Our adult inpatient units provide care and support to patients aged 18-64, living in the Inner South East of Melbourne who require an inpatient stay for the treatment of mental health issues.
What we do
We have 58 beds, divided between two units, Ground Floor and First Floor located at The Alfred. There are two units within each floor - the High Dependency Unit (HDU) where people may stay when they are acutely unwell and the Low Dependency Unit (LDU).
We offer multi-disciplinary treatment and support including access to:
- occupational therapists
- social workers
- art therapist
- exercise physiologist
- carer peer support worker and consultant
- consumer consultant
Ongoing treatment and care considers each person in relation to their age, gender, religious, cultural, language and any other special needs. Our treating team will work together with you to provide the best available treatment for your mental and physical health, to assist you in your recovery.
We actively support and promote a recovery oriented approach to care for each individual. We encourage patient and carer/family participation in goal setting, treatment, care and recovery planning that supports effective discharge.
Who we care for
We look after adults with a variety of acute mental health issues.
What to expect
On admission nursing staff will provide an orientation to the unit and arrange for the doctor to attend.
Liaison will occur between a person’s treating GP in the community, family members and our hospital staff.
Progress is closely monitored and reviewed by the treating team.
We maintain regular contact with the patient and family/carers throughout the admission and we will arrange a family meeting to answer any questions, discuss treatment and plans for discharge.
Discharge to home is planned and organised in conjunction with the patient and their family/carers as soon as this is possible. On discharge a person may be assigned a Case Manager from our community team to provide follow-up as required. If a person already has a Case Manager they will come to the ward to meet with them and will also assist in discharge planning.
We will also communicate with a patients GP or private psychiatrist (as appropriate) on discharge.
Commonly asked questions
Discharge (going home) depends on lots of different things, but the average stay on the ward is about 12 to 16 days. This could be shorter or quite a bit longer depending on your personal needs.
We welcome visitors on the ward. We encourage visitors to visit between the hours of 10.00am – 8.00pm in the low dependency part of the ward. Visiting hours are 1.30pm – 7.0 pm in the high dependency part of the ward.
Visiting outside of these hours can be arranged by speaking to the nurse.
If you have children under your care let your nurse know promptly so that an appropriate plan be discussed. Your children can visit you at the ward too – we have a special visitor’s room and do our best to be family-friendly. Children must remain under adult supervision whilst visiting.
You can store personal belongings (clothes, toiletries, books, etc) in your room. You can get other belongings brought in from home if you need them, or buy extra things that you need (eg.,you can buy toiletries at the hospital pharmacy and magazines at the hospital newsagent).
We strongly encourage you not to bring valuable items onto the ward—ideally you should keep these items at home.
Lockers are available for use, please speak to the nurse about this process. The Unit cannot take responsibility for items kept by patients that are not secured in the ward safe.
Computers with internet access are available in the communal area for free patient use. Ask your nurse for help with how to use them if needed.
You can use your mobile phone (unless your psychiatrist has specifically requested otherwise). If you do have your mobile phone or camera with you on the ward please do not take photographs, voice recordings or videos to maintain everyone’s privacy.
Alfred Health is a smoke free environment. Cigarettes, alcohol and illicit substances and their use are not permitted anywhere on the ward; they are a health risk and can delay your recovery. Quitting is great for your health! This is a great opportunity to give it a go.
If you decide to quit, we’ll offer you information, support and encouragement. It’s also OK if you just want help to cope with withdrawals during your admission. If you are suffering from withdrawal please discuss this with your nurse and psychiatrist as we can help.
There are group programs on the ward that offer a range of different therapeutic activities which vary depending on people’s needs and interests. These include:
- coffee on the couch
- recovery group
- relaxation group
- walking groups
- art therapy
- music therapy
- pet therapy
How to access this service
Referral from your GP
Your doctor can call us to organise for you to access this service.
What to bring
Every time you come
- Medicare card
- Health Care Card and/or concession card (if you have one)
- Private health insurance card (if applicable/if you want to use it)
- Adverse drug alert card (if you have one)
- Previous x-ray films, scans, ultrasounds or any other test results or reports
- Medicines you need to take while you are here
- List of medicines you are currently taking (or the boxes), including medicines you have bought without a prescription, such as herbal supplements and vitamins
- Glasses, hearing aid, walking frame
For an overnight (or longer) stay
- Dressing gown and slippers, or comfortable day clothes and shoes
- Personal hygiene items, such as shampoo, shaving cream, shaver, toothpaste and deodorant
- Something to do, like a book, a magazine or an iPad/tablet with headphones
Don’t bring (for an overnight or longer stay)
- Your handbag, wallet, purse or large amounts of cash
- Valuables, such as jewellery or watches
ResourcesAll patient resources
The Alfred - Psychiatry Adult Inpatient Patient Handbook
The Alfred - Mental and Addiction Health Inpatient Unit
Essential information for consumers, families and friends about the Alfred Mental and Addiction Health Inpatient Unit
Alfred Health - Carer Services for Mental Health Carers Brochure
Alfred Health - Mental Health Carer and Family Support Groups Brochure
Alfred Health Carer Services
An advisory and support service for carers located in Melbourne's south
Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)
The IMHA supports people who are receiving compulsory mental health treatment to make decisions and have as much say as possible about their assessment, treatment and recovery.
Mental Health Australia
The peak, national non-government organisation representing and promoting the interests of the Australian mental health sector
Mental Health First Aid
First aid information and courses for mental health problems
For young carers who help care in families where someone has an illness, a disability, a mental health issue or who has an alcohol or other drug problem
A national charity helping all Australians affected by mental illness
The peak body for families and carers of people in Victoria experiencing mental ill health
Victorian Mental Health Awareness Council
The peak Victorian non-government organisation for people with lived experience of mental health or emotional issues.
Inner South family and friends
Voices Vic is a statewide specialist program led by people with a lived experience, which seeks to improve the lives of people who hear voices.