$750,000 mental health pilot to provide tailored support in Melbourne’s east and north east

28 July, 2017

A new pilot project in Melbourne’s east will provide tailored care for people with low intensity mental health issues and give them practical tools to self-manage their mental health and wellbeing in day-to-day life through digital resources such as apps, group coaching and traditional one-on-one counselling.

Eastern Melbourne PHN (EMPHN) is funding Neami National to deliver a low intensity psychological strategies pilot program valued at $750,000 during the 2017-18 financial year.

Eastern Melbourne CEO, Robin Whyte, said the pilot program is designed to provide targeted help for those with low intensity mental health issues to equip them with the skills and resources as well as support them through clinical treatment to improve their mental health.

“The low intensity psychological strategies pilot program will assist people with their mental health issues at an early stage by providing support before their mental health becomes more difficult to manage,” she said.

“The pilot brings together credentialed mental health clinicians with peer support workers, to provide a mixture of clinical treatment with life skills and everyday coping mechanisms.”

“Clients can also self-refer to this service, which will improve accessibility.”

Neami (acting) CEO Jenny Hall said, ‘’We are thrilled with the opportunity to work with EMPHN on this innovative service that gives community members an opportunity to access holistic wellbeing support through a variety of flexible engagement options. 

“In Neami's 30 years of experience providing specialist mental health and wellbeing support, we appreciate the importance of early intervention in building community resilience and developing lifelong positive mental health,” she said. 

The Low Intensity Psychological Strategies Pilot project was commissioned after a number of stakeholder consultation events which involved clinicians, carers and consumers. This program will run throughout EMPHN’s catchment. 

This service is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the PHN Program as part of EMPHN’s commitment to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of health and medical services for people in the eastern and north-eastern areas of Melbourne.

EMPHN works to improve the wellbeing of its community, particularly for those at risk of poor health outcomes, by improving coordination of care and ensuring patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time. EMPHN works across an area of 3,956 km² comprising a population of more than 1.5 million people. www.emphn.org.au