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Chapter 11 Section A: Community-based supports for people with mental health conditions

11.A: Introduction

In NSW a diversity of services and programs are available to people with mental health conditions; this includes both psychological and psychosocial support as well as clinical care. These services and programs are funded in some instances by the Commonwealth and sometimes by the State. In a rapidly changing service delivery environment, particularly in the context of reforms such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), models of service delivery reflect a much more integrated approach than was available in the past. Nevertheless, whilst there is a way to go in achieving a holistic approach that truly wraps services around the person and their family; there is a level of integration and care co-ordination offering a more person-centred approach, with much broader-based cooperation and collaboration evident between different services and across human service sectors and funding arrangements.

Services and programs provided by the community managed mental health service sector, can be loosely described as representing seven core functions. Ideally these should be accessible within each local area, and dependent on population-based needs, however, in some areas, especially rural and remote locations, generally have poorer access to the diversity of services available in metro and more populated regional areas.

The seven core areas are:

  • Accommodation Support & Outreach;
  • Employment and Education
  • Leisure and Recreation
  • Family Support and Carer Programs
  • Self-help and Peer Support
  • Helpline & Counselling Services
  • Information, Advocacy and Promotion.

The public and primary health care services available to people with mental health conditions, more usually fall into the category of clinical care and outreach services, including physical health care, a vital component of keeping people well in the community. Care coordination is particularly important when people experience difficulties with their prescribed medication (e.g., in terms of unfortunate side effects as well as negative health outcomes). These services are ideally delivered in conjunction with other community-based support services such as those delivered by the community managed mental health sector, allied health care and other human support services.

In this chapter we provide an introduction to important sources of specialist community-based support that may be available to persons with mental health conditions, coexisting conditions and psychosocial disability.

The following list of services available (in alphabetical order) in the community is by no means exhaustive, and many community managed organisations offer a number of different services as part of the mix of services and programs available under their banner. Where they do not offer a service, they will generally provide referral/s; and in many local health districts, relationships have built an integrated care approach across services to maximise effective service and care-coordination.

To find out more information and details about services and where they are located, follow this link to the NSW Mental Health Association’s (MHA) “Way Ahead ” directory of mental health services in NSW.

This directory provides information across the following categories (as listed by MHA):

  •  ACCOMMODATION – Tenancy, supported accommodation, respite accommodation, emergency accommodation
  • COMMUNICATION – Interpreting
  • COMMUNITY ORGANISATION – Lobby groups, consumer consultation, community development
  • EDUCATION – Suicide prevention, personal development, mentoring, health education, continuing education, conferences, community education
  • EMERGENCY SERVICES – Sexual assault services, crisis intervention, crisis counselling, child protection
  • EMPLOYMENT – Voluntary work, supported employment, job training
  • GENERIC ACTIVITIES – State government, research, referral, policy, licensing/registration, legislation/regulation, Federal government, clinical, assessment, advocacy
  • HEALTH SERVICES – Women’s health services, telemedicine, sexual assault services, rehabilitation services, psychogeriatric services, psychiatric units, mobile health services, men’s health services, hospitals, health promotion, general practice, drug and alcohol services, community mental health services, community health services, child health services
  • INCOME – Financial assistance, financial Counselling
  • INFORMATION SERVICES – Resource centres, libraries, internet, information hotlines
  • LAW AND JUSTICE – Social justice, mediation, legal services, human rights, guardianship, domestic violence, discrimination, consumeradvocates, complaints, adoption, abuse
  • LEISURE ACTIVITIES – Sports, social clubs and groups, holidays
  • MENTAL DISORDERS – Tourette syndrome, Tic disorders, Substance related disorders, Somatoform disorders, Sleep disorders, Sexual disorders, Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Personality disorders, Mood disorders, Eating disorders, Dual diagnosis, Dissociative disorders, Developmental Disabilities, Dementia
  • ORGANISATION TYPES – Support group, professional association, peak body, Non-government organisation, National
  • POPULATION GROUPS – Youth, Women, Volunteers, Veterans, Transvestites, Transsexuals, Suicide survivors, Sexual assault survivors, Rural and remote, Relatives and friends, Offenders, Men, Homosexual, Homeless, Families
  • PRACTICAL SUPPORT SERVICES – Social work, Nursing, Companionship, Community aid, Care
  • THERAPIES – Stress management, Psychotherapy , Psychology, Psychiatry, Pet therapy, Medication, Group therapy, Diversional therapy, Creative therapy, Counselling, Behaviour therapy

Services in NSW operate in an environment that is experiencing great change. MHCC provide information about what is happening in the sector on its webpage.

To read more about what is happening in mental health in NSW follow this link.

To read about NSW Health’s plans for Strengthening mental health care in NSW an overview of the intentions of the Ministry of Health, following the publication of the NSW Mental Health Commission’s Paper Living Well: A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW 2014-2024.

These two documents provide a context for the changing mental health environment in NSW, and an overview of what people with mental health conditions, their families and carers, the sector and workforce can expect in the development of the community sector as services transition to different models of funding and access, with a view to aligning with the Mental Health Commission’s Strategic Plan – keeping people out of hospital and achieving recovery in the community.

NOTE: The organisation/ service descriptions following are primarily provided by the organisations or agencies themselves.

11.A.1: Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS)

Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) is a Commonwealth Government funded program available through Medicare Locals. ATAPS enables persons with mental health conditions and diagnosed mental illnesses to obtain free access to ‘psychological strategies’ – services provided by a range of mental health professionals, including psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses, occupational therapists and Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander health workers with specific mental health qualifications.

Access to ATAPS is provided upon referral from a General Practitioner. A patient is eligible for up to 12 individual sessions per calendar year, but in exceptional circumstances, they may be eligible for an additional 6 sessions. Patients are also eligible for up to 12 separate group therapy services per calendar year.

You can learn more about ATAPS by following this link.

You can find your nearest Medicare Local by following this link.

There are currently 17 Medicare Locals across NSW (of 61 nationally), established between 2011 and 2012. However, Medicare Locals will be de-funded by 30 June 2015 and replaced by a smaller number of Primary Health Networks (PHNs).

In April 2015 the Commonwealth Government announced the new PHNs for eight regions across New South Wales. This development marks the move towards reforming the role of primary health care organisations with the stated objective of integrating care and improving the health outcomes for the community.

PHN policy is currently under development by the Department of Health. The Department is regularly updating their website regarding the reform.

Currently, the following documents are available:

Initial information on the role of PHNs and the Approach to Market Process

Australia Primary Health Networks Boundaries Map

New South Wales Primary Health Networks 

11.A.2: Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the MBS (Better Access) Initiative

Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the MBS (Better Access) Initiative is a Commonwealth Government program funded through Medicare which aims to provide coordinated care to people with mental health conditions and disorders. Medicare rebates are available to patients for selected mental health services provided by general practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists (clinical and registered) and eligible social workers and occupational therapists. Medicare rebates are available for up to ten individual and ten group allied mental health services per calendar year to patients with an assessed mental disorder who are referred by a general practitioner managing the patient under a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, or under a referred psychiatrist assessment and management plan, or by a psychiatrist or paediatrician.

Access to the Better Access Initiative is available via general practitioners. The general practitioner may either prepare the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan or refer the patient to a psychiatrist to prepare a psychiatrist assessment and management plan. Alternatively, the general practitioner may refer the patient to a psychiatrist or paediatrician who can directly refer the patient to allied mental health services. The general practitioner or psychiatrist or paediatrician may refer the patient for up to six individual and six group allied mental health services. This may consist of psychological assessment and therapy by a clinical psychologist, or focused psychological strategies provided by an allied mental health professional. Following the initial course of treatment, depending upon the patient’s health care needs, a general practitioner may provide a new referral to obtain an additional four treatment sessions to a maximum of ten individual and ten group services per calendar year.

You can learn more about Better Access by following this link.

11.A.3: Brighter Futures

Funded by NSW Department of Family and Community Services, Brighter Futures represents two key early intervention programs that support children’s age-appropriate development before they become involved with the child protection system. Brighter Futures support services are for children, young people and their families experiencing a range of vulnerabilities, including, domestic violence, parental drug and alcohol misuse and/or mental health issues, as well as child behaviour management problems.

The Early Intervention and Placement Prevention (EIPP) program provides appropriately targeted child, youth and family support services to reduce the likelihood of children and young people entering or remaining in the child protection and out-of-home care systems.

For more information about these programs follow this link.

11.A.4: Day to Day Living Program

Day to Day Living (D2DL) is a Commonwealth funded program that provides social, recreational and educational support to people experiencing severe and persistent mental illness.

The aims of the support in the Community program are to:

  • support people with severe and persistent mental illness who experience social isolation
  • increase the ability of people with severe and persistent mental illness to participate in social, recreational and educational activities
  • assist people with severe and persistent mental illness to improve their quality of life and live successfully at an optimal level of independence in the community
  • expand the capacity of the non-government organisation sector to offer structured day programs for people experiencing social isolation through severe and persistent mental illness and
    • increase community participation by assisting participants to:
    • develop new skills and/or relearn old skills
    • develop social networks
    • participate in community activities
    • develop confidence and
    • accomplish personal goals.

Support may be offered as group activities, or drop in support.

The Department of Health funds 40 organisations at 60 sites around Australia to provide structured and socially based day activities. These organisations provide a wide range of activities, based on client needs.

These activities include, but are not limited to: cooking classes; bushwalking, gym classes and swimming classes; arts, such as drama, drawing, pottery, creative writing, painting classes; vocational activities such as volunteering groups, return to work skill development groups, computer classes, trips to local TAFEs and neighbourhood houses to explore study options and social outings.

(Note: activities may vary across sites).

The support for Day to Day Living in the Community program is available to people whose ability to manage their daily activities and to live independently in the community is impacted as a result of a severe mental illness. A person does not need to have a formalised clinical diagnosis of a severe mental illness to initially access the program.

To read more about the D2D Living Program and where it can be accessed in NSW follow this link.

11.A.5: Family Mental Health Support Service (FMHSS)

Family Mental Health Support Services (FMHSS) is a Commonwealth Government funded program provided by non-government agencies across Australia. FMHSS provide early intervention support to assist vulnerable families with children and young people who are at risk of, or affected by, mental illness. These services support parents to reduce stress and enable young people to reach their potential. There are currently two FMHSS service models.

FMHSS provide flexible individual and community or group support options for families, children and young people up to the age of 24 impacted by mental illness or at risk of developing mental illness.

FMHSS also provide flexible individual support options for children and young people up to the age of 18 who are affected by, or at risk of, mental illness and their families. This includes intensive, long-term, early intervention support, which may involve needs identification and assessment; practical assistance and home-based support; linkages with other relevant services; and, targeted therapeutic groups.

Highest priority is given to vulnerable children and young people and their families, including those from an indigenous or culturally or linguistically diverse background, children in contact with the child protection system, and young people transitioning from out-of-home care. FMHSS will accept referrals of children and young people from any source, including self-referrals. A formal diagnosis of mental illness is not required to access FMHSS.

You can learn more about FMHSS by following this link.

You can locate a FMHSS provider operating in a particular locality by following this link.

11.A.6: GROW Program

Grow is a community-based organisation that has helped thousands of Australians recover from mental illness through a unique program of mutual support and personal development. Grow was established in Sydney in 1957. The founders were drawn together by their first-hand experience of mental illness. The wisdom they gained in helping each other to overcome life’s challenges and recover from mental illness was carefully recorded and forms the basis of the unique Grow Program.

Grow Groups meet weekly and vary in size from 3-10 members, and are run by seasoned ‘Growers’ who have taken a voluntary leadership role within the Group. Over the course of each meeting, the group engages in a series of group discussions, interactions, and readings that follow a structure and timetable to ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate, and meetings finish on time.

What makes Grow so special is the practical advice and the wisdoms that are discussed every week from a range of literature, some of which has been written by the founders of Grow. This literature has proven to be of enormous benefit, and can assist with keeping ‘Growers’ on track with their road to recovery. There are also opportunities to develop new friends and interests and support each other in practical ways.

It is free to participate in Grow programs. There are no assessments, no need for a diagnosis and no strict eligibility criteria.

There are over 250 Grow Groups throughout Australia.

To find out more about GROW programs, freecall 1800 558 268* or visit the website by following this link.

11.A.7: headspace

headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation. It was established in 2006 and is funded by the Commonwealth Government of Australia. Their primary focus is the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians. Getting help early is the key to resolving mental health problems quickly, and headspace is making a difference where it is needed particularly for young people. headspace provides free online and telephone information, emotional support and referral services for children and young people 12 to 25 years old who are experiencing mental health problems or who are at risk of self-harm. Young people can log onto the website to email or chat with mental health professionals.

With more than 70 centres around Australia, headspace can help with:

  • General health
  • Mental health and counselling
  • Education, employment and other services
  • Alcohol and other drug services.

Find out how you can get help from headspace and if there is a headspace centre near you by following this link.

Click here
 to download a PDF of the headspace brochure

To visit the website follow this link.

11.A.8: Housing and Support Program (HASI)

The Housing and Support Program (HASI) is a partnership program between NSW Health, Housing NSW and the NSW non-government sector that provides housing linked to clinical and psychological rehabilitation services for persons between the ages of 16 and 65 years with a range of levels of psychiatric disability (HASI Lower Support may also be available to persons over the age of 65).

HASI is designed to promote recovery for people with mental health conditions by assisting them to maintain, or providing them with access to, stable accommodation, and by providing them with accommodation support services and clinical mental health services. Accommodation support, and rehabilitation associated with disability, is provided by non-government organisations funded by NSW Health, clinical care and rehabilitation is provided by NSW Government specialist mental health services, and in most cases, long-term, secure, affordable housing and property and tenancy management services are provided by public and community housing organisations, funded by Housing NSW. However, a medium support HASI sub-stream is available to people who live in their own homes outside the social housing system.

HASI is offered in four streams: low support (less than 5 hours staff support per week); medium support (up to 3 hours of staff support a day, 7 days a week); high support (up to 5 hours of staff support a day, 7 days a week); and, very high support (up to 8 hours of staff support a day, 7 days a week). HASI is a ‘capped’ program, which means that available places in each stream are limited and can only be allocated when a vacancy arises or additional places are funded by Government. HASI’s basic structure and objectives is the same across all streams. The differences between the streams lie in the intensity, duration and type of supports offered.

There are specific targeting criteria applied in relation to each HASI stream. Low Support HASI is targeted towards people who are already living in social housing who are at risk of being unable to maintain their tenancies because of unmet disability-related support needs. Medium Support HASI is target to people with whose accommodation is at risk due to unmet disability-related support needs who live in social housing and in other forms of private accommodation.

The HASI Plus program provides housing, daily living support and clinical care for people who require either 16 or 24 hours of support per day to maintain community living. HASI Plus specifically targets people who experience mental illness and who are exiting either mental health inpatients units or similar institutions (such as correctional facilities) after long periods or multiple occasions of repeated admission who, without stable housing, sufficient and individualised daily living support and appropriate clinical care are unable to live independently in the community and are likely to return to institutional care or come into contact with the criminal justice system. The HASI Plus program is specifically designed for consumers who may experience complex support needs to further their recovery journey and to live within the community with adequate support.

Access to HASI is available via referral (including self-referral) to a HASI accommodation support service provider. Anyone can make a referral but the person who is the subject of the applicant must consent to the referral. There are specific application and referral forms that must be completed.

You can find out more about the HASI program by following this link.

Aftercare is one of the HASI accommodation support providers in NSW. You can find a local HASI accommodation support service provider by following this link.

11.A.9: LikeMind

The LikeMind integrated community mental health service hubs will be available in four trial sites in NSW in 2015/2016. LikeMind is a new model of community-based, co-located health service, including integrated mental health care. It is expected to enhance the delivery of mental health services in the community based non-government sector.

LikeMind provides a range of services to suit the needs of clients. The journey begins with an intake an assessment clinician who conducts a mental health assessment and works alongside the client to develop a Care Plan based on their goals. Clients can then access services provided by our partners in line with their recovery goals. Uniting Care Mental Health is one of the organisations providing this service model of care.

Their partners include:

  • Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Mental Health Services and Drug and Alcohol Services
  • Break Thru People Solutions
  • Diabetes NSW
  • Wentworth Community Housing
  • Family and Community Services
  • Cancer Council
  • The Black Dog Institute
  • TAFE Western Sydney Institute
  • University of Western Sydney
  • Family Planning NSW
  • Nepean Blue Mountains Medicare Local

For more information follow this link.

Or contact LikeMind on Telephone: (02) 8880 8111
Address: 109 Henry Street, Penrith NSW

11.A.10: Mental Health Respite: Carer Support (MHR: CS)

Mental Health Respite: Carer Support (MHR: CS) is a Commonwealth Government funded program which is delivered by community managed organisations across Australia. MHR: CS services provide flexible respite and family support options for carers of persons with severe mental illness.

The aim of MHR: CS is to support carers to sustain their caring roles and maintain connections with their communities. MHR: CS services provide a range of options which include providing carers with breaks from their caring roles, social and recreational activities, counselling, education, advocacy and referral, and education for families and the community about mental illness and its impacts. There is also a specific MHR: CS program which provides flexible respite and support options for young carers (between the ages of 8 and 17) of people with mental health conditions known as the “On-Fire Program.” A MHR: CS program focused on addressing the non-vocational barriers to the participation of carers in the workforce is also currently being trialled, including in NSW.

You can learn more about MHR: CS by following this link.

A major component of the MHR: CS program is the Mental Health Carer Counselling Service which is operated by Carers Australia. This counselling service assists carers to develop strategies and skills to cope with change, manage stress, balance work and caring, cope with loss and grief, deal with relationship change, and, obtain access to services, supports and information.

You can call the Mental Health Carer Counselling Service from anywhere in Australia on Freecall: 1800 242 636*

*Remember, mobile phone calls to freecall numbers (numbers starting with 1800) are charged to the caller at the usual mobile rate.

11.A.11: National Disability Insurance Scheme

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australian intergovernmental agreement to fund individualised, reasonable and necessary supports for people who have permanent and significant disability, and their families and carers. It is administered by a Commonwealth Government agency called the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) under Commonwealth legislation. It will progressively absorb all responsibility for the funding of specialist disability supports as existing participants of State and Territory disability service systems transfer to the Scheme.

The NDIS was launched from 1 July 2013 with ‘Launch’ or ‘Trial’ programmes in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania. It will progressively become a national program available to persons living anywhere in Australia from 1 July 2019.

The NDIS funds ‘reasonable and necessary’ community-based supports and services for people with disability, including people with psychosocial impairments, who are under the age of 65 years. These supports and services must be related to the person’s disability but otherwise are potentially very broad in scope. They may include disability related equipment, personal support for daily living, early intervention services, transport to enable social and economic participation, workplace support to assist with job retention, therapeutic supports including positive behaviour support, household domestic assistance, and home modifications.

People with psychosocial impairments who have a significant and permanent disability are likely to require supports from the health and mental health systems as well as the disability support system. Supports that the NDIS will fund that are specifically relevant to persons with psychosocial impairments include: assistance with planning and decision-making; assistance with household tasks and activities of daily living; assistance to build capacity to live independently; assistance to work towards personal goals such as building social relationships; assistance to build capacity for personal financial management; assistance to build capacity for tenancy management; and, supports to engage in community activities such as recreation, education, training and employment. The health and mental health systems remain responsible for the provision of clinical and medical services for persons with psychosocial impairments.

NDIS funding is made available to eligible individuals to enable them to purchase supports and services from providers of their choice. Unlike traditional approaches to the funding of specialist disability services, funding is not provided in a ‘block’ to service providers. There is a major emphasis on self-direction and self-management of supports and services, although other forms of management are available where the person does not wish to participate in self-management, or the NDIA views self-management as being too risky. The NDIA has funded a number of Disability Support Organisations to assist eligible individuals to build their knowledge of disability supports and their ability to self-direct and self-manage their supports.

In NSW, the NDIS Launch/Trial site is the Hunter Area of NSW. Existing clients of specialist disability services living in the Newcastle Local Government Area have been able to transfer to the NDIS since 1 July 2013. Those living in the Lake Macquarie Local Government Area have been able to do so since 1 July 2014 and those living in the Maitland Local Government Area will be able to do so from 1 July 2015.

People with permanent and significant disability who do not currently have access to the specialist disability services they require, who lived in the Hunter Launch/Trial catchment area as at 1 July 2013, have been able to apply for NDIS assistance since that date. Persons with disability living in other parts of NSW will have access to the NDIS from 1 July 2018.

Applicants for the NDIS must complete and submit an “Access Request” to the NDIA. Eligibility is then assessed. If the applicant is eligible, NDIA agency staff, known as support ‘planners’, assist the NDIS ‘participant’ to develop an individual plan based on their life goals and to identify the supports that they require to work towards and realise those goals. These supports may include mainstream, community, and informal supports as well as reasonable and necessary funded supports to be funded by the NDIA. NDIA Local Area Coordinators will assist the participant to organise the supports and services they require.

You can find out more out the NDIS, including about making an Access Request, by following this link.

If you want to visit an NDIS customer service centre click here.

These centres are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
Freecall 1800 800 110*

If you require a translator or help, please contact freecall – 1800 800 110*

If you are a TTY user – phone 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 800 110*

If you are a Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech relay) user – phone 1800 555 727 then ask for 1800 800 110*

If you are an internet relay user – visit the National Relay Service website and ask for 1800 800 110*

*Remember, mobile phone calls to freecall numbers (numbers starting with 1800) are charged to the caller at the usual mobile rate.

11.A.12: Partners In Recovery (PIR)

Partners In Recovery (PIR) is a Nationally funded program is targeted at improving coordination between services such as primary health care, housing, income support, employment, education and rehabilitation services that support people experiencing mental health and psychosocial difficulties.

The ‘Partners in Recovery’ Initiative specifically aims to:

  • Better support people with severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs, and their carers and families;
  • Facilitate better coordination of clinical and non-clinical services to deliver ‘wrap around’ support to meet the full range of an individual’s needs;
  • Improve referral pathways and strengthen partnerships with existing services;
  • Further embed a community based recovery model of support and service delivery throughout the mental health and related sectors; and
  • Adopt a ‘no wrong door’ approach to service access and referral.

There are 48 community managed organisations that have been engaged to implement PIR in a way that complements existing support and service systems and any existing care coordination efforts already being undertaken.

There are a number of sectors central to the success of this initiative including primary care (health and mental health), state/ territory specialist mental health systems, the mental health and broader NGO sector, alcohol and other drug services, and income support services, as well as education, employment and housing supports.

To find out which organisations in NSW offer a PIR service, follow this link.

For more information about PIR follow this link.

11.A.13:Personal Helpers and Mentors Program (PHaMs)

The Personal Helpers and Mentors Program (PHaMs) is a Commonwealth Government funded program which is provided by numerous non-government organisations across Australia. PHaMs workers provide practical assistance to people with severe mental health conditions over the age of 16 years to help them to achieve personal goals, develop better relationships with family and friends, and manage everyday tasks.

Some PHaMs services provide specialist support to particularly vulnerable population groups, including those who live in remote areas, homeless persons, and persons from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds as well as Aboriginal and Torres Islander Peoples.

PHaMs services operate according to a strengths-based, recovery oriented approach. A person does not need to have a formal clinical diagnosis of a severe mental illness to be eligible for a PHaMs service. Referral for PHaMs support (including self-referral) is via direct contact with a local PHaMs provider.

You can learn more about the PHaMs Program by following this link.

You can locate a PHaMS provider operating in a particular locality by following this link.

The personal helpers and mentors are employed by multiple service providers, and support program participants in their recovery journey, building long-term relationships, and providing holistic support. They ensure that services accessed by program participants are coordinated, integrated, and complementary to other services in the community.

Many communities in remote areas are disadvantaged through a lack of infrastructure, community, and clinical services. As a result of this a complementary service delivery model, expanding on the established PHaMs service model, has been implemented for the remote sites across Australia.

11A.14 Primary Health Networks (PHNs)

From 1 July 2015 the ten new Primary Health Networks (PHNs) across New South Wales established to lead primary health care commissioning and general practice support commenced operation. New South Wales has the most PHNs of thirty two established across Australia.
Medicare Locals ceased to exist from 30 June. The government has prohibited the continuing use of Medicare Local name, so there are new names for these organisations.

Primary Health Networks (PHNs) have been established with the key objectives of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes, and improving coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.

To find out where the new PHNs are situated, follow this link 

11.A.15: Young People’s Outreach Program (Y-POP)

Y-POP is an innovative youth program combining with clinical child and youth mental health teams. Young people with a mental health diagnosis are supported with non-clinical support for issues related to their daily lives and their development, including: support education and training; work readiness and finding employment; socialising with peers; building confidence; self-esteem; independence; and help with developmentally appropriate relationships with their family of origin. The program works closely with partners, and is a collaborative process that generates positive results for clients, the team and partners.

Y-POP is an outreach program, so typically staff visit the young person’s home, and then support them to work on their goals, and feel grounded within their surrounding community. In this way they can find their individual recovery journey.

At this point in time Y-POP is a pilot project between SWAHS Mental Health Network and Richmond PRA using unspent Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI) funds. The program provides practical assistance to young people, 16 to 25, with serious mental illness and delivers up to 70 hours of short term, specialised support per week, for up to 10 clients at any one time.

Contact Richmond PRA to find out more about this program by following this link.

Updated January 30, 2015