People with complex mental health issues in the Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network are set to benefit from Australia’s first digital and telephone service that provides ongoing mental health support designed specifically for them.

Developed and delivered by national complex mental health organisation SANE, this new guided service will support people with issues like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or OCD. The service is also built for the autistic community and those with intellectual disability seeking mental health support.

Participants from Yeppoon to Sunshine Coast will have their own personalised programs of online or over the phone counselling and peer support activities, such as online community forums, social groups and art sessions – all via a new digital participant portal. 

CEO at SANE, Rachel Green, says this free service will provide people in this area with critical support currently on waiting lists for clinical services.  

“The service we are launching builds on 36 years of experience in complex mental health – people have told us what they need and we understand the unique set of challenges they face,” says Ms Green. 

“Just months after the devastating floods in this region, mental health support is more important than ever.

“People in our guided service will have access to counselling, peer support, group activities and health information, all through a best-in-class digital platform designed for them to easily access what they need, when they need it.”

As part of an Australian Government-funded pilot, Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network is one of five Primary Health Networks in Australia where people can join the service through a health professional referral or self-referral. 

“We know thousands need a support service that is more than a one-off counselling session; people need a service that provides continuity and connects them to others who can help make sense of what they’re going through and support them through tough times,” continued Ms Green. 

“When a person is referred, they are welcomed, befriended and supported in a way that works for them and their recovery. And, in an Australian-first, we are providing much-needed ongoing support over a period of weeks or months, including welcoming participants to our online communities.” 

SANE is the leading national mental health organisation for people with persistent, recurring or complex mental health issues and trauma. It provides a range of free digital and telehealth services to support them and their families. 

Led by the voices of its community, SANE drives change to improve the lives of those living with complex mental health and end stigma and discrimination. 

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