Mental Health Service Integration Project


It is broadly agreed within the primary health sector that development of comprehensive multidisciplinary healthcare teams are the most effective way of meeting the needs of people living with complex mental health problems.

Central to this is strong engagement by and support from the local primary health care sector (including GPs, public and private allied health practitioners, NGO providers), mental health sector (Local Health District, NGOs, private practitioners and providers) and consumers, carers and community, towards models that enhance primary and mental health integration.

Sector Connect (a regional peak for Macarthur and Wingecarribee) has commenced a new project to improve the coordination of care for people with mental illness, particularly between the primary health care and mental health sectors locally.  The project, funded by South West Sydney PIR (Partners in Recovery), will implement a number of the recommendations in a report on Mental Health Service Integration across Macarthur and Wingecarribee developed by COPHE (Community-Owned Primary Health Enterprises) for Sector Connect in late 2014.

As you already know, there is significant evidence that people with mental illness have much shorter life expectancy than average and high rates of chronic disease.  There are also ongoing problems in ensuring that people’s primary health and mental health care are coordinated optimally.  This project aims to address some of these issues in a variety of ways, especially by building stronger collaboration in both small and hopefully more significant ways.

The Project will be guided by the expertise of both COPHE and an Advisory Group set up to support the project and project coordinator (Kim Stace).  The project will aim to implement some of the most feasible recommendations published in the COPHE Report ‘Strategies to improve the connections between mental health and primary health system in Macarthur and Wingecarribee’ (click to download).

Some local agencies have already expressed interest in participating in this project but now Sector Connect would like to invite all interested stakeholders to express their interest in joining the Advisory Group.  This group will offer advice and guidance to the project as it works with a variety of agencies and health practitioners (e.g. on priorities and best approaches).  However it will also aim to enable participants to learn from each other about how the two sectors work and are funded, what collaborative initiatives and approaches work and what lessons emerge from those that are not feasible.

Given the recent release of the NSW Mental Health Commission (2014) - Living Well: A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW and Report of the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services -Contributing lives, thriving communities, this system reform project is timely and Sector Connect looks forward to collaborating across a number of sectors for the benefit of consumers of mental health services.


Mental Health Service Integration Project Final Report - Click Here





Sector Connect Inc.

P: (02) 4648 5933

E: Director:

M: 0407 948 854



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