Healthy Minds

Here at Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) a large part of our work is dedicated to supporting and improving the mental health of people living throughout our region.

We have initiated many advances in mental health support and services for our communities. However, we recognise this work is ongoing. That’s why, we continue working with primary health care professionals and people living in our region to identify and develop further opportunities to provide the right mental health care when and where it is needed.

Please note: the information on this page is for general use only. For medical or clinical advice, individuals should consult their GP or contact one of the services listed below.

  • LifeLine – Tel: 13 11 14
  • BeyondBlue – Tel: 1300 224 636
  • In case of an emergency, always call 000 (triple zero)

Looking after your mental health

Preventative care not only keeps your body healthy but can also support good mental health.

Your mental health can be impacted by various events or conditions. Taking proactive steps to maintain your mental health can often minimise the effects of stressful or difficult situations.

Here are a few good resources:

Mental health support

We understand there is no single or universal approach to helping people chart their mental health journey. Therefore, WVPHN works with primary health care providers using various mental health care models to suit different people in varying situations.

Speak with your doctor or allied health provider about which model may best meet your personal needs.


STEPMI – or Services and Treatment for Enduring and Persistent Mental Illness – are designed for people with severe and complex mental health illness to improve the coordination of the care they receive.

The STEPMI model is available to people living in western Victoria who do not have other appropriate mental health services available to them. It brings together an individual’s various primary health care providers including mental health nurses, allied health professionals and social workers.

A referral from a GP, paediatrician or private psychiatrist is required to access this support model.

Psychosocial supports

Psychosocial support programs are available to residents throughout western Victoria who are not already part of the NDIS or a public mental health service.

This model of support engages people with lived experience alongside qualified mental health professionals to offer various measures for helping reduce the impact of an individual’s mental illness and improve their daily lives.

These support services are usually provided for no more than 12 months and often include a mix of individual and group activities on weekends or after hours.

Ballarat Goldfields psychosocial support services

Geelong Otway and Great South Coast psychosocial support services

Wimmera Grampians psychosocial support services

Psychological therapy services

Psychological therapy services (PTS) are in place for people with mild to moderate mental illness and people who have attempted or are a risk of suicide or self harm.

This support is available to people who would otherwise face barriers to using mainstream treatment services due to low income, living in a rural or remote location, or who are part of a hard-to-reach demographic.

An individual’s treating GP, paediatrician or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health clinician can refer them for consideration for the PTS model.

Mental health services

General services

Ballarat Goldfields

Geelong Otway

Great South Coast

Wimmera Grampians

Last modified: 21 December, 2021

For World Suicide Prevention Day 2019, we spoke with WVPHN clinical spokespeople Dr Amy Litras and Dr Anne Stephenson about the first steps for supporting a loved one in distress.