Integrated mental health care can improve patient outcomes
Recent QCMHR report evaluates the Floresco Centre’s integrated approach to mental health care.
Established in 2014, the Floresco Centre led by Aftercare Inc., combines four non-government organisation (NGO) service providers; with specialisations including mental health support, disability support, and tenancy advice and advocacy. Its aim was to provide an integrated hub for mental health services. Patients would have access to numerous support services in one location, unlike the traditional model in which care is fragmented.
With few evaluations of its kind, the Floresco Service Model Evaluation seeks to add to the evidence base regarding the impacts of integrating various providers of clinical and non-clinical mental health and related services.
Results showed patient outcomes can be improved through the combination of different support services. The study found statistically-significant improvements in self-reported mental health outcomes and patient recovery, as well as a drop in suicidal ideation.
While the current service model is shown to be successful in improving patient outcomes, there are still a number of challenges Floresco faces. These include the feasibility of complete co-location (mainly with regards to private practitioners) and all providers sharing single client information systems. The report also finds that the complexity of running a consortium may pose as a barrier for service providers seeking a similar model.
Despite these challenges, Floresco’s integrated service model proves to be a valued addition to the current mental health care system. This report shows that meaningful progress towards integration of service providers in the public health system is achievable.