16 January 2023
Mind Australia and Beyond Blue will continue their partnership to provide counselling and other support services for people experiencing mental health and wellbeing challenges around Australia.
The partnership was formed to deliver the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service – a free online service to help people aged 18-90 to manage their mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The service provided important fast access to mental health support for people throughout the pandemic but, last November, as demand for pandemic related services decreased, the service merged with The Beyond Blue Support Service – Beyond Blue’s existing and primary phone, website and online service.
Beyond Blue Chief Services Officer Robyn Hunter said the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service was integrated into the Beyond Blue Support Service at the end of 2023 after a significant decrease in COVID related concerns.
“As concern about COVID-19 has declined, the number of contacts to the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service has reduced to less than one per cent of total calls to Beyond Blue, with depression and anxiety the more prevailing concern,” Ms Hunter said.
“While the dedicated website and 1800 number has been decommissioned people can continue to get the same level of support for pandemic concerns at the Beyond Blue Support Service and the Beyond Blue website.”
Due to the effectiveness of the partnership between Mind and Beyond Blue, Mind will continue to provide short-term support for people contacting the Beyond Blue Support Service, including up to five counselling sessions provided via Telehealth or video call.
Mind also provides clients with information regarding local support services so they can continue to be supported to maintain their mental health and wellbeing in the longer term.
This service is delivered by a multidisciplinary team that includes occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers and counsellors.
Practice Lead Brylee Hemming said Mind staff have supported more than 1,000 clients referred from Beyond Blue struggling with their mental health for a variety of reasons, including:
- Anxiety and depression
- Interpersonal challenges
- Lack of access to supports
- Physical health challenges
- Alcohol and other drug use
- Gambling addiction.
“When people are referred on to Mind from The Beyond Blue Support Service it’s often their first time reaching out for support, so being able to be with someone at the start of their mental health and recovery journey, and showing them that it’s normal and okay to need support is one of the most special things about my job,” Ms Hemming said.
“Our staff have differing backgrounds so we can match clients with the appropriate clinicians so they can get the most out of the service.”
Mind CEO Gill Callister said the Beyond Blue partnership was another example of how mental health support services were able to adapt and respond to demand as a result of the pandemic.
“The pandemic has challenged us all in different ways, but it’s great to see some silver linings emerge, including recognition for how valuable services like Mind’s partnership with Beyond Blue can be,” Ms Callister said.
“Together, we have been able to deliver early intervention-based support to people all over Australia and reduce the need for acute support later on when things may have deteriorated significantly.
Mind’s customer satisfaction analysis shows that clients referred by Beyond Blue have a positive experience with the service, with almost 90 per cent of clients agreeing or strongly agreeing that their needs were met, they felt safe and listened to, and support was delivered in an appropriate timeframe.
For more information on the Beyond Blue Support Service call 1300 224 336 or visit Beyond Blue.
If you would like more information about Mind, please contact us via Mind Connect or phone: 1300 286 463.
If this article raises concerns for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Aboriginal and Torres Straits 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.