Early in Life Mental Health Service (ELMHS)
Early in Life Mental Health Service (ELMHS) is a place where young people who are experiencing emotional, behavioural or mental health problems can get help.
If you are having trouble coping with a serious problem on your own, but don't know how to change or improve things, we may be able to help.
Monash Health ELMHS is a free service available to those who live in our catchment area as shown on the following map:
As you can see, our catchment area is quite large and includes the cities of Cardinia, Casey, Greater Dandenong, Kingston and Monash.
If you live within this area and are experiencing any of the following problems, we might be able to help.
- Feeling depressed or sad a lot of the time
- Feeling anxious or nervous a lot of the time
- Having trouble coping with stress
- Feeling overwhelmed by all the responsibilities in your life, such as school, homework, sporting commitments
- Feeling very angry about things or aggressive towards other people
- Feeling isolated or lonely
- Low self esteem
- No longer enjoying activities you used to
- Problems making friends or maintaining friendships
- Feeling shy or nervous around other people
- Arguing or fighting a lot with your family
- Worrying about what other people think of you
- Often getting into situations that are dangerous, or seeking those kinds of situations
- Doing things over and over again because you think something bad will happen if you don't (obsessions or compulsions)
- Doing things you know aren't good, but not being able to stop yourself
- Having problems sleeping (either getting to sleep, staying asleep or having bad nightmares)
- Problems with eating, or not eating enough
- Addiction to drugs or alcohol
- Not having much energy or motivation to do simple things
- Deliberately harming yourself
- Having trouble concentrating
- Feeling suicidal or not being able to imagine any future
- Hearing voices or seeing things that no one else seems to hear or see (known as hallucinations)
- Having beliefs or ideas that no one else seems to think are real (known as delusions or paranoia)
- Having mood swings – feeling really good one minute and really bad the next
If you’re experiencing any of these problems, try talking about it with someone you trust – your parents, a close family member, your family doctor (GP) or school counsellor.
The staff who work at ELMHS cover a number of different professions. You may hear the term 'multi-disciplinary team', which simply means a team of clinicians who have different qualifications. These consist of:
- Medical Officers
- Psychiatric Nurses
- Allied Health Staff:
- Social Workers
- Speech Pathologists
- Occupational Therapists
Please be aware that we also employ university students who are studying these professions.
Within ELMHS there are a number of different services available. Depending on your needs, you'll be referred to one of the following:
- Community Teams (also known as outpatient services)
- Adolescent Recovery Centre (ARC)
- Stepping Stones (also called the Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Unit)
- Transition Program
- Intensive Mobile Youth Outreach Service (IMYOS)
- The Recovery & Relapse Prevention of Psychosis Service (RAPPS) – (available to 16-25 year olds)
- The Southern Dual Diagnosis Service
- Paediatric Neuropsychiatry Program
- Tourette's Clinic
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Clinic
- Monash Autism Program (MAP)
- Consultation Liaison (CL)
Please note that available specialist services can vary from time to time.
How do I make an appointment?
To use the service you or your parents/guardians will need to contact The Southern Health Psychiatric Triage Service. Triage is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make brief assessments over the phone and put you in contact with the CAMHS service that can help you the most. If a service outside of ELMHS is more suited to your needs, Triage will provide you with those details.
Other people can also make referrals on your behalf. If a member of your family, a doctor, a school worker, or a community agency worker is concerned about you, they can contact Triage directly.
Psychiatric Triage Service
1300 369 012
A mental health clinician will answer the call and ask some questions about how you’re feeling, what kind of things you’ve been thinking about, and what’s been happening to cause those thoughts and feelings. The person you speak with will consider one of the following options:
- A primary consultation. This involves you and your family meeting with one of our clinicians and talking about what’s been happening for you recently. If someone outside of your family made the referral, they might also be involved in the consultation.
- A secondary consultation. This would occur if someone else called Triage on your behalf, and that person would meet with one of our clinicians, or speak with them over the phone about the concerns they have for you. You would be contacted later on if it were seen as necessary, and then a primary consultation might take place.
- Referral to another agency. Our service may not be suitable for your needs, so in this case you would be given a referral to a different agency along with their contact details.
- Crisis assessment. If the clinician thinks that you are extremely unwell and require an immediate assessment, they will organise for someone to see you within 24 hours of the referral.
- Urgent assessment. If the clinician thinks that you are quite unwell, but not at severe crisis point, they will organise for someone to see you within 7 days of the referral.
- Non urgent assessment. This would occur if the clinician believes you require help but are not at serious immediate risk. They will arrange an appointment over the phone or will send you a letter with the time and date of the appointment, and the clinician’s details.
Most assessments take place at one of our community team locations.