Carers & Supporters

Better care, everywhere, for everyone

Caring or supporting a person in the Flynn Unit

The admission of someone you care about to the Flynn Unit at LRH may be a little scary or intimidating, particularly if it’s your first time visiting a mental health inpatient unit. We have welcoming and supportive staff to assist you including carer consultants who have lived experience of caring for someone with mental health issues. This page may have the information you need to help you navigate the next few days or weeks.

You may well feel a range of emotions both negative and positive. Please ask for assistance if you find you are experiencing distressing feelings or any serious concerns.

What do we mean when we say 'Person-Centred Care'?

One of Latrobe Regional Hospital’s core values is ‘Person-Centred Care’. It offers a collaborative and respectful partnership between the person experiencing ill health, carers and staff.

Dignity and respect is the key to communication and information sharing. Person-Centred Care also offers and provides you with the opportunity to actively participate in and be involved with decision-making, goal setting and the planning of those you care for.

We hope you and the person you care for receive clear communication about treatment.  This is vital to helping you support the person in your care. You may, as a carer, be invited to participate in the development of care plans to facilitate their recovery.

When you arrive at the Flynn Unit

It is our policy to search all bags and belongings in the inpatient environment.
There are lockers available outside Flynn and staff will assist you to place your belongings safely inside.

  • Mobile phones are allowed on the unit provided the consumer follows rules about their usage. Our nursing staff will outline the conditions and a form must be signed consenting to the requirements associated to their use. Phones can only be used in the consumer’s room.
  • There are two public telephones.
  • Laptops are not permitted however tablets may be used. The same rules apply as with mobile phones. The hospital has free Wi-Fi.
  • An authorised person may conduct a search if they reasonably suspect a person is carrying anything that presents a danger to the health and safety of the people in the unit.
  • Our hospital is a totally smoke free zone. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the grounds.

Resources for you

There are two booklets you may find useful:

  • Information for families and carers of people with a mental illness
  • Psychiatric medication information: a guide for patients and carers

And you may find some useful information in our brochures:

  • Mental health services –  Carer Consultants
  • Carer Support Fund – Information for Carers
  • Your rights and responsibilities

An information pack with these resources are available from our team members.

Mental Health Carer Support Fund

This is funded by the Victorian Government and administered by Tandem, for the benefit of people in a caring relationship with a person who is receiving services from one of the Victorian Area Mental Health Services.

All applications are made through and are approved by the Area Mental Health Services who forward applications to Tandem for processing.

Read more about the Mental Health Carer Support Fund.

What is a Carer Consultant?

Our mental health service employs Carer Consultants who have lived experience as carers of people with mental health issues. They understand the needs of those in a caring role. They can provide direct support to you through advocacy, information and referral to carer and family supports that are may be available

Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers

Latrobe Regional Hospital acknowledges the Gunaikurnai and Bunurong peoples as the traditional custodians of the land on which our health services are located. Our commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples is supported by our respect for their connection to their ancestral lands.

Our Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers provide support, information and education to staff and Aboriginal people who receive care across our health service. The goal is to provide accessible, equitable, culturally appropriate preventative and mainstream health services for Aboriginal people.

Our Aboriginal Health Unit helps patients and family members while in hospital or when using hospital services. They visit inpatient units and aim to provide an accessible and culturally responsive service that works in partnership with community members for better health outcomes.

Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers are available Monday-Friday between 8.30am-5pm.

Phone: 5173 8653 or 5173 8831.

Information about the person you care for

Feel free to ask questions of staff during your person’s stay. If the person does not give consent to share information, staff may still be able to support you but may be restricted in the information they share. Some common questions you may have:
• what are my rights to information as a carer?
• how can I be involved in treatment planning?
• can you explain the diagnosis and prognosis?
• can I have information on diagnosis?
• what is a treatment plan?
• do you have information on the medications they are using and any side effects I need to be aware of?
• can I have a medication information brochure?
• who will support my person when they go home?

Keep these numbers handy

Carers Victoria. Advisory line: 1800 242 636
Go to their website

Carers Victoria is the state-wide voice for family carers, representing and providing support to carers in Victoria.

Mental Health Carers Australia
Go to their website

For information and advice on supports available in your area, please contact the National Information and Support Line on: 1300 554 660

Mental Health Carers Australia is the only national advocacy group solely concerned with the well-being and promotion of the needs of families and carers supporting someone with mental ill health. Its mission is to be the national voice for families and carers to enable the best possible life.

Family Drug Support
Go to their website
Support Line: 1300 368 186 (available 24 hours 7 days a week)

LRH Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers 
Available Monday-Friday 8.30am-5pm
Phone (03) 5173 8653 or 5173 8831

Hospital-based services
Flynn Unit:  Low dependency Unit (LDU) or High Dependency Assessment Unit (HDAU) Phone (03) 5173 8641

Community Residential Care Unit (CRCU) Phone (03) 5128 0080

Secure Extended Care Unit (SECU) Phone (03) 5173 8638

Prevention and recovery care services (PARCS). (Bairnsdale) (03) 4141 5380