health service commissioned by the NSW Ministry of Health and tasked with the objective of improving access for all adults with an intellectual disability to quality mental health care across NSW. Among the key tasks of SIDMHOS is providing clinical support to the state's Local Health Districts (LHDs), and creating opportunities for workforce development and capacity building, in order for consumers to receive specialist-level mental health care within their local community.
What Clinical Services do we provide?
SIDMHOS offers a multi-levelled approach to clinical service provision, taking into account both the individual support needs of the referring mental health professional and/or team, and the clinical complexity of the consumer being referred. Clinical services offered range from phone advice for individual health professionals, to more intensive supports such as attendance at Case Reviews with treating teams and conducting Joint Clinical Assessments with patients, carers, and mental health teams.
In the case of Joint Team Assessments, these are conducted primarily through the use of videoconferencing, in order to facilitate access for referrers and consumers living in rural and remote areas. An option for face-to-face Joint Assessments is available to those referrers and consumers who can travel to central Sydney. Joint Team Assessments are resource intensive and therefore limited to those with the highest clinical needs.
The type of clinical service and mode of delivery offered will be negotiated with the referrer once all referral information has been received through our Intake and Triage Procedure.
Who can be Referred?
Referrals to SIDMHOS are open to all registered health professionals practicing in NSW who have a consumer that they are managing with a confirmed diagnosis of intellectual disability and a co-occurring mental health condition. The consumer they are seeking assistance with must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- They are an adult aged 18 years and over, AND
- Have a diagnosed intellectual disability, AND
- Their personal wellbeing or functioning is severely impaired due to concerns resulting from either,
- a diagnosable mental illness, or
- emotional or behavioural disturbances AND
- Has ongoing care agreed to be provided by their referring clinician/mental health team, AND
- Reasonable attempts to assess and manage the concerns by a medical professional or mental health team (community or inpatient), have not been successful.
Priority will be given to consumers who do not have access to a Specialist ID Health Team or other specialist ID Mental Health Services.
SIDMHOS Team and Location
SIDMHOS is administered under the governance of the Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) and builds upon a decade of local experience and clinical leadership in the provision of mental health care to patients with an intellectual disability living within central and south west regions of Sydney. Our local specialist mental health service continues to operate from its base at Concord Repatriation General Hospital and lends significant clinical expertise to the state-wide SIDMHOS team.
The SIDMHOS team is primarily based at Concord Repatriation General Hospital with allocated clinical space for face-to-face assessments at the Croydon Community Health Centre.
SIDMHOS is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of mental health professionals including two part-time psychiatrists, a part-time clinical psychologist, a part-time clinical neuropsychologist, and a full time clinical coordinator. In addition we supervise medical training positions and fellows in psychiatry looking to gain additional expertise in this field.
Telephone Advice and Case-Based Discussions with SIDMHOS team members are offered to all registered health professionals practicing in NSW, with a view to providing general mental health care guidance for their current consumers with an intellectual disability. Requests can be made by contacting our intake number on (02) 9767 7889 or emailing SLHD-SIDMHOS@health.nsw.gov.au
Referrals for SIDMHOS to participate in Case Reviews or conduct Joint Team Assessments are offered to psychiatrists and LHD mental health services only, who have both the capacity to implement clinical recommendations and are agreeing to provide continuing care to the consumer. In most cases this will be a LHD employed psychiatrist, or in remote areas a Senior Medical Officer, working either alone or as part of a treating team.
Referrals for Case Discussions, Case Reviews and Joint Assessments require the referrer to complete the online referral form prior to being offered an appointment.
If you are unsure what type of clinical service best suits your situation our intake worker will be happy to discuss these options with you.
Note: All referrals and requests for advice are only attended to during office hours, Mon-Fri 9am-4pm. We do not provide after-hours or weekend advice or consultation. In the event of an emergency or if there are immediate concerns, please contact the Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 or have the patient present to their local emergency department. We DO NOT provide direct patient care or treatment.
Workforce Training Opportunities and Capacity Building?
SIDMHOS has developed an 'ECHO program' to provide education and training sessions for health professionals in the form of a weekly dial-in virtual training program.
The program offers practical advice and clinical teaching, using a combination of brief lecture-based presentations and participant led case-discussions, with opportunities for participants to present their own clinical cases and receive specialist team feedback.
Our ECHO program is offered to all registered health professionals in NSW seeking to improve their confidence, clinical knowledge and expertise in providing mental health care to people with an intellectual disability. In addition, the ECHO program offers opportunities for individual health professionals to connect with one another and join a 'virtual community of practice', with benefits of mentorship, shared resources, and experiences.
To learn more about ECHO Sydney LHD Adult Intellectual Disability Mental Health and how to become an ECHO program participant, click on the link below.