Help for anxiety and mild depression in Canberra

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THE Capital Health Network (CHN) is encouraging Canberrans who feel they may have mild to moderate depression or anxiety to seek free assistance through the CHN NewAccess program.

Network Chair Dr Martin Liedvogel says NewAccess is a free early intervention program which provides quality services for locals with stress, anxiety or mild to moderate depression by specially trained coaches through face-to-face or telephone appointments.

“It’s important that mental health services are easily accessible to aid early intervention and encourage those less likely to seek support to access help,” Martin said.

“The real beauty of this program is that people can call NewAccess directly, without a GP referral. Over 80% of our clients have accessed the program this way. Many users of the program self-refer via promotion on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, or via the beyondblue website.

“Since commencing in October 2013, CHN’s NewAccess Program has provided free low-intensity mental health support to 1,311 Canberrans with mild to moderate depression or anxiety. Trained coaches have assisted them to set practical goals and helped them get back on track.

Today CHN will celebrate the graduation of four Access coaches. Flinders University has provided training and supervision of the coaches.

“The use of coaches in this program is a good example of the new type of workforce suggested by the Department of Health. The coaches provide low intensity services within a primary mental health care stepped service model,” Martin said.

beyondblue developed, commissioned and piloted the program in three sites, including Capital Health Network in the ACT. NewAccess is funded by Movember and beyondblue.

Clients can be referred by their GP or they can call the program directly on 02 6287 8066.

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