A new step in Mentis Assist’s mission for better mental health

Offering a new Mental Health ‘Stepped Care’ Service for people of all ages, Mentis Assist is being funded by the Federal Government through the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) to deliver a range of specialised mental health services to individuals living or working in the Knox, Maroondah and Yarra Ranges areas.

The Stepped Care Service will provide mental health support for individuals who might not have been able to afford or access similar care previously.

Services will include group and individual psychological intervention, suicide prevention services, care coordination, dual diagnosis services, and online support.

As the needs of individuals with mental health disorders often change as their circumstances change, individuals will be provided with the flexibility to ‘step up’ or ‘step down’ their support depending on their needs at any given time.

Mental health clinicians, including psychologists, mental health nurses, and social workers will assess needs, and collaborate closely with consumers, carers/families and other care team members to develop tailored collaborative care plans

Mentis Assist CEO, Terry Palioportas, said the service will help those who have slipped through the cracks due to disadvantage.

“There are many who have not been able to access services due to socio-economic factors, who will now be able to receive local, personalised care to help them on their road to recovery and wellbeing,” said Mr Palioportas.

The Mental Health Stepped Care Service started in July, coordinated from Mentis Assist’s new Ringwood office on Maroondah Highway, which opened at an official launch event on May 17th. Attendees included members of Mentis Assist’s executive team including Terry Palioportas, Mark Smith, Director of Services, Stephen John, Clinical Program Manager and key staff from EMPHN including Robin Whyte, CEO, Anne Lyon, Executive Director, and Emma Newton, Manager of System Redesign and Service Transition.

Further offices will be opened as needs are identified, making the Mental Health Stepped Care Serviced more accessible to those living in Melbourne’s Outer East.

Referrals to the Mental Health Stepped Care service can be made directly to Mentis Assist on 1300 MENTIS (1300 636 847) or Eastern Melbourne PHN (EMPHN) Referral and Access Team on 9800 1071.

Referrals can also be made in person or in writing. Written referrals can be made using the EMPHN Mental Health Stepped Care Model Referral Form and sent via secure fax to Mentis Assist on 5970 5005.

For GPs, Medical Director and Best Practice versions of the referral form are available from the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network website www.emphn.org.au.

Mentis Assist is a registered NDIS provider and has been providing specialised mental health support for over 30 years.  Find out more about its services at mentisassist.org.au

To learn more about the Mental Health Stepped Care Service visit emphn.org.au/mh-steppedcare

Pictured: Mentis Assist chief executive Terry Palioportas, Deakin federal Liberal MP Michael Sukkar and EMPHN chief executive Robin Whyte holding the 4 yellow figures which represent 4 out of 10 people who have experienced a mental health issue. 

Picture: Stuart Milligan