MORNINGTON Peninsula residents are being offered access to new, free, mental health support services as part of a federal government $11 million funding package across south-east Melbourne.
The services cover accessible psychological interventions (APIs) to support those with mild/moderate mental health conditions, and Mental Health Integrated Complex Care (MHICC) services to support those with severe/complex mental illness.
The API services include counselling which can be delivered in individual, family or group settings, and the MHICC services include clinical nursing services, family support and liaison, care co-ordination and improving access to psychiatrist and psychological care.
The services, starting on 1 December, will be delivered by Mornington-based mental health organisation Mentis Assist, which won the tender through South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN) earlier this year.
They are primarily for those who have a health care card or can’t afford/access similar services, as well as priority groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people living in residential aged care facilities, people with perinatal depression and those who have experienced family violence.
Anyone can call the mental health intake number 1800 862 363 during business hours for referral information.
Flinders MP and science minister Greg Hunt said the services had been designed in line with best practice mental health guidelines, and extensive consumer and professional consultation.
“These services are flexible, with the consumer able to step up or step down to different intensity support as their needs change over time,” he said.
“It will now be easier for peninsula residents to access the right mental health service or find out where to get support.”
The minister said having the one point of contact for support “will help address a common complaint from constituents about how hard and confusing it is to navigate the mental health system”.
SEMPHN boss Elizabeth Deveny said the new services would provide “much needed assistance” to Mornington Peninsula residents.
“As part of our Mental Health Stepped Care Model, these services are based on national best practice guidelines and 18 months’ consultation with consumers, carers, health professionals and service providers. It’s wonderful to be at the point of launching them to our community,” she said.
“The new service models are truly innovative and designed to reach people who have been missing out on the mental health support they need.”