Mental health is better together

14 January 2019

Adopting an integrated approach to mental health care can improve client outcomes despite logistical and other challenges, according to an evaluation by UQ’s Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research (QCMHR).

QCMHR Research Officer Imogen Page said the three-year evaluation of the integrated service model at Aftercare’s Floresco Centre in Ipswich helped fill a gap in the evidence about the effectiveness of mental health service integration.

“An integrated service provides individuals experiencing mental illness and related problems with a tailored mix of support and or treatment services delivered from one location,” she said.

“Service integration has been talked about a lot and promoted in national mental health policies and plans over many years as something that should be improved to achieve better outcomes for people with mental illness.

“We wanted to evaluate the impact on patient outcomes, whether service integration has been achieved and if Floresco’s service model should be replicated.”

The evaluation, funded by the Queensland Mental Health Commission, included qualitative interviews with Floresco staff, clients and other stakeholders.

Aftercare Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Young said the Floresco Centre takes a comprehensive, holistic approach to incorporating mental health, physical health and social and economic needs for people between the ages of 18 to 64.

“The aim is to make it easier for users to access the full range of services in one place – it’s a one-stop shop,” he said.

“Aftercare was delighted to contribute to this report which helps to showcase the positive and important role that integrated services play within our community.”

Aftercare is Australia’s longest serving organisation delivering community psychosocial support, supported residential care, clinical treatment and interventions to people with mental health concerns, their families and carers.

The evaluation report is published on Aftercare's website

Media: Imogen Page,, +61 7 3271 8678; Faculty of Medicine Communications,, +61 7 3365 5118.