- The Hamilton Centre is the Victorian statewide service for people living with mental illness and substance use or addiction.
- The Hamilton Centre works to improve outcomes for people with co-occurring conditions through specialist clinical services, workforce education and training, and best practice research.
- The Hamilton Centre and Clinical Network respond to Recommendation 36 of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (the Royal Commission) acknowledged that substance use and addiction is highly prevalent amongst people living with mental illness, and vice versa. It also recognised the need to integrate mental health and alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment, care and support, in order to improve outcomes for people with co-occurring conditions.
In its final report, the Royal Commission proposed a suite of reforms to improve outcomes for people living with co-occurring mental health and substance use or addiction - including Recommendation 36, which called for the establishment of a new statewide service to improve outcomes for people with co-occurring conditions.
About the Hamilton Centre
The Hamilton Centre works to improve outcomes for people with co-occurring conditions by providing:
- A Helpline (1800 517 383) open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, for practitioners seeking:
- Expert advice from experienced clinicians, for a secondary opinion regarding management of a client’s substance use or addiction needs. This may also lead to referral services as outlined below.
- service navigation assistance and guidance between mental health and AOD services (warm referrals).
- For clients with more complex needs, clinicians supporting clients of Area Mental Health and Wellbeing Services may seek a referral to the Hamilton Centre Clinical Network for:
- longer term support (secondary consultation services) regarding the management of a client’s substance use or addiction needs.
- integrated addiction and mental health treatment, care and support (primary consultations) for people living with mental illness and substance use or addiction who have the most complex support needs.
- Workforce training and education targeting practitioners and clinicians across Victoria’s mental health and AOD services to uplift their integrated treatment, care and support capability. Training opportunities will be available both online and face-to-face.
- Dedicated research into co-occurring mental illness and substance use or addiction, including research into optimal ways of delivering integrated care in Victoria, to improve outcomes for people with co-occurring conditions.
- The Hamilton Centre will also work to grow Victoria's addiction specialist workforce by creating dedicated training and development opportunities and will administer a scholarship program to encourage more new workers to specialise in the field of addiction.
The Hamilton Centre Clinical Network
Turning Point has been appointed as the central co-ordinating agency for the Hamilton Centre, and have partnered with a Clinical Network to deliver addiction specialist care across the state of Victoria.
The initial services forming this collaborative network are St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, Eastern Health, Western Health, Austin Health and Goulburn Valley Health.
The Clinical Network provides addiction specialist care to consumers with co-occurring mental health and the highest-intensity addiction needs.
Initially, the Hamilton Centre Clinical Network will prioritise supporting tertiary Area Mental Health and Wellbeing Services to deliver integrated care. Access pathways will be expanded to broader mental health, AOD and primary health care services over time.
Referrals to the Hamilton Centre Clinical Network can be made by mental health clinicians through the e-referral portal on their website or by contacting 1800 517 383.
The Hamilton Centre Clinical Network follows a shared, stepped care model, with consumers remaining under the direct care of the referring Area Mental Health and Wellbeing Service throughout the duration of service. Consultation services are delivered through both in-person and telehealth appointments, accessible across metropolitan, rural and regional Victoria.
More information can be found on the Hamilton Centre's .
Clinicians can reach the Hamilton Centre through their Helpline on 1800 517 383, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.
Reviewed 08 May 2023