Connecting people with the right support

We have taken the opportunity to deliver innovative services across the stepped care model.

With programs across 15 different Primary Health Networks (PHNs), we have consolidated our understanding of the ‘pilot’ style to commissioning programs.

We know that while this short-term approach brings a unique set of challenges, it affords us the opportunity to develop new ways of doing things to meet the specific needs of target populations.

Suicide prevention through connection

SPconnect was developed with the Central and Eastern Sydney PHN to provide aftercare support for people following hospitalisation for a suicide attempt or suicidal crisis.

Delivered in partnership with St Vincent’s Hospital, Prince of Wales Hospital and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, SPconnect staff work within each hospital to facilitate referrals and fast track access and connect people to local community support.

By partnering with local hospitals, SPconnect meets people at a crucial point in their recovery, ensuring that they have access to the right mix of services to assist a successful transition back into the community and to prevent suicide.

With staff working with three hospitals and in the community, the service has overcome the complexities of working across organisations through a collaborative and iterative process, including ongoing consultation with consumers.

By bringing a recovery focus, including the recruitment of staff with lived experience of suicidality, we are developing an intervention-targeted approach.

Early intervention for young people

YFlex operates in the north of Melbourne for young people aged from 12-25 who are facing significant barriers to accessing mental health services. Access is targeted to include people who are from diverse backgrounds, are geographically isolated or have a lack of service options.

Working with the Eastern Melbourne PHN we developed the program to deliver recovery-focused support, with integrated clinical care.

YFlex focuses on early intervention for young people who are hard to reach, minimising the interruption to young people’s development and community participation.

By building strong and trusting relationships, including a vibrant peer work component, the program supports engagement with education, employment, leisure, family and social connections.

The service also reconnects people with mainstream health, mental health and community support as soon as they are ready.

‘Recovery would mean to let go of these past things that have happened in my life and keep me stuck in that headspace.’


‘My old school put me in touch with YFlex. They got in contact with me because I was going through a bit of a rough spot. I wanted to get out of it and the only way to do it was to get help from other people. I’ve never gone out of my way to do anything like that before. It was weird to get used to, talking about it, but definitely worth it.

‘Not wanting to believe I had mental health issues, I didn’t try to fix anything and ignored those feelings. I couldn’t control it and I needed some help. I’ve been going there for seven or eight months.

‘Over time it’s gotten better. I just keep going to YFlex, and they’re so understanding of the situation, it has made it a lot easier to speak about things and not make it so awkward.

‘The social worker helped me get in contact with my old dentist and is also helping me with my back. I know that I should go see the doctor and get my teeth fixed and whatnot but it’s a lot harder for some reason to do it by yourself than when there is someone there to be supportive of the decision I’m making. It’s good to know that someone cares.’

Blake is supported by Neami YFlex in Victoria.

Streamlined access to mental health services

Our Connect to Wellbeing service is working with Northern Queensland PHN and local mental health services to facilitate a transition to the new stepped care model of service delivery. For people who would have previously accessed ATAPS (Access to Allied Psychological Services), we are providing a single point of entry and delivering a streamlined approach. We have seen our participation in the new model reduce waiting times and offer a more supported consumer experience for people in northern Queensland.

Offering intake, assessment, triage and referrals from offices in Mackay, Cairns and Townsville, our clinicians manage referrals from GPs and primary health teams across the enormous geographic region.

Using a person-centred approach to determine an individual’s needs, Connect to Wellbeing clinicians refer consumers to the most relevant and available local support services.

Meeting with GPs and primary health teams across the region and tapping into existing networks has helped Neami to develop our processes and refine our approach to providing streamlined access to services.

We will continue to listen to, and work closely with GPs and primary health teams as we broaden our offerings and bring more services and regions online.