Faces of SEMPHN: Meet the Psychosocial Support Services Team

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Psychosocial Support Services team

SEMPHN has commissioned support services for people with mental illness who are not eligible for other support programs like the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). These are called Psychosocial Support Services (PSS) and are managed by SEMPHN's PSS team. 

Meet the team:

As pictured above, left to right, Lauren, Salome, Sarah, Tess, Hui and Hannah (not pictured). 


Tell us in a nutshell, what your team does

Our team manage the contracts for the commissioned Psychosocial Support Service (PSS) programs within the SEMPHN region.

Psychosocial support refers to supports that address the interplay of psychological and social factors that impact on an individual’s functional capacity, health and wellbeing.

The programs within the team include:

  1. National Psychosocial Support (NPS) measure: Provides short-term psychosocial support services to consumers with severe mental illness, to increase their functional capacity. In addition, this program links consumers with clinical mental health services to complement their existing supports.

  2. NPS-Brokerage: Provides flexible psychosocial support through the use of brokerage in the Port Phillip, Stonnington, Bayside and Glen Eira.

  3. Continuity of Support (CoS): Provides long-term psychosocial support to consumers who were previously enrolled in the Partners in Recovery (PIR) and/or Personal Helpers and Mentors Service (PHaMs) and who are not eligible for NDIS.

  4. Transition Support Program (TSP): Provides psychosocial support to  consumers who were previously enrolled in PIR and/or PHaMs and who are currently in the process of testing eligibility for NDIS to be transitioned to NDIS or CoS for ongoing support.

We also have a consumer consultant, who liaises with consumers; delivers presentations with a focus on mental health and alcohol and other drugs programs that SEMPHN delivers and manages; consults on mental health reform; conducts stalls for Mental Health Week, and attends forums and consultations regarding the engagement of the lived experience workforce.

What are some of the backgrounds of the team?

We have a wonderfully diverse team with a variety of experience and backgrounds ranging from social work, occupational therapy, health promotion, public health, arts, sociology and lived experience of mental health.

Our passion, creativity and solution-focused approach makes us a dynamic and dedicated team that works both closely and collaboratively with mental health service providers within our region. This close partnership with providers ensures that best practice mental health support is delivered to all consumers with the highest level of care and safety.

What is the most rewarding part of your role(s)?

The most rewarding part of the role is combining everyone’s experience and expertise to ensure we remain holistic in our consideration of consumer and carer needs. This is demonstrated by seeing adults with complex mental health issues experience positive results in their recovery.

Another rewarding aspect of the roles is being able to identify gaps in the community mental health service system that informs SEMPHN's future planning and commissioning of services that meet these needs.

This ensures that the design, development and delivery of mental health programs are suited to the specific needs of the consumers whilst providing the appropriate levels of care and support.

Why is your team pivotal to the work of SEMPHN? 

Our team is a part of the broader service innovation team that oversees mental health programs which are informed by SEMPHN's Mental Health Stepped Care model. Our team play a crucial role in the management of psychosocial support services to ensure these complement existing mental health supports that consumers may be receiving, or to support new consumers of the mental health system. 

Talk us through a typical day for the PSS team

A day in the life of the PSS team involves a lot of chats, huddles, tea drinking and most importantly a collaborative work ethic to support the multiple programs within the PSS stream and contract management of 12 service providers. This comprises weekly liaison with providers, broader service innovation meetings and work with SEMPHN's Access & Referral team to support with referrals into the psychosocial programs. 

Tell us something that might surprise us about the team?

In addition to being passionate about the delivery of psychosocial supports, our team has highly attuned skills in acting, poetry (including four poetry awards), makeup artistry, wine aficionados and health and fitness.

What’s one thing the team would like people to know about the work you do?

Our team thrives on constructive feedback on how to always support the needs of consumers and carers in the programs that SEMPHN has commissioned. We are aware of the ever-changing needs of this cohort of individuals and are open to exploring new and innovative methods for improving models of care that are engaging and supporting for consumers.  


Find out more about Psychosocial Support Services

To refer to Psychosocial Support Services, get in touch with SEMPHN's Access & Referral team on 1800 862 363. 


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