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Early Intervention Services

Stepped Care Approach

The Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN promotes the availability of validated self-help and digital mental health services as part of a stepped care approach to mental health service provision.

A stepped care approach promotes person centred care which targets the needs of the individual. Rather than offering a one size fits all approach to care, individuals will be more likely to receive a service which more optimally matches their needs, does not under or over service them, and makes the best use of workforce and technology.

This approach provides the right service at the right time, with lower intensity steps available to support individuals before illness manifests.

Head to Health is a free confidential online service from the Australian Government that connects people with the help and support they need to keep mentally healthy.

Head to Health helps all Australians access the mental health and wellbeing services that are right for them. It makes it easier to navigate and choose the most suitable care options, whether that’s face-to-face, via phone, or online.

For GPs and health professionals, Head to Health helps you find and send trusted mental health resources and services to your patients. Learn more.

In addition to the website is the National Head to Health Phone Service 1800 595 212

Head to Health Mental Health Centres

Head to Health centres are a safe and welcoming space to talk to someone if you, or someone you care about, are in distress, or need help finding the right mental health support to meet your needs. Support through Head to Health centres is free. No appointment or GP referral is required.

Within the Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN Head to Health centres are located at:

Warners Bay: Unit 13, 363 Hillsborough Rd Warners Bay

Cessnock: Unit 4, 36 Vincent St Cessnock

Tuggerah: Suite 8, 1 Pioneer Ave Tuggerah

West Gosford: Suite 1, Level 1, 69 Central Coast Highway West Gosford

Head to Health centre services are commissioned by the PHN and delivered by Beam Health.


MindHealth is a telehealth provider that offers free professional phone and online counselling for anyone who lives or works in the Hunter New England and Central Coast regions. A medical referral is not required to initiate contact and it provides free professional counselling between 7am and 9pm Monday to Saturday.

Accessed either via phone 1300 029 131 or online chat, MindHealth counsellors are qualified professional counsellors, social workers or psychologists, trained to follow a contextual counselling and problem-solving process to listen, understand, and find ways to feel better in a culturally safe way.

MindHealth is commissioned by the PHN and delivered by on the line and can help with:

  • Worry and anxiety
  • Anger
  • Hopelessness and depression
  • Grief and loss
  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Relationship and family problems
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Wellbeing
  • Work stress

Service Connect Line

Service Connect Line is a free telephone service that links people with a mental illness residing in the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network to psychosocial support services (mental and physical health as well as social supports). Carers, Clinicians and GPs can also call this line on a person’s behalf.

The service is for anyone whose health and lifestyle circumstances have changed and needs support to undertake everyday activities. It can be accessed by an individual, their carer or health professional to navigate the health and care system to find the most appropriate supports and services.

The service is free and is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm (except on public holidays) via 1300 029 131.

Examples of services that Service Connect Line can help find include:

  • Psychosocial non-clinical mental health support
  • Care coordination
  • Counselling and psychological services
  • Financial management and budgeting
  • Housing
  • Physical health
  • Vocational and educational support
  • Cultural wellbeing support
  • Family and cultural connection support

Note: NDIS participants with an approved Individual Funded Plan are encouraged to access similar services through Local Area Coordinators or NDIS-funded Recovery Coach or Support Coordination services in the first instance.

Service Connect Line is commissioned by the PHN and delivered by on the line.

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