More support for people with severe mental illness

MPHN CEO Melissa Neal with Wellways Regional Manager Zoe Evans.

MPHN CEO Melissa Neal with Wellways Regional Manager Zoe Evans.

Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) is providing $814,250 over the next three years to increase the support services available throughout the Murrumbidgee region for people with severe mental illness.

MPHN CEO Melissa Neal said the federally funded National Psychosocial Support (NPS) initiative aims to provide a range of non-clinical community-based support to people with severe mental illness that are not already engaged with services and for whom the NDIS was not designed.

“While the NDIS provides support for people with severe and disabling mental illness it was not designed for those who would benefit from receiving specialised and less intensive psychosocial support services in the short-term linked to their needs.

“We are pleased to be able to fund these vital support services for those not currently receiving psychosocial support; the program, ‘Well Connected’, will complement existing programs and not duplicate support that is already available.

“Psychosocial support is about building the capacity and stability of people needing supports and services in areas of their lives; which might include family relationships, managing daily living needs, budgeting, housing, quit smoking, education and goals,” Ms Neal said.

Ms Neal said MPHN identified people aged 65 years and over, and Aboriginal people as the most at risk of poor outcomes and not currently well serviced in our communities; however, although these will be prioritised anyone can be referred to the program.

“We undertook a comprehensive consultation process with key stakeholders and assessed available health data to understand the needs of our communities across the Murrumbidgee region.

“After an extensive tender process Wellways Australia has been selected as the providers of the program and are well placed to commence accepting referrals in mid-January 2019,” Ms Neal said.

“Wellways Australia is pleased to have been selected to provide vital psychosocial support services in addition to the work we are already doing in the Murrumbidgee region,” Wellways CEO Elizabeth Crowther said.

“Wellways is aware of the great need throughout Murrumbidgee’s communities for engaging psychosocial support services and we look forward to sharing our knowledge and expertise,” she said.

Cristy Houghton