MHCC ACT Forum - PACER Program
Time & Location
About the Event
Join Sergeant Shona Davis (ACT Policing), Megan Davis (ACT Ambulance Service), and Jade Nolan (Adult Community Mental Health Services) in a FREE discussion of the current ‘PACER’ response to mental health emergencies in the ACT. When there is a mental health emergency somewhere in the ACT, the police and paramedics are the first responders. Responding to mental health crises is the most frequent job type encountered by police, and the prevalence for paramedic responses has been escalating at a rate greater than for other service types. Ambulance and police attendance most often results in one of two outcomes; the person in crisis will be taken to a hospital emergency department under an involuntary Emergency Detention, or responders may be satisfied that the situation is safe, and that the person can remain at home. PACER (Police Ambulance and Clinician Early Response) is a co-response mental health capability that is currently being trialled in the ACT to assist police and paramedics to manage mental health emergencies in the community. PACER currently operates from 2:00pm to 12:00am, 7 days per week. The paramedic is there to assess and treat any physical health emergencies. The police officer is there to make sure the PACER team, the person, and the community are kept safe. The mental health clinician is there to assess mental health needs and support the person in crisis. The goals of PACER are:
- Provision of acute in-situ mental health clinical support in a manner that upholds the interests and dignity of a person,
- Reduction in trauma experienced by persons in crisis,
- Reducing the prevalence of involuntary emergency detention,
- Decline in admission to in-patient facilities, and
- Restoring front-line capacity to the ACT Ambulance Service, ACT Policing and the Canberra Hospital Emergency Department.
When PACER was introduced into Birmingham and Solihull in the UK (at the Mental Health Triage Team), people detained under their Mental Health Act more than halved and fewer people were taken to hospital emergency departments. Similar outcomes are being observed from the current trial of the PACER model in the ACT. As always, this Forum will have ample time for Questions and Answers from attendees.