21 November 2022
Victorians are experiencing significantly lower levels of psychological distress after receiving support from the Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs, according to new data from Mind Australia.
The network of Hubs was established by the Victorian government in 2021 in response to the increased need for immediate mental health support in the community created by the pandemic.
An evaluation conducted with clients of Mind-managed Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs has found that their mental health and wellbeing significantly improved. People who received support reported feeling significantly less sad, nervous and restless after accessing the service.
Mind Research and Evaluation Manager Dr Laura Hayes said the Kessler 10 measure of psychological distress (K-10) used in the research was an efficient and reliable way to assess someone’s mental distress.
“The Kessler 10 score is achieved by asking clients 10 questions about their levels and frequency of nervousness, agitation, psychological fatigue and depression when they first come to a service, and then asking the same questions at the end of their support,” Dr Hayes said.
“Individual responses range from all of the time (5) to none of the time (1), so the maximum total score is 50 (all of the time) and the minimum score is 10 (none of the time).”
The average score when people first accessed the Mind-managed Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs was 35, which is considered a very high level of distress.
“Our Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs data shows that on average clients are improving their psychological wellbeing by 18% and leaving the service with an average score of 28, which is a substantial change,” Dr Hayes said.
The biggest reported improvement areas for clients were feeling less sad (21% reduction), less nervous (24% reduction) and less restless (13% reduction).
“The Hubs are making a real difference in the community, and have removed a lot of the barriers to a very complex mental health system,” Mind Hubs Service Manager Rebecca Matheson Omondi said.
“Historically, people have had to be unwell before they can access mental health services, but people can access the Hubs directly for varying levels of mental health and wellbeing concerns.
“People come to the Hubs for a range of things; they can sit down and have a cup of tea and talk about things like what’s going on at home, their social isolation, or they can come to us for support to access a GP - the Hubs can help people experiencing mental health and wellbeing challenges to engage and connect with the long-term support services that they need.”
Mind-managed Hubs are now running in Wodonga, Wangaratta, Mansfield, Bendigo, Rochester Wyndham, Footscray (2), Abbotsford, Greensborough, Coburg, Reservoir, Cowes, Wonthaggi and Benalla.
About the Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs
The Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs are available to Victorians of all ages who have any mental health or wellbeing concerns.
The Hubs act as a ‘front door’ service to the mental health system. People can get support without any eligibility criteria or a referral from their GP.
Mind-managed Hubs provide a blend of face-to-face support in the community and at operational hubs and telehealth, in line with client preferences.
If this article raises concerns for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can also call 13 YARN (13 92 76) a 24/7 national crisis support telephone service staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.