Intake for the Healthy Minds program has transitioned to become part of the Connect to Wellbeing service being delivered by Neami National. This initial transition is part of a broader intake, assessment and referral service for mental health and drug and alcohol supports across the North Coast that will be rolled out over the coming months.
Neami National are a community-based mental health provider with over 30 years’ experience supporting better mental health and wellbeing in local communities. Neami’s experience of working in close partnership with local GPs and service providers to deliver successful intake, assessment and referral services will be highly valuable to help us achieve better mental health and wellbeing on the North Coast.
Connect To Wellbeing is a free counselling service for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health concerns, and who are unable to afford services provided by mental health practitioners in private practice.
To be eligible people must fit into one of the priority groups and be currently experiencing financial distress.
Connect To Wellbeing Priority Groups include:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (ATSI).
- People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds (CALD).
- Children up to the age of 12. Children should be experiencing, or at risk of developing an emotional or behavioural disorder.
- Homelessness or people at risk of becoming homeless.
- Perinatal women from 20 weeks up until one year after giving birth. (PERI)
- People at moderate risk of suicide and/or self-harm (SPS).
Eligible people receive 12 counselling sessions (18 for Suicide Prevention Service), usually 60 mins in duration, with a mental health practitioner such as a psychologist or mental health nurse or social worker. In these sessions people are provided with strategies and techniques to manage their mental health concerns.
To improve accessibility to mental health treatment, Connect To Wellbeing services are delivered in a variety of settings including community organisations, medical centres (including Aboriginal Medical Services) and the private rooms of mental health practitioners. In some cases, home visits are available.
Mental health practitioners include psychologists, mental health social workers, mental health nurses, mental health occupational therapists and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers. Connect To Wellbeing practitioners have agreed not to charge a gap fee, thus there is no cost for the person to receive Healthy Minds services.
Connect To Wellbeing is funded by North Coast PHN.
To be eligible, the person must fit into one of the priority groups mentioned above and either have an Australian Government Health Care Card or be currently experiencing financial distress and live on the North Coast of New South Wales.
Connect To Wellbeing is for people who are experiencing mild to moderate mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder as well as other common mental health conditions.
The types of therapies provided include cognitive behaviour therapy, interpersonal therapy, psycho-education and relaxation strategies.
Reports for medico-legal court matters cannot be provided by the Connect To Wellbeing service.
Connect To Wellbeing services are available by completing a Connect To Wellbeing referral form and returning to by fax or email.
Referrals should be faxed to our confidential fax on 02 8212 8936 or can be emailed to: [email protected]
Connect To Wellbeing Intake will then process and advise the referral organisation if unacceptable or provider if approved so then the client can be advised and appointments/further arrangements can be made.
Eligible health professionals and organisations are able to recommend that someone be referred to Connect To Wellbeing. Connect To Wellbeing Practitioners are unable to self-refer.
- General Practitioner
- Mental Health Nurses
- Maternal and child health nurses
- School Psychologists / Counsellors
- School Principals / Deputy Principals
- Directors of Early Childhood Services
- Hospital Accident and Emergency Department staff
- Hospital Acute Mental Health team
- Hospital ward discharge staff
- Community Support Organisations (Social Workers/Case Workers)
- Medical Officers in non-government organisations
On the referral form, a preferred Connect To Wellbeing practitioner can be nominated from the practitioner lists at the top of this page.
Alternatively, Neami National can select an appropriate practitioner for the person seeking psychological support dependent on locality and practitioner clinical interests.
When suicide is the prime mental health concern, referrals can be made to the Connect To Wellbeing Suicide Prevention Service on the same single referral form. The service provides intensive support for a six-month period with up to 18 sessions. People can access this service without a mental health treatment plan in place but must visit their GP for a mental health treatment plan within 3 months of referral. Eligible people can then be stepped across to one of the Connect To Wellbeing Priority Groups or continue care under Better Access (Medicare).
In line with standard processes, a progress report from the mental health practitioner should be provided, supporting a K10+ after six sessions, and may include a recommendation for an additional six sessions.
Community organisations are often well placed to identify people who could benefit from psychological support. Community organisations with a Connect To Wellbeing practitioner on-site are able to complete an application for a referral. Other community organisations that would benefit from having a mental health practitioner on-site should contact the Connect To Wellbeing team using the contact details below.
For all general enquiries regarding referrals please call 1300 160 339.
For provider enquiries relating to payment, contract management including insurance (credential requests), please contact North Coast PHN on 1300 137 237.
Crisis and Emergency Services
Connect To Wellbeing is not a crisis service. Please contact one of the below services that can offer assistance 24 hours a day.
Triple 0 (Ambulance, Fire, Police) 000
Lifeline 13 11 14
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
Suicide Helpline 1300 651 251
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
For provider enquiries relating to payment, contract management including insurance (credential requests), please continue to contact North Coast PHN on 1300 137 237 for now. Please do not call direct staff lines.