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Trial aims to integrate mental, clinical care

The separation of mental and clinical healthcare funding is a barrier to improving wellbeing, a senior research fellow has said.

To overcome this, RDNS, along with Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria, is trialling a wellness and re-enablement model of integrated physical, social and mental healthcare.

Dr Dianne Goeman, senior research fellow at the RDNS Institute, said improving wellbeing would improve mental health, adding that it's generally accepted that there are strong correlations between quality of life and satisfaction.

“Our wellness approach will include opportunities to improve diet, exercise and meaningful social engagement,” Goeman said. “While re-enablement will assist someone [in accommodating] their health issues by learning, re-learning or engaging with skills to manage their condition so they are able to participate in everyday life.”

She said program participants would work with a support person who would help them identify their needs and develop goals to improve their physical and mental health.

Findings from the trial will help establish how to remove barriers to better physical health outcomes and social participation amongst people with mental illness.

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