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Preventative Health Initiative

Preventative health support for people experiencing mental health issues.

Preventative Health Initiative provides individualised and tailored support to help people who are experiencing moderate to severe mental health issues improve their physical health. The service also delivers capacity building activities to develop practitioners’ capacity to respond to the physical health needs of people experiencing mental health issues.

Individual support to improve physical health

We provide short-term (up to six months) whole of-person care to help people improve their physical health, build confidence and health literacy, and overcome existing barriers to engaging with preventative health services.

The service has six key focus areas: breast cancer screening, cervical cancer screening, bowel cancer screening, smoking cessation and Influenza immunisation and COVID-19 vaccine.

During one-on-one sessions, consumers and carers (where appropriate) will work collaboratively with a Registered Nurse or Lived Experience Worker to develop physical health goals and identify the supports needed to achieve those goals. The support provided is flexible and tailored to individual needs, and might include:

  • Comprehensive whole-of-health assessment.
  • Coaching to generate physical health goals and motivation.
  • Health literacy and capacity development to improve self-management.
  • Connection to GP, allied health and other health and social supports.
  • Facilitation of attendance at preventative health appointments.
  • Access to local health promotion groups.

Capacity building for practitioners

Our Health Promotion Practitioners deliver tailored training activities for both primary care and mental health providers.

For primary care practitioners

We provide free consultations and workshops to help primary care professionals develop practical skills and processes to improve engagement with people experiencing mental health issues. We can also help with referral pathways and contacts for mental health support.

For mental health practitioners

Our training activities for mental health teams are aimed at building knowledge around our six focus areas and how to best support people to access preventative health services. We can also help navigate referral pathways to physical health services for your consumers.

Contact us to find out more and arrange a workshop or consultation session.

Care coordination

Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for consumers to connect with, access and maintain the services they need across the health system. We work together with primary health, mental health and other community services to ensure the effective provision and coordination of high quality integrated care. We also support the active engagement of carers with consumers’ health care teams.

Our approach

Our approach emphasises the importance of increasing health literacy and building confidence so that people can manage their own health. We draw on a number of models and tools to provide best practice care, including:

  • The Collaborative Recovery Model, a framework for identifying personal strengths, values and goals.
  • Coaching conversations to support the achievement of health-related goals.
  • The Neami Health Prompt, which facilitates discussions about physical health, and a range of other health promotion resources.

Eligibility

Preventative Health Initiative is available to people aged 18+ who:

  • Are experiencing moderate to severe mental health issues (a formal clinical diagnosis is not required).
  • Would benefit from time-limited targeted physical health screening support.
  • Live, work or study in the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) catchment. The EMPHN catchment includes the cities of: Banyule, Boroondara, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Mitchell, Monash, Murrindindi, Nillumbik, Whitehorse, Whittlesea and Yarra Ranges.

Making a referral

Anyone can make a referral to the service. This includes carers, GPs, and other health and community services. Self-referrals are welcome.

Download the referral form

To make a referral, please complete the referral form and submit it either by fax, email or via ReferralNet secure messaging.

Preventative Health Initiative is a free service.

Preventative Health Initiative is a Neami National Service supported by the Australian Government under the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network.