THE Hobart Clinic has opened Hobart’s first easily accessible, early intervention outpatient, mental health service.
Located at Level 8, 39 Murray Street, the new Murray Street Clinic provides support and therapy for anxiety, depression and drug and alcohol problems.
Hobart Clinic clinical director Dr Michael Davie said the clinic would use group programs that provided opportunities for people to better understand their condition, how to manage cravings and better cope with stress.
“Our eight-week group session programs are co-located with our Doctor Consulting Suite, where people can have one-on-one appointments with specialists in addictions, depression and anxiety if they need it,” he said.
“We are seeing people in our community with much more complex needs than ever before.
“It’s often the case that people who present with a depressive illness may also have problems with alcohol and/or drugs.
“Tasmania has high rates of people taking benzodiazepines, such as valium and sleeping tablets including temazepam, so we support patients in their withdrawal and help them develop new ways of coping.”
Hobart Clinic chief executive officer Amanda Quealy said the Murray Street Clinic would broaden mental health services in southern Tasmania, and was the first of a number of new services the Hobart Clinic was working on.
“Being a not-for-profit organisation, we put people first, which is reflected in the central location of the Murray Street Clinic, its non-stigmatising environment and sessions scheduled at times that suit working people,” she said.
“Tasmania has the second highest rates of alcohol abuse and suicide, behind the Northern Territory.
“The combination of intoxication and depression can be very dangerous and significantly increase a person’s risk of self-harm.
“We use a recovery oriented model so patients can better understand their condition and learn new skills to cope and improve their wellbeing.
“By making access to mental health care easy, we are confident we can help people deal with their problems before they become life-threatening.”