About HeadtoHelp

Since 14 September 2020, 15 HeadtoHelp services
have been scaling-up around Victoria to support Victorians’
mental health and wellbeing.

When a person calls HeadtoHelp on 1800 595 212, an experienced mental health professional will listen and work with them to find the best ways to get the help they need.

Depending on a person’s needs, they may:

  • be connected with suitable existing services
  • receive care at at HeadtoHelp hub, either onsite or through telehealth
  • be connected to specialist or acute mental health services, including into emergency care.

For more information about HeadtoHelp services, see how we can help.

Background

The Australian Government has invested $26.9 million to establish a central phone intake service and an initial 15 HeadtoHelp hubs as part of the Australian Government’s $31.9 million mental health package to further enhance the mental health support available to Victorians during the COVID-19 pandemic. HeadtoHelp hubs are funded for 12 months.

Delivered locally

The HeadtoHelp central intake and hubs are operated by Primary Health Networks (PHNs) in cooperation with existing health services. The unique HeadtoHelp model of care has been jointly developed by Victoria’s Primary Health Networks in collaboration with the Australian Government. PHNs are primarily funded by the Australian Government to improve health care and support people receive from health services.

The HeadtoHelp model draws upon insights from consultations conducted by PHNs with people with lived experience of mental illness, consumers, clinicians and other experts. HeadtoHelp is person-centred, recovery oriented and evidence-based, reflecting PHNs’ commitment to these principles. HeadtoHelp comprises a central phone intake plus 15 mental health hubs located across Victoria.

HeadtoHelp uses the Initial Assessment and Referral Decision Support Tool (IAR-DST) – this is a series of clinical and social questions that help the trained intake team understand a person’s needs and what type of support or services will best help. A caller may be referred to existing services or if there is no existing service that is suitable, to one of the 15 HeadtoHelp hubs which offer a multidisplinary team to help with more complex mental health needs.

HeadtoHelp is a unique service, and the first state-wide step towards integrating the mental health system and coordinating care for people, when and where they need it most.

Discrimination

All of the HeadtoHelp services are provided free of discrimination based on age, race, gender identity, sexuality, religious or political belief or activity or any other characteristic possessed or assumed as protected under Victorian and Australian anti-discrimination law.

No-cost policy

Advice and services provide by HeadtoHelp hubs are provided free to all Victorians. HeadtoHelp may however provide advice and refer people to support and/or services that require payment of a professional fee. These services are not included in the no-cost service provided by HeadtoHelp.

An Australian and Victorian government collaboration

The rapid establishment of the clinics has been overseen by a joint federal and Victorian Mental Health Pandemic Response Taskforce co-chaired by Dr Ruth Vine, the Australian Government Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health, and Pam Anders, CEO Mental Health Reform Victoria. “It’s been a very collaborative effort with the Victorian Government, the PHNs, the Area Mental Health Services to provide these clinics” Dr Vine said.

This collaboration between the Commonwealth and Victorian governments is ensuring that the new hubs will be integrated with local services and will support other enhancements to Victoria’s mental health system.

About Primary Health Networks (PHNs)

The Australian Government established Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services, reduce fragmentation of care and improve health outcomes for everyone, especially for the most vulnerable. There are 31 Primary Health Networks in Australia and six in Victoria. PHNs work to achieve this goal by improving access to existing services, commissioning new services to improve health outcomes, and supporting GPs and others to innovate and further improve local health care.

Better
access

Connecting 
care

Helping
people

Urgent Support

If you need immediate help or are at risk of harm to yourself or others call 000

For urgent support, call:

Lifeline 13 11 14

SuicideLine 1300 651 251

HeadtoHelp

Call 1800 595 212

Monday to Friday 8.30am–5pm
(except public holidays)

If you can’t get through,
click here to request a call back.

After hours & weekends

If it is after hours and you would like to talk to someone, call:

Beyond Blue 1800 512 348

MensLine 1300 789 978

KidsLine 1800 551 800

Our HeadtoHelp hubs are located around Victoria: Find us here

1800 595 212
Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National)
National Relay Service

HeadtoHelp acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional owners of country throughout Victoria, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.

We also recognise, respect and affirm the central role played in our work by people with lived experience, their families and/or carers.

While the Australian Government has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.