Taking a regional approach to wellbeing

In November 2019, we launched the Planning for Wellbeing year one implementation report, presenting a summary of progress and key achievements against objectives and actions in Planning for Wellbeing – A Regional Plan for North Brisbane and Moreton Bay focusing on mental health, suicide prevention and alcohol and other drug treatment services (2018–2023).

Some of those achievements included the establishment of a carer stakeholder group; engaging organisations to guide and drive activities for some of our most vulnerable populations; and establishing three new integrated mental health service hubs in the region.

We also launched the Planning for Wellbeing website to act as a digital accompaniment to the regional plan. The website provides a dedicated space to locate information and resources relevant to the plan and a place to track and witness the milestones achieved in real time.

The site contains a wealth of information about the plan, including useful links and resources, and stories summarising our achievements as we implement the plan.

Consumers and carers

Nothing about us without us



The PHN committed to our continued engagement with people with a lived experience by creating an additional part-time Project Officer position to support the Lived Experience Engagement Coordinator. This team actively supports the PHN and commissioned services to embed lived experience engagement in all of the work we do and more recently to promote the development of the peer workforce.

Highlights and initiatives of the PPIMS network during 2019/20 include:

  • adapting and maintaining continuity through virtual options to stay connected and keep a ‘collective voice’ during the pandemic
  • the establishment and continuation of communities of practice for peer workers
  • funding scholarships to attend or present at state, national and international conferences to showcase our regional activities
  • the recruitment of PPIMS members; who are represented in all levels of governance and who monitor the progression of our regional plan.

The PHN secured a three year contract to chair and project manage the National PHN Mental Health Lived Experience Engagement Network (MHLEEN). This project works with all 31 PHNs to build the capacity of PHNs, enabling them to create an enhanced operational environment that supports lived experience and co-design within commissioning mental health and suicide prevention services.

Dr Leanne Geppert, Executive Director of the Queensland Mental Health Commission; Mr Ivan Frkovic, Queensland Mental Health Commissioner; Dr Louise Byrne, RMIT University; Deb Pratt, Manager at Queensland Mental Health Commission; Eschleigh Balzamo, General Manager at Brook RED; Paula Arro, Lived Experience Engagement Coordinator, Brisbane North PHN.

Services meet local needs

The PHN has commissioned an expanded range of mental health, suicide prevention and alcohol and other drug treatment services in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region.

Brief therapy psychological services provide entry-level mental health support

95,000 adults living in the region will experience mild levels of psychological distress and could benefit from accessing a brief therapy psychological service.

The PHN funds a number of organisations to deliver brief therapy psychological services via phone, online, groups or one-to-one as a less intense alternative to individual sessions with a psychologist for people with or at risk of mild mental illness. During 2019/20, 1,321 people in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay area accessed these brief therapy services.

Achieving wellbeing through the optimal health and wise choices program

Neami National’s Optimal Health and Wise Choices Programs are group and individual programs that help people improve their wellbeing.

The programs takes a holistic approach to wellbeing; exploring the roles that the areas of social, emotional, physical, spiritual or values, engagement and intellectual play in our everyday lives.

72 people were supported to improve their mental wellbeing as part of the Optimal Health Program in 2019/20.

Culturally responsive approaches to problems

Problem Management Plus is purpose built for culturally and linguistically diverse communities. It’s a structured program of sessions with a Peer Support Worker and Cultural Support Worker

78 people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds participated in Problem Management Plus during 2019/20.

Coaching people on the path to wellness

NewAccess is an early intervention program developed by Beyond Blue to support people experiencing low-level anxiety and depression. In our region, it’s delivered by Richmond Fellowship Queensland (RFQ).

Launched in July 2017, it’s designed to help people identify their problems, set practical goals and get their lives back on track.

In the 12 months to June 2020, RFQ supported 529 people in the region via the NewAccess program.

Postnatal wellbeing program recognises that life isn’t always peachy

The Sunshine Parenting Program is a six-week postnatal wellbeing program for mothers who are struggling with their mental health, facilitated by Peach Tree Perinatal Wellness Inc and funded by Brisbane North PHN.

109 people were supported by the PHN to access the Sunshine Parenting Program during 2019/20.

Mid-level support for people who need it most


Providing therapy to disadvantaged target populations

The Brisbane MIND program provides psychological therapy and wrap around integrated services to identified target population groups who have moderate mental illness and are financially disadvantaged. The aim of the program is to reduce psychological distress and improve wellbeing to eligible clients.

771 people received a Brisbane MIND service during 2019/20.

Supporting mental wellbeing for children and young people



Services that are responsive to the needs of children and young people

Our health needs assessment recognises that the prevalence of mental health issues has increased over the last five years, particularly among younger residents of the region. That’s why we fund a range of local service providers to support children and young people who otherwise may not have access to services.

Brisbane North PHN funded 5,281 services for children and young people during 2019/20.


Brisbane MIND4KiDS helps respond to distress early, before it escalates

Brisbane MIND4KiDS is designed for vulnerable and disadvantaged families across North Brisbane. The service provides psychological therapy and wrap around support to children and their families, at no cost.

Brisbane MIND4KiDS is offered across Brisbane North by two providers: Stride and yourtown.

631 children and their families were supported via Brisbane MIND4KiDS during 2019/20.


Helping young people with their head space

Our region is home to four headspace centres – Caboolture, Nundah, Redcliffe and Taringa. Each centre is run by a local consortium of service providers, funded through Brisbane North PHN. A fifth headspace centre in Strathpine is due to open in December 2020.

During 2019/20, these headspace centres provided individual counselling, therapy and group programs for 4,522 young people across the region. This year also saw additional funding allocated to headspace centres to deliver an enhanced service model, providing support that is more intensive to young people with complex mental health difficulties.


A clinical model, attached to a drop-in youth service

Asha works across Moreton Bay north, in the high-needs areas of Redcliffe, Deception Bay, North Lakes and Caboolture. The Hindu word for hope, Asha offers services through a combination of mobile outreach, home visits, centre-based appointments and drop-in facilities.

The service offers clinical treatment and psychosocial support for young people with mental illness, complex problems and suicidal ideation and in 2019/20, supported 128 local young people.

Therapeutic programs for aged care residents

The Change Futures Psychology in Aged Care Wellbeing Program places mental health professionals in residential aged-care facilities to provide therapeutic programs for groups and individuals.

During 2019/20, Change Futures supported 828 older people as part of the psychological therapies program, which commenced in January 2019.

Mental health hubs for the region

The PHN supported the establishment of three new integrated mental health service hubs to support people with severe mental illness; integrating a range of clinical and non-clinical supports within the one service including care coordination (mental health nursing), psychological therapies and psychological support.

The Recovery and Discovery Centre, the Living and Learning Centre and Stride Hub Caboolture (formally Floresco Caboolture) rolled out from 1 July 2019 after a competitive expression to tender process, with 897 people receiving support in 2019/2020.

Stigma-free support for alcohol and other drugs

Our region is home to a wide variety of services for people seeking support with alcohol and other drugs – ranging from residential rehabilitation and withdrawal programs through to brief therapy counselling and other talk-based therapies.

Supporting the supporters

QNADA (the Queensland Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies) provides representation and support to the alcohol and other drugs treatment and harm reduction sector.

Brisbane North PHN provides funding to QNADA to support the development of the alcohol and other drug sector both locally and to enhance sector connections across the state.

During 2019/20 this included the delivery of a service integration and workforce development project, which aims to support the alcohol and other drug workforce through activities that promote joined up assessment processes, referral pathways, and support continuous quality improvement, evidence based treatment and service integration.


Supporting young people

Brisbane Youth Service (BYS) offers a range of services for young people from its Fortitude Valley hub. It provides young people with housing services, emergency relief, health care, counselling, advocacy and support. Brisbane North PHN funds BYS’s alcohol and other drug use program.

During 2019/20, PHN-funded services delivered by BYS supported 3,713 young people.


A stable place to recover

The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Alcohol and Drug Dependence Service (QAIAS) is primarily a residential rehab that’s home to around 28 people at a time, all on their own treatment journey, and all committed to abstinence for the duration of their stay. QAIAS also offers outreach services to vulnerable people experiencing problematic substance use and mental health concerns.

Brisbane North PHN provides funding for a mental health nurse and GP to connect QAIAS clients with primary healthcare and undertake outreach to those who might not otherwise access services.

During 2019/20, these practitioners supported 1,729 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Minimising harm, without judgement

We provide funding that allows Lives Lived Well to offer frontline services at Deception Bay, Caboolture, Redcliffe and Strathpine – through individual counselling, group programs, withdrawal support, outreach, non-residential rehabilitation, and wrap-around mental health support.

During 2019/20, Lives Lived Well supported 2,301 people in the region.


Holistic health care for people who use illicit drugs

Queensland Injectors Health Network (QuIHN) is a statewide program that offers a full range of health services in our region, including a needle and syringe program, peer education and information, medical services with on-site GPs, on-site counselling, group work and health outreach services.

During 2019/20 via their harm minimisation framework, QuIHN provided 4,974 sessions to people in our region.

Finding your way back

Expanded support offers a way back after attempting suicide

The Way Back Support Service helps people who have made a suicide attempt or those experiencing a suicidal crisis. Redcliffe Hospital is the first Queensland service to trial The Way Back, developed by Beyond Blue.

In March 2019, the Australian Government announced an additional $1.2 million to expand Brisbane North PHN’s service, which is delivered by Richmond Fellowship Queensland and during 2019/20 the service supported 230 clients. Supported by joint funding from the Australian Government and Queensland Government, The Way Back will expand to include the Caboolture region from July 2020.

National Suicide Prevention Trial

A local approach to suicide prevention

Brisbane North PHN is one of the 12 trial sites around the country taking part in the trial, with work in the region targeted towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, LGBTIQ+ people and men aged 24-54 years of age.

The trial within the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region is guided by the Black Dog Institute’s LifeSpan Model, which combines strategies for suicide prevention into one community-led approach incorporating health, education, frontline services, business and the community.

This year as part of the trial, mental health and resilience programs were rolled out in high schools across the region. Within the wider community suicide prevention training was provided for front line workers and community members.

Also within schools, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural programs have provided students with opportunities to reconnect with culture, while programs to support LGBTIQ+ students have helped connect young people to services and a support network.

The Talking Heals campaign, launched in February 2020, was designed in consultation with LGBTIQ+, Sistergirl and Brotherboy communities and assists in telling the stories of those with lived experiences of suicide, while also guiding community members into care pathways.

Also part of the trial, the Mateship Matters program aims to address suicide prevention for young to middle-aged men and the inaugural general awareness training, launched in December 2019.

PHN staff joined Queensland Council for LGBTI Health staff, as well as campaign artists and supporters at the Talking Heals launch in February 2020.


During 2019/20, 4 general awareness training sessions were delivered to 86 participants with 5 participants also completing the connector training.

So many reasons to stay

The PHN’s dedicated suicide prevention campaign, Reasons to Stay, has continued to rollout over the last year with regular promotion of the campaign videos on social media.

The accompanying website provides information about accessing face-to-face services or telephone support in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region and is regularly updated to ensure communities are provided with current information to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Helping to navigate services

My Mental Health Service Navigation

The My Mental Health Service Navigation team provides information about mental health, suicide prevention and alcohol and other drug treatment services in our region.

The My Mental Health Service Navigation team also support health professionals, consumers and carers making a referral to PHN commissioned services.

During 2019/20, the My Mental Health Service Navigators received total of 1,534 phone enquiries and 250 online enquiries.

Over 130 practices in the region now have Redicase GP Integrator installed and 53 per cent of all Brisbane MIND referrals between January and June 2020 were eReferrals.


Connecting communities to primary care