Psychological Treatment Services in Residential Aged Care Homes


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 Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) commissioned 2 providers 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.

Better Place Australia delivers services to residents of aged care homes located in the north part of the NWMPHN region, encompassing these local government areas: Darebin, Hume, Merri-bek, Yarra, Melbourne, and Macedon Ranges (Gisborne part*).

APMHA Healthcare delivers services to residents of aged care homes located in the west part of the NWMPHN region, encompassing these local government areas: Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Melton, Maribyrnong, Moonee Valley, Wyndham, and Moorabool (Bacchus Marsh part*).

*Some parts of the Macedon Ranges and Moorabool local government areas are outside the NWMPHN region and so are not included in this program. View a map of our region here.

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 Behavior 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.

How to refer

To refer a resident located in the north, or enquire about Better Place Australia’s service, please contact:

Rhonda Withers
P: (03) 9556 5333

To refer a resident located in the west, or enquire about APMHA Healthcare’s service, please contact:

P: 1300 514 811 option 2


This activity is aimed at addressing the mental health needs for residents in aged care homes.

Expected outcomes include:

  • provision of services within a stepped care framework
  • collaborative implementation of the program, with aged care providers and other key stakeholders, including residents and family members
  • provision of equitable and effective services, enabling access for all aged care residents in the NWMPHN catchment
  • matching services with locally developed and agreed assessment and referral arrangements.

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.

Note: Better Place Australia delivered this program from June 2020. APMHA Healthcare joined in June 2023. This page will be updated with further outcomes once known.

Services involved