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Paramedics delivering better mental health care at home

December 13, 2022 | in News

More Victorians are accessing the very best mental health care in the comfort of their own homes and avoiding a trip to hospital, thanks to Ambulance Victoria’s award-winning telehealth referral service.

Ambulance Victoria (AV’s) TelePROMPT service last month celebrated two years of providing better care for mental health patients who call Triple Zero (000).

“For someone experiencing a mental health crisis, we know a busy emergency department is not always the best place for them,” Executive Director Operational Communications Lindsay Mackay said.

“In most cases, we can safely care for them at home by using TelePROMPT, which is staffed by experienced mental health clinicians who provide expert advice, support and referral to other more appropriate services that better meet their needs.”

After a successful trial, TelePROMPT is now ‘business as usual’ for paramedics responding to mental health-related emergency call outs. The state-wide service is available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.

Since its inception, 2,866 patients have been supported through TelePROMPT, and, of those, 77 per cent were connected to more appropriate care, reducing unnecessary transport to hospital and improving positive, patient-centred health outcomes.

Paramedics with a patient experiencing a mental health crisis can call TelePROMPT and rapidly connect with a mental health clinician, who conducts a collaborative and inclusive mental health assessment via telehealth technology.

“Together, they can decide on the best care option with the patient at the centre of their health journey – be it self-care, referral to alternative care or hospital treatment,” Ms Mackay said.

“That means a patient won’t be transported to a hospital emergency department unless they must genuinely be there, which they often don’t.”

AV in collaboration with Eastern Health and the Department of Health (DH) first implemented TelePROMPT in November 2020.

For information about the TelePROMPT (Telehealth Prehospital Response of Mental health and Paramedic Team) visit