Taking a refreshed regional approach to wellbeing

In 2020 we refreshed the 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 and it is now a Plan for 2020-2025. The vision of the Plan still remains: ‘A fair and inclusive Queensland where all people can achieve positive mental health and wellbeing and live lives with meaning and purpose.

Some of the achievements this year included holding a Regional Carers Expo; the auditing of the Queensland Council for LGBTI+ Health’s policies and programs against the Yellow Tick for intersex inclusivity; co-design to improve the health and wellbeing of consumers with mental health and/or alcohol and other drug issues; mental health awareness sessions with culturally and linguistically diverse populations and the establishment of volunteer peer navigators within the Bribie Island library.

A Psychological Therapies Partnership Group came together to drive implementation of Chapter 10. This newly formed multidisciplinary partnership has made progress towards increasing the sector and public’s understanding of different psychological therapy disciplines, and improving the evidence base for effective psychological therapies as part of the stepped care framework.

The Planning for Wellbeing website continues 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 continue to drive “Nothing about us without us”

The Peer Participation in Mental Health Services (PPIMS) network continued to provide opportunities for mental health system reform, co-design and capacity building opportunities for network members.

During 2020/21, PPIMS offered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health first aid training, community of practice group work for people in identified peer worker positions, and digital peer support dialogue training. Scholarships were also provided for network members to attend various mental health conferences.

In April 2021, PPIMS celebrated its 5th anniversary since inception. With nearly 300 members, PPIMS continues to remain a leading voice in mental health discussions.

The PHN continued 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.

Peer Participation in Mental Health Services (PPIMS) Network

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 evidence-based entry-level mental health support

Each year, almost 50,000 people in the region will experience mild levels of psychological distress and seek access to a suitable service. These people 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 alternative to individual sessions with a psychologist for people with or at risk of mild mental illness. During 2020/21, 582 people in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay area accessed these brief therapy psychological services.

Brief therapy

Health Matters Program helps local communities achieve wellbeing

Neami National’s Health Matters is a seven session group and individual program that helps people interested in developing strategies that explore their optimal health and wellbeing.

The program 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.

In 2020/21, 35 people were supported to improve their mental wellbeing as part of the Health Matters Program.

Culturally responsive approaches to problems

World Wellness Group—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.

71 people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds participated in Problem Management Plus during 2020/21.

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 2021, RFQ supported 388 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.

88 people were supported by the PHN to access the Sunshine Parenting Program during 2020/21.

Mid-level support for people who need it most


Supporting the transition into aged care

The Change Futures Psychology in Aged Care (PAC) Wellbeing Program places provisional psychologists and fully registered mental health professionals in residential aged-care facilities to provide low intensity therapeutic groups and individual psychological therapy services.

During 2020/21, Change Futures supported 568 older people living in residential aged care.

Change futures psychology

Providing therapy to vulnerable and 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.

In 2020/21 various targeted population groups were provided quality therapy across the Brisbane MIND Program. Services were delivered by the following providers:

  • Brisbane MIND Cultural and Linguistically Diverse Communities (CALD) was delivered by World Wellness Group to support 1,603 sessions with 192 clients
  • Brisbane MIND Suicide Prevention was delivered by Health4Minds (AT Psychology, All About Kids, Young Minds) to support 3,441 sessions with 452 clients
  • Brisbane MIND Trauma or Abuse was delivered by Health4Minds (AT Psychology, All About Kids, Young Minds), Axis Clinic to support 3,196 sessions with 394 clients
  • Brisbane MIND LGBTIQ+ was delivered by Queensland Council for LGBTI Health (QC) to support 1,923 sessions with 192 clients
  • Brisbane MIND Regional was delivered by Dr Sue Eaglesham (Bribie Island) and Rhonda Lawson (Kilcoy) to support 522 sessions with 79 clients.

A total of 1,445 people received a Brisbane MIND service during 2020/21.

Brisbane MIND program

Supporting mental wellbeing for children and young people


mental wellbeing for children & young people

Responding 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 4,667 services for children and young people during 2020/21, a 67 per cent increase compared to the previous year.


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.

259 children and their families were supported via Brisbane MIND4KiDS during 2020/21.


Helping young people with their head space

Headspace Strathpine opened in December 2020 which means our region is now home to five headspace centres – with others located at Caboolture, Nundah, Redcliffe and Taringa. Each centre is run by a local consortium of service providers, funded through Brisbane North PHN.

Given the increased demand for mental health services, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, headspace Strathpine will make an important contribution to mental health in an underserviced part of the Brisbane North PHN region.

During 2020/21, these headspace centres provided individual counselling, therapy and group programs for 3,999 young people across the region.


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 2020/21, supported 120 local young people.

Supporting people with chronic, long-term conditions

The PHN funds three integrated mental health service hubs to support adults 18 years and over with severe and/or complex mental illness who are experiencing significant challenges with daily life, wellbeing and function.

The hubs provide an integrated approach by delivering a range of clinical and non-clinical supports within the one service including care coordination (mental health nursing), psychological therapies and psychological support.

In 2020/21, 907 people received support from Communify’s Recovery and Discovery Centre, Neami’s Living and Learning Centre and the Stride Hub in Caboolture.


mental health service hubs

The Way Back Support Service

Expanded support offers a way back after a suicide attempt or crisis

The Way Back Support Service offers crucial support in the three months following a suicide attempt or suicidal crisis.

In 2017, Redcliffe Hospital was 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 local trial of the service. With the additional support of the Queensland Government, the service expanded to cover the Redcliffe and Caboolture regions in July 2020. The Way Back Support Service, which is delivered by Richmond Fellowship Queensland supported over 300 clients during 2020/21.

A second The Way Back Support Service, delivered by Communify in partnership with the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health and Brisbane Youth Service will commence in the inner-city region in 2021/22.

Way back support service

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 low-intensity counselling and other talk-based therapies.


Support for 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.

PHN-funded services delivered by BYS supported 251 young people during 2020/21.





A stable place to recover

The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Alcohol and Drug Dependence Service (QAIAS) is primarily a residential rehab that can support about 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 2020/21, these practitioners supported 55 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and an additional 26 non-indigenous people.


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 as well as enhancing sector connections across the state.

During 2020/21, this included the delivery of a workforce development project, which aims to support the alcohol and other drug workforce through providing access to clinical/practice supervision activities promoting enhanced support to frontline workers in the sector. In addition, QNADA coordinates regular Communities of Practice for practitioners and supervisors to assist in maintaining good collaboration between alcohol and other drugs treatment services.


Minimising harm, without judgement for those impacted by alcohol or drugs

The PHN provides 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 2020/21, Lives Lived Well supported 1,889 people in the region.


Holistic healthcare 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 2020/21 via their harm reduction framework, QuIHN provided services to 532 people in our region.

National Suicide Prevention Trial

National Suicide Prevention Trial – A local approach to suicide prevention

Brisbane North PHN was one of the 12 trial sites around the country to take part in the trial, with initiatives targeted towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people identifying as LGBTIQ+ and young to middle aged men.

The trial is guided by the Black Dog Institute’s LifeSpan Model, which combines strategies for suicide prevention into one community-led approach incorporating education of health professionals and community members, delivery of evidence based emergency and follow-up care, help-seeking and resilience building in schools and supporting general practice to identify and support people in distress.

The trial has now been completed, although funding to commission ongoing emergency and follow-up care and community and schools based initiatives will continue in 2021/22.

New My Mental Health website

After many months of consultation and design, the My Mental Health Service Navigation team launched a new My Mental Health website.

My Mental Health is a resource for consumers, carers, service providers and health professionals, which provides information about mental health, alcohol and other drugs and suicide prevention services in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region.

The new website is easier to navigate, more responsive and more user friendly than ever.

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, www.reasonstostay.com.au, 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.

Reasons to Stay supported the rollout of online suicide prevention training for members of the community and peer workers by housing the LivingWorks Start training program.

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, as well as supporting health professionals, consumers and carers making a referral to PHN commissioned services.

During 2020/21, the My Mental Health Service Navigators received a total of 1,725 enquiries. 59 per cent of all enquiries resulted in a referral into a PHN commissioned service, whilst the remainder were provided information, advice or referrals into other services within the region.

Over 140 practices in the region now have Redicase GP Integrator installed and 52 per cent of all Brisbane MIND referrals were eReferrals.

In total during 2020/21 a total of 1,645 referrals, across all mental health and AOD programs were processed through our Redicase eReferral tool. Encouragingly, the rate of eReferrals has continued to increase each month.


Connecting communities to primary care