Free digital mental health service for people with complex mental health issues 

In News by Jodie McHarry

A new, free digital mental health service is now available for people aged 18+ with complex mental health needs across the Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast region. 

SANE, a leading national mental health organisation for people with complex mental health issues and for the families and friends that support them, has been granted pilot funding from the Commonwealth Government to enhance their digital mental health services nationally. 

In partnership with selected Primary Health Networks (PHNs), including Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast PHN, the program will be rolled out with a scaled approach to referral intake from a wide range of local and national providers. 

The guided service targets people living with schizophrenia, complex trauma, psychosis, bipolar and borderline personality disorders, PTSD, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and eating disorders.  The service also caters for the autistic community and those with intellectual disability seeking mental health support. 

The service, co-designed with consumers and carers and in consultation with leading academics and service providers, offers participants peer support, counselling, art and social groups through a tailored and individual plan and aims to bridge the gaps in mental health and support recovery. 

Through the service, participants access counselling and peer-based support through telephone and video calls, webchat, emails and online forums. Participants are also provided with access to a digital participant portal. Through this secure online portal, participants can note their goals and appointments and easily access booking tools and other resources. Additional assistance is also provided through a support team who regularly assesses the individual’s plan, adjusting as required. 

Bess Jackson, Acting Manager – Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Central Queensland, Wide Bay Sunshine Coast PHN said, “we are pleased to be participating in the pilot program offering SANE’s guided digital mental health service to people with complex mental health needs in our community”.   

“The one-on-one contact with a peer support worker and personalised support plan will provide benefits for participants, including reduced waiting times for mental health support, improved recovery, increased social connectedness and an improved quality of life” she said. 

To access SANE’s free guided service a referral is required. Anyone can refer themselves, or a health professional, close family member, carer or local PHN can refer on an individual’s behalf. Participants must also meet specific eligibility requirements including residing in an eligible region, be aged over 18 years of age and be affected by complex mental health issues.  

Further information regarding this free digital mental health service, connecting participants with a dedicated team of mental health support professionals, can be found on the SANE website: