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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Mental health program offers community-based support across South Eastern NSW region

People experiencing mental ill-health will benefit from increased access to community-based support, thanks to renewed funding made available by COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN. Ms Dianne Kitcher, CEO of COORDINARE said, "We are delighted to have partnered with four organisations – Flourish Australia, Neami National, One Door Mental Health and The Disability Trust – to deliver the revamped Commonwealth Psychosocial Support (CPS) Program across our region. “This program is designed for adults aged 16-65 who have a severe or complex mental health condition and provides a range of services to help people manage daily activities, rebuild and maintain connections, build social skills and participate in education and employment,” she said. CPS is a free service for people who are not currently receiving NDIS support and is provided by highly trained peer support workers (workers with prior lived experience of mental ill-health) and other mental health workers. “As well as psychosocial supports, peer workers can assist with service navigation (finding supports) or provide help with psychosocial NDIS applications. We understand that this will be particularly helpful to many people in our region who are impacted by severe or complex mental health issues,” she said. Generally, people will be supported through the program for 3-6 months and will also be assisted to connect with appropriate longer-term services, such as the NDIS. Peer support workers with the CPS program, Veronica and Callum (not their real names), said the concept of community-based support is proving very successful. "A participant said she now feels safe enough to start exploring with her support person what else she thinks she might need. She is looking forward to possibly accepting her trauma and hopes that she will be able to overcome it, instead of letting it hold her back." (Veronica) "A participant felt he had been let down by close personal contacts at a time when he most needed support with low self-esteem and disillusionment. To start with, as I explained more about psychosocial support, I found he had a strong social conscience, he was well informed and had a well-developed understanding of environmental matters. We worked on helping him feel positive about how he was able to engage and contribute to society while on his recovery journey.” (Callum). Support is available through the SE NSW PHN region from Flourish (1300 779 270) in Goulburn, Queanbeyan, Ulladulla, Wollongong, Neami (02 4226 3277) in Kiama, Shellharbour, Wollongong, One Door (1800 843 539) in Moruya, Nowra, Wollongong and The Disability Trust (1300 347 224) in Bega, Batemans Bay, and Cooma. The CPS program accepts GP referrals and self-referrals. Contact the service nearest to you or for more information about Commonwealth Psychosocial Support or call Head to Health on 1800 595 212 to be connected with mental health services in your area that most appropriately meet your individual situation. In addition to the main program, COORDINARE is also funding a round of CPS Community Grants. Applications are open until 24th April 2022. More information is available at

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