Choices is the first program of its kind in Western Australia designed to connect and support vulnerable people as they are leaving hospital Emergency Departments or the Courts.
The program recognises that vulnerable people often have multiple interrelated psychosocial needs that cannot be addressed in an Emergency Department setting. Many suffer from social isolation, addiction, mental health challenges, family breakdown, homelessness, trauma and domestic violence that keeps then returning to hospital. The short-term Choices program is an innovative and personalised peer support and case management initiative that connects with people as they are being discharged. Initial findings show the approach is significantly reducing repeat hospital presentations.
The pilot program was launched at Royal Perth Hospital, followed by Rockingham General Hospital and in May 2021 funding was announced to further expand the service to Armadale, Joondalup, Midland and Peel.
It is delivered by Ruah Community Services with funding from the WA Primary Health Alliance under the Australian Government’s Primary Health Network.