Mental ill health can affect anyone at any time in their life. The type, intensity and duration of symptoms of mental health problems and illnesses can vary widely from person to person, ranging from low intensity anxiety or depression, to high intensity schizophrenia or bipolar disorders. Symptoms to do not always follow a regular pattern, and can be a one-off event or cause episodes over many years.

Mental health problems are prevalent across the North Western Melbourne region, with high rates of psychological distress in Brimbank, Darebin, Hume, Melbourne LGAs, and very high rates in Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay and Moorabool LGAs. Poor mental health can lead to lost income and productivity, and increase the risk of homelessness and disadvantage.

Supporting mental health

NWMPHN has long maintained its commitment to the mental health and well-being of those who live in its catchment through the delivery of CAREinMIND™ – Targeted Psychological Support Service (formerly ATAPS) and more recently, through its management of Intensive Support Service (formerly the Mental Health Nurse Service) and proposed stepped model of care.

We continue this commitment by building on the existing efforts and capacity of health and community agencies and individual mental health practitioners, through the provision of over $20 million in mental health and alcohol and other drugs funding, commencing in 2017-18.

NWMPHN looks to collaborative mental health care that is delivered by providers from different specialties, disciplines, and sectors working together to offer complementary services and mutual support to people with mental ill health. We work closely with consumers, carers, health professionals, hospitals, and community mental health providers to design creative and practical responses that address service system weaknesses and gaps identified in our catchment.

In 2017-18, the suite of programs and services managed by NWMPHN will focus on a mental health System of Care to support individuals who may require low intensity services, through to those who have expressed suicidal ideation.