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MHACPI unit celebrates one year of success

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Despite yesterday’s dreary weather, there was no raining on the parade of some happy residents who celebrated their one year anniversary of residing in the Hunter’s first and only Mental Health Transition Unit for older persons.  

The Mental Health Aged Care Partnership Initiative (MHACPI) Transition Unit yesterday celebrated one year of operation, after opening the service in February 2017 to support older persons with ‘enduring and serious mental illness’ in helping them to re-establish their lives in a mainstream community.

The MHACPI unit provides specialist care and accommodation for up to 10 older people with severe behavioural and psychiatric symptoms associated with mental illness and/or dementia. Its inception is part of a state-wide approach by the NSW Health’s Pathways to Community Living Initiative, who hold a partnership with Charles O’Neill in the management of the unit.

Throughout the year, Charles O’Neill has seen the successful graduation of one resident, Basil, who now lives in the adjacent mainstream aged care home. After Basil’s long experience with mental health challenges, his graduation was an outstanding achievement. Now staff are working hard to support their other residents in following Basil’s footsteps, and re-establishing their lives in the community.

The anniversary was celebrated with a barbeque, a tour of the unit and the aged care home, and some heart-warming stories from those who live in the unit.

Many of the MHACPI unit residents were hospitalised prior to entering the unit, often in psychiatric hospitals. The residents reflected fondly on their time particularly in comparison to their former lives.

Miriam Mutasa, Residential Aged Care Manager of Charles O’Neill Hostel, says that the most profound effect on residents has been their connection to the place they now live.

“The residents truly feel comfortable here. It’s what they call their ‘home’.”

Miriam says that the MHACPI unit has been successful not only for residents, but the staff too.

“It’s been a big year – and we’ve certainly learnt a lot. Now that we’ve worked with these people and we understand them, we are confident that we could help anyone.”

Call us on 1800 225 474 or email us if you need more information on Charles O’Neill or any of our other aged care homes or our services.