mental health

We are committed to implementing significant local health reform as part of the Australian Government’s response to the National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services.


There are six key priorities for mental health reform. 

**The North Coast is an Australian Government-selected lead site for PHN-led reform in these area of mental health care.

Low intensity mental health services for early intervention.
Find out more about the low intensity mental health services.
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Primary mental health services for people with severe mental ill-health.**
Find out more about Mental Health Nursing Services throughout the North Coast.
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Psychological therapies provided by mental health professionals to underserviced groups.
Find out more about our Healthy Minds program.
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health services.
View all related services currently being funded by Healthy North Coast.
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Child and youth mental health services.
View North Coast headspace services.
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Mental Health Fact Sheet

To gain the local knowledge needed to implement these critical reforms, as part of our Needs Assessment we explored the mental health needs specific to our region. Examples of findings included:

55% report cost as one of the biggest barriers to seeing a mental health service, compared to 39% of people who don’t experience mental health challenges.

33% find it difficult to access a general practice (doctor), compared to 27% of people who don’t experience mental health challenges.

60% find it difficult to access drug and alcohol services, compared to 57% of those without a mental health challenge.

Download to learn more.

Introducing the Stepped Care Model

The stepped care model has come out of the National Mental health Commission’s review of mental health services and programs. It is the Australian Government’s response and introduces this model of stepped care into the mental health system. This includes the primary mental health care funding provided to PHNS.

Stepped care is a model that moves away from this idea of ‘one size fits all’. It is about getting people the right treatment for them at the right time.

For the PHN it is up to us to ensure there is a suite of services targeted within a stepped care model so that people benefit from services better targeted to meet their need.

A stepped care approach:

  • Places the emphasis on early intervention and self-care, shifting the focus from the acute end
  • Matches service need to consumer need
  • Access to a broader range of services which are targeted to meet individual need
  • Offering a full suite of services from low intensity to high intensity
  • Expands the use and knowledge of digital platforms
  • Reduces the level of over or under servicing of people
    Empowering GPs to assess patients and refer them to the right service

Within stepped care there are some core components:

  • Separating out (or stratifying as government would say) of the population into differing groups of need
  • Understanding and defining what an intervention looks like for each group. This is an important step because a person’s needs may not require any formal intervention
  • Development of a comprehensive suite services which have a strong evidence base and can respond to all needs
  • Making sure that the service types match treatment and needs of each group

Related information

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Get in touch with our mental health team

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