Keeping up ‘PACE’ with mental health


IMPROVED outcomes for community members experiencing a mental health crisis is the focus of a new unit that was launched last week. Local police will work collaboratively with local mental health clinicians as part of the Police and Clinician Emergency Response (PACER) initiative.

PACER involves mental health clinicians teaming up with police to provide prompt and specialist care for people who need mental health support in the community. The PACER unit initiative aims to also improve access to mental health services, reduce demands on police and GV Health’s emergency department and the wider community when dealing with incidents involving people who have an acute mental illness.

Greater Shepparton local area commander, Inspector Troy Hargadon said, “PACER allows police and clinicians to work collaboratively to assess and treat people in a timely manner wherever they are in the community, including in their own home.

“We have built strong relationships with our local stakeholders to drive this initiative and believe it will have a positive impact on the Greater Shepparton community.

“The PACER unit will help relieve pressure on hospital departments and ambulances and in turn allow police to move on to other calls.”

GV Health chief executive, Matt Sharp said, “It is important that people experiencing mental health issues can access timely, high quality care and be given the support to live in our community.

“A large part of ensuring that this occurs includes working with our partners on this initiative so together, we can address local needs.

“PACER assistance offers an early response to situations that require mental health advice ranging from assessment of a person’s mental health to more tailored mental health strategies to ensure people receive the most appropriate care.”

Anyone experiencing mental health issues should call the GP, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 000 in an emergency.