Psychological Treatment Services in Residential Aged Care Facilities


29 June 2020 – current

Funding Amount:




Melbourne Macedon Ranges Yarra Moonee Valley Darebin Maribyrnong Hobsons Bay Wyndham Brimbank Moorabool Melton Hume Merri-bek


With funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) commissioned Better Place Australia to deliver a free, low to medium intensity psychological treatment service for aged care residents.  

The service is for residents who are experiencing (or at risk of) mild to moderate mental illness. This may include residents who: 

  • require support to adjust to life in residential aged care 
  • experience grief, depression, anxiety, phobia or other mild to moderate conditions  
  • live with pre-existing mental health conditions that do not require ongoing or intensive support through psychogeriatric services. 

How to refer 

To enquire or refer to the service, please contact: 

Rhonda Withers 

P: (03) 9556 5333 


Referrals can be made by the resident’s GP, or a registered nurse of the facility, with the consent of the resident (or their next of kin).  

Once a referral is received, Better Place Australia will contact the residential aged care home to coordinate an appointment for the resident.  

More information is available on the Better Place Australia website. 

Service delivery 

Supports are delivered by experienced mental health practitioners and can be accessed by phone, telehealth, or face to face (when possible and safe to do so). 

Supports can be provided on an individual basis or through group sessions with other residents if appropriate.  

Supports may be suitable for some residents with dementia, but are not an alternative to the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) for residents who are experiencing changes in behaviour that affect their care or carers. DBMAS can be contacted for advice or to make a referral on 1800 699 799. 


Between August 2020 and April 2023 the service has:

  • received 1,273 referrals for 1,085 residents 
  • delivered 5,980 sessions  
  • embedded ‘computers on wheels’ units to improve access to telehealth in 12 aged care homes (which were determined to be the most appropriate for this type of mental health care) 
  • collaborated with Swinburne University’s older persons unit to develop group therapy modules specifically for aged care residents.

Services involved