Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) Program – Personal Helpers and Mentors

Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs)

Applications for PHaMs funding are now closed.

About this funding

The 2011–12 Budget allocated an additional $154 million over the five years from 2011–12 to 2015–16 for new and/or expanded PHaMs services to assist around 3,400 people with severe mental illness, through the engagement of 425 new personal helpers and mentors. 

Of this funding, $50 million is allocated to assist up to 1,200 people with a mental illness who receive the Disability Support Pension or other Government income support payments and are participating in, or willing to engage with employment services.  PHaMs support will help these people address personal, non‑vocational barriers to their participation in work or training.

It is anticipated the rollout of new services will occur in February, May and August 2013. New PHaMs services will need to be fully operational six months after signing a Funding Agreement. Successful service providers will be required to work intensively with FaHCSIA during the first 12 months of funding to refine the service delivery model, and participate in evaluation activities during the life of the Funding Agreement.

This round of funding will add more than 230 extra personal helpers and mentors in more than 50 locations across the nation.

  • How much?

    The Australian Government has committed $154 million over five years to 30 June 2016 to expand the Personal Helpers and Mentors initiative.
  • Apply when?

    Applications for new PHaMs sites closed at 3:00pm (Eastern Daylight Time) on Thursday 20 December 2012.

What is Personal Helpers and Mentors?

PHaMs provides increased opportunities for recovery for people aged 16 years and over whose lives are severely affected by mental illness, by helping them to overcome social isolation and increase their connections to the community. Participants are supported through a recovery focused and strengths based approach that recognises recovery as a personal journey driven by the participant.

PHaMs workers provide practical assistance to people with severe mental illness to help them achieve their personal goals, develop better relationships with family and friends, and manage their everyday tasks. One-to-one and ongoing support ensures the individual needs of the program participants can be addressed. Participants are assisted to access services and participate economically and socially in the community, increasing their opportunities for recovery.

PHaMs services have assisted more than 21,000 participants since the program commenced in 2007.

Program Guidelines

These guidelines provide the framework for the implementation and administration of the Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) Program. They provide the key starting point for parties considering whether to participate in the Program and form the basis for the business relationship between FaHCSIA and the funding recipient. The Program Guidelines comprise the following documents:

  • Part A: Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) Program Guidelines which provide an overview of the Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) Program and the Activities relating to the program. 
  • Part B: Information for Applicants which provides information on the Application, Assessment, Eligibility, Selection and Complaints Processes; and Financial and Funding Agreement arrangements.
  • Part C1: Application Information for the Personal Helpers and Mentors Activity ‐ which provides specific information on the Activity, Selection Processes, Performance Management and Reporting.

Further Information

Further information on Personal Helpers and Mentors is available in a Resource Kit.

  • Personal Helpers and Mentors - Resource Kit
Content Updated: 19 July 2013