Centacare NQ

New Free Mental Health Program Launched In Mount Isa

Free mental health coaching service for Mount Isa and Cloncurry

A free mental health program is now available for residents of Mount Isa, Cloncurry and surrounding regions.

The program – NewAccess – launched in Mount Isa on Monday 26 February and is available to locals over 18 years who feel stressed, anxious or are struggling with work or personal life challenges.

NewAccess is funded by the Federal Government via the Western Queensland Primary Health Network (PHN) and delivered by Centacare North Queensland.

NewAccess is a unique support program that removes roadblocks, such as cost, remoteness and stigma, which often prevent people from reaching out for support.

It is a mental health coaching program that pairs clients with a trained professional. Over six free sessions, coaches work with clients and help them understand the issues triggering their distress.

NewAccess coaches are trained in Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and develop personal recovery plans for each client, giving them skills to manage their own mental health.

Clients can attend private coaching sessions in person or by phone, which ensures privacy and convenience – there is no need to drive long distances for appointments.

While a general practitioner can refer patients to NewAccess, a doctor’s referral is not required.

NewAccess is not a crisis service. It is an early intervention program designed to support people early and prevent potential crises down the track.

beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said NewAccess was a unique and inclusive support program that is available to all Australians, regardless of where they live or their financial status.

“Mental health is a crucial issue in our rural and remote areas. It’s unacceptable that some people can’t access support just because they live in regional or remote areas,” Ms Harman said.

“One of the best things about NewAccess is that it’s private and it’s convenient, which means it appeals to people who might otherwise be reluctant to reach out for help, such as men.”

Local social services organisation Centacare North Queensland has delivered NewAccess since November and has seen a strong level of interest from residents.

Centacare North Queensland Executive Director Peter Monaghan said the organisation was honoured to support beyondblue with implementation of the new program as a vital extension of its range of counselling and welfare services.

“Centacare NQ is pleased to be able to offer this essential program to residents of Mt Isa, Cloncurry and North West Queensland,” Mr Monaghan said.

“Our experience working across the community has shown the significant need to focus on mental health and support programs before challenges become critical.

“We look forward to working with beyondblue and the PHN to implement NewAccess for residents and provide a free and fundamental resource that allows people to restore a strong sense of self-worth for a hopeful future.”

NewAccess will also launch in Roma (February 22) and Longreach (February 28) to ensure rural and regional communities across Western Queensland have access to quality mental health support.

Between 2013-14 almost 700 people in Western Queensland were admitted to hospital for mental health related issues. Another 147 people were hospitalised after intentional self-harm incidents.

Western Queensland PHN CEO Stuart Gordon said the PHN was excited collaborate with beyondblue to bring this new, low-intensity service to communities in Mount Isa and surrounds.

“The availability of this service is going to enhance the efficacy of existing mental health services and provide a new opportunity for local clients to engage and become better informed about mental health as well as managing the early risks of the people around them,” Mr Gordon said.

“I applaud the commitment of Centacare NQ for its dedication to beyondblue and the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Institute to bring this program into our region. NewAccess coaches are drawing on clients’ instinctive capacity for individual resilience and the program integrates well with Western Queensland PHN’s stepped care approach.”

To register or to find out more about NewAccess Mount Isa contact Centacare NQ on 1300 NQCare or go here

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