Chief Psychiatrist’s Activities and COVID-19 Response – Updated 31/08/2020

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COVID-19 Mental Health Directives and Guides

Management of acute behavioural disturbance in COVID-19 (Department of Health)

This guideline addresses the safe care and management of consumers
presenting with psychological distress and acute behavioural disturbance who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and asymptomatic people who fulfil the criteria for mandatory self-isolation.

Telehealth Guide for Practitioners (AHPRA)

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has released a Telehealth Guide for Practitioners which outlines their expectations of how registered health practitioners will use telehealth in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guidance on Managing Patient Leave and Visitors (Department of Health)

The COVID-19 Clinical Services & Operational Response Program Mental Health Workstream has distributed guidance to assist mental health inpatient services to manage leave and visits in a consistent and proportionate manner in the current stage of the COVID pandemic.

COVID-19 Mental Health Infection Control Directions (Department of Health)

WA’s Deputy Chief Health Officer, Dr Robyn Lawrence has issued a formal Direction under the Public Health Act 2016 specifically dealing with mental health infection control.

Chief Psychiatrist’s COVID-19 Response
Chief Psychiatrist’s Activities

The Chief Psychiatrist has taken the following actions in the best interests of the Western Australian community in keeping with recommended procedures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Current from 17/03/2020:

Clinical Helpdesk

  • The Clinical Helpdesk remains open and accessible to all clinicians during business hours Monday to Friday.

Chief Psychiatrist’s Clinical and Statutory Monitoring

  • All Chief Psychiatrist’s face-to-face clinical monitoring and reviews were temporarily suspended in March 2020.  Plans are in place to recommence clinical monitoring from August 2020.
  • Planning for future reviews will consider social distancing requirements, and the Chief Psychiatrist will continue to work with services to identify effective alternate monitoring processes, as required.
  • Statutory mandatory reporting processes under the Mental Health Act 2014 remain in place.

Chief Psychiatrist’s Training

Training events provided by the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist have recommenced with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Information about available training can be found on our ‘Education & Training Events‘ page.

Alternatively you can contact the Principal Officer Statutory Education by email at Training@ocp.wa.gov.au

If you require any further information about the above initiatives please contact the OCP on (08) 6553 0000.

For further information, please consult the WA Department of Health website, or call the COVID-19 Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

Information for Consumers and Carers

If you are a consumer or carer looking for information on mental health and COVID-19, please go to the ‘Think Mental Health‘ website. If you have a query about receiving treatment during the pandemic, please contact your care provider.