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Mental Health campaign to help people in rural and regional communities 'get back on track'

September 17, 2018


Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN has today launched a campaign promoting free, confidential mental health programs available in the Darling Downs and West Moreton region to help people ‘get back on track’.

The programs, funded by the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN through the Australian Government’s PHN Program, offer short-term support to people aged 18 and over experiencing mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression and can be accessed face-to-face, over the phone, online and/or through group sessions.

Anyone can self-refer into the programs with no diagnosis or Mental Health Treatment Plan needed.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN Chief Executive Officer, Merrilyn Strohfeldt, said low intensity mental health services funded by the PHN aimed to provide easily accessible mental health support at no cost.

“This campaign acknowledges that we all need a little extra support from time to time to help us ‘get back on track’ and we want people in our community to know that they are not alone and that there is support available,” Ms Strohfeldt said.

“The benefit of our low intensity programs is that these services are free, available to anyone in the community and can be accessed remotely either online or by telephone, which is especially important for people living in our rural and regional communities.”

One of the programs highlighted in the campaign, NewAccess, offers early intervention mental health support providing people with the skills to identify and manage issues causing distress so they don’t hit psychological crises down the track. 

The mental health coaching program, developed by beyondblue, pairs people with a trained coach who works with them over six private sessions in person, by phone or video conference – whichever option is most suitable – to develop tailored recovery plans for their individual needs. 

beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said mental health support wasn’t always easy to access, especially for people living in rural areas and on low incomes. 

“It takes immense courage for people to put their hand up and ask for support, so we need to make that next step easier for them and ensure they get the support they need,” Ms Harman said. 

“NewAccess is free and easy to use, so it appeals to people who may otherwise be reluctant to seek support, such as men, older people and people in remote areas.” 

The NewAccess Program is available in each LGA in the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN and can be accessed by ringing 1300 971 309.

People in the region experiencing mild feelings of anxiety and/or depression can access more information about the free programs available in their area by visiting

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