Comorbidity treatment service model evaluation

Service promotion

Page last updated: August 2009

Respondents were asked how they promote their services. The main strategies for service promotion included participation in relevant networks, flyers, information stalls, and websites. Media releases, advertisements in local print media, and newsletters were less common. Further strategies included word of mouth and promotion through other services, magazines, emails, the headspace initiative, community education and health promotion, and education of generalist services (see Table 16 below).

Well-promoted services are likely to receive referrals from a range of other organisations. Surveyed services reported receiving referrals from different sources (see Table 17 below). Seven services selected all referral sources listed in the table below. There were no differences in the number of referral sources in regard to service size and type.

One respondent noted that 'primary 'clients' are rural [regional] mental health and drug and alcohol agencies and clinicians. I do provide primary and secondary consultations around clients with complex co-occurring disorders but, when this occurs, a secondary agenda is always to build the capacity of the referring clinicians or agency to provide integrated treatment of co-occurring disorders'. Another respondent stated that the majority of referrals are self-referrals.

The 17 services reported a wide range of different practices in regard to referral processes and protocols, ranging from no protocols/processes other than the requirement to be in a certain age range (youth service) to larger services with different protocols/processes depending on the type of client or the referral source. Four services reported minimal requirements for referral. Another four stated that they have MOUs with some service providers. Several services reported using referral forms (although these were not always used, and one service reported that this depends on the clinician), and referrals via telephone, fax, and/or email. One service noted that referrals sometimes are made through accompanying clients to appointments with other services. Internal referrals occur via the electronic file management system, intake meetings, and 'various teams'. One respondent suggested that 'eventually, ... there will be large scale uptake of referrals through 'Connecting Care', see http://www.connectingcare.com', an e-referral system to health and community services in Victoria. This respondent also noted that regional services are in the process of developing a 'NO Wrong Door multi agency mental health and AOD protocol'.

The most commonly nominated referral sources were self-referral (n=14) and the criminal justice system (n=11). Child care and financial counselling organisations were not nominated as one of the three most common referral sources. See Table 18 below for more detail.

Table 16: Service promotion

Type of service promotion Response frequency
Participation in relevant networks
15
Flyer(s)
14
Website
14
Information stalls at forums, conferences etc.
14
Media releases
7
Advertisements in local print media
6
Newsletters
4
Top of page

Table 17: Client recruitment

Client recruitment from Response frequency
Referral from AOD services
17
Referral from MH services
16
Referral from criminal justice system
16
Self-referral
15
Referral from family/friends/carers
15
Referral from primary health services (e.g. GP, community health service)
15
Referral from welfare services
15
Referral from housing services
13
Referral from hospital
12
Referral from Centrelink
11

Table 18: The three most common referral sources

Referral source Response frequency AOD serviceResponse frequency combined service
Hospital
0
1
GP
1
3
Community health service
2
1
Housing/supported accommodation
1
2
Employment
1
1
Centrelink
1
1
Child care
0
0
Financial counselling
0
0
AOD treatment service
2
3
MH service
0
5
Indigenous health service
1
1
Criminal justice system
9
2
Welfare
4
2
Self-referral
10
4
Family/ friends
0
1
Schools
1
1

Note: Response frequencies do not add up to 51 because several respondents provided more than 3 referral sources