Choices is the first program of its kind in Western Australia designed to connect and support vulnerable people as they are leaving hospital emergency.
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.
The pilot program was launched at Royal Perth Hospital, and has since been expanded to Rockingham General Hospital, Armadale Hospital, Joondalup Health Campus, St John of God Midland and Peel Health Campus.
It is delivered by Ruah Community Services with funding from the WA Primary Health Alliance under the Australian Government’s Primary Health Network.
An evaluation prepared by the University of Western Australia’s School of Population and Global Health in 2020, demonstrated that Choices is driving a significant decline in presentations to hospital emergency departments.