Mental Health

Good mental health is fundamental to the wellbeing of individuals, their families and the population as a whole. Mental health disorders including anxiety, depression and substance misuse are estimated to affect almost half of Australians aged 16-85 throughout their life¹. The prevalence of adults reporting high or very high psychological distress was higher than state average (13%) in 2014 across Mitchell (15%) and Murrindindi (16%) Shires, and rates of suicide are higher in regional Victoria and amongst the Aboriginal population².

In December 2018, the Lower Hume Primary Care Partnership (LHPCP) commissioned a review of access to mental health services across Mitchell and Murrindindi Shires to recommend ways to strengthen local mental health outcomes (Report available below). The project resulted in member organisations endorsing an Expanded Stepped Care Model which builds on the current stepped care model and provides a structured continuum of care from the well population to the acutely unwell population to improve:

  • The visibility and accessibility of mental health services in Lower Hume.
  • Integration of all mental health supports and mental illness services in Lower Hume.
  • Quality of care through a capability framework outlining scope of practice, workforce development and the introduction of a standard mental health risk assessment and referral process across Lower Hume.
  • Community understanding of why and how services are delivered.

The Lower Hume Mental Health Expanded Stepped Care Model Theory of Change outlines the activities and intended outcomes of integrating the mental health system through a shared model and processes.

For further information please contact Bec Southurst on rebecca.southurst@lhpcp.org.au or 03 5793 6331

Reports and Documents

¹ Department of Health and Human Services, (2016), Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Outcomes Framework, Victorian Government: Melbourne. ² Department of Health and Human Services, (2014), Victorian Population Health Survey, Victorian Government: Melbourne.

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