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The Victorian Chief Psychiatrist issue a guideline relating to family violence


Who is leading the change

  • Department of Health and Human Services

The Chief Psychiatrist issue a guideline relating to family violence - including that family violence risk should be assessed when considering discharging or transferring care of a person receiving mental health services and when consulting with families or carers in relation to treatment planning.

  • Work is being done to support mental health services to assist people who experience family violence and to improve how they work with those who perpetrate family violence.

    To inform the development of the guideline, the Family Violence and Mental Health Project has been established. The first phase included a literature review on family violence and mental illness. The second phase was an analysis of current practice in mental health services, as well as the identification of barriers to undertaking this work.

    Phase 3 is now completed and the guideline has published. The document has been expanded from a guideline into the Chief Psychiatrist Guideline and practice guide: family Violence in order to address the needs of organisations as well as clinicians.

    This work is also connected to Recommendation 102, which states that the Chief Psychiatrist – in consultation with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and psychologists' peak bodies – coordinate the development of a family violence learning agenda.

    Findings from the development of the guideline have informed understanding about the family violence training and knowledge needs of the mental health sector.

  • The guideline applies to publicly funded clinical mental health services in Victoria, including all service settings (mental health inpatient units, community teams, subacute services, residential services, emergency departments and general hospital inpatient units) and services delivered in people's own homes. The document may also be used by private mental health services and mental health community support services; however, the Chief Psychiatrist does not direct these services.

  • Implemented

Reviewed 26 August 2020

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