The Value of Agile Clinical Services

Models of mental health care have not kept pace with changing 21st century demographics and values. Organisations have traditionally relied on the health sector to provide mental health and wellbeing treatment and support for employees. However, the current model is largely driven by severe resource constraints, is one of risk mitigation, along with crisis and biomedical management. Specialist and evidence-based treatment can be found within pockets of the system of care but it is by no means commonplace.

Providing specialist psychological and evidenced-based treatment at the time the person is in distress is associated with improvements in symptoms, distress and quality of life. The earlier the person is able to engage in treatment, the better the prognosis too, especially with the high prevalence disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Providing short-term care and treatment to employees can have an enormous impact on the quality of life of the individual employee but also the broader workplace environment.

Data from Agile Clinical Services as reported to the RCVMH (2019) demonstrated that with as little as 1-4 sessions with a specialist psychologist, people who had originally presented in distress, experienced an improvement of mood symptoms (such as depression and anxiety) by 43%, improvement in quality of life and functioning by 44% and their quality of experience in the sessions, 96%. (Monash Health submission to Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (2019), pg 31. http://rcvmhs.archive.royalcommission.vic.gov.au/Monash_Health.pdf)

Furthermore, after these 3-4 sessions, people continued in their recovery journey, requiring less mental health services in the following years. (Monash Health submission to Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (2019), pg 36. http://rcvmhs.archive.royalcommission.vic.gov.au/Monash_Health.pdf)

In summary, investment in short term specialist psychological treatment and support enables the recovery of mental health and functioning that is maintained overtime.


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References for AGILE Clinics

Casey, M. (2015) Agile psychologists designing and delivering change in adult public mental health Inpsych

Liedtka, J., Salzman, R. and Azer, D., (2017). Design thinking for the greater good: Innovation in the social sector. Columbia University Press. Agile Psychological Medicine Clinic pp. 84-102

Casey, M. (2019) From Crisis Management to Recovery Inpsych

Casey, M. (2019) Monash Health’s Submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. http://rcvmhs.archive.royalcommission.vic.gov.au/Monash_Health.pdf

Casey, Melissa, Dinali Perera, Joanne Enticott, Hung Vo, Stana Cubra, Ashlee Gravell, Moana Waerea, and George Habib. “High utilisers of emergency departments: the profile and journey of patients with mental health issues. International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice 25, no. 3 (2021): 316-324.

Casey, M., Perera, D., Enticott, J., Vo, H., Cubra, S., Gravell, A., Waerea, M. and Miller, C., (2022). Improving mental health care outcomes: the agile psychological medicine clinic. Clinical Psychologist, pp.1-11.

AWARD: Casey, M. Clarke D. (2014) GOLD. Victorian Mental Health Minister’s Award, Agile Psychological Medicine.