Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) Program Personal Helpers and Mentors remote services (PHaMs)

Applications for PHaMs funding are now closed.

About this funding

Community organisations across Australia can apply for Australian Government funding to employ new workers to support people with mental illness, in five remote locations. Cunnamulla and Palm Island in Queensland, Halls Creek and Pilbara in Western Australia and Ceduna in South Australia.

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.

This round of funding will establish new PHaMs remote services in 5 additional locations across the nation.

It is anticipated the roll-out of new services will occur in second half of 2013.  New PHaMs remote services will need to be fully operational six months after signing a Funding Agreement.  Successful service providers will be required to work closely with FaHCSIA and participate in evaluation activities during the life of the Funding Agreement.

For instructions on how to apply for this funding please see the information below.

  • How much? 
    $529,360 per site per annum.
  • Apply when?
    Applications for PHaMs remote sites closed at 5.00pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on  
    Thursday 18 April 2013.

What is Personal Helpers and Mentors?

PHaMs provides increased opportunities for recovery for people 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 participants can be addressed.  Participants are assisted to access services and participate economically and socially in the community, increasing their opportunities for recovery.

In addition to supporting individual participants with a mental illness, PHaMs remote service organisations are also funded to build local capacity to respond to mental health issues. 

Key objectives of the PHaMs remote services include:

  • Using a community development approach – supporting  the individual as well as their support network
  • Using innovative models that build on existing infrastructure and services, and
  • Training local people to undertake PHaMs team roles and encouraging the development of activities to strengthen family and community relationships for participants.

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

Service Locations and Funding Amounts

Funding is available to establish Personal Helpers and Mentors remote services in the coverage areas below.
Unless specified otherwise, PHaMs remote services will be funded at the standard rate for a PHaMs remote service. 


PHaMs Site

Local Government Areas for PHaMs site coverage

Annual Funding as at 1 July 2012 (GST ex)



Shire of Paroo



Palm Island

Aboriginal Shire of Palm Island


Western Australia

Halls Creek

Shire of Halls Creek


Western Australia


One or more of the Local Government Areas of:

  • Shire of Roebourne
  • Town of Port Hedland
  • Shire of East Pilbara
  • Shire of Ashburton



South Australia


District Council of Ceduna, with a view to  outreaching to Maralinga Tjarutja Aboriginal Council Local Government Area (Oak Valley), and the community of Yalata in Unincorporated



A funding round for remote services in the Northern Territory is planned for later in 2013. 

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. Applicants are strongly advised to read the Program Guidelines prior to completing an Application. 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.

Terms and Conditions

Applicants should also review the Terms and Conditions of the Standard Funding Agreement as these are the terms and conditions that will apply to the funding if the Applicant is successful.  Applicants are required to indicate their agreement to these terms in their Application.

Application Form

Applicants for PHaMs remote services must complete an Application Form electronically and email it to Completed applications are to be submitted by 5.00pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on 18 April 2013.  Organisations applying for more than one site must submit separate applications.  Applications should be tailored to each site.

Word limits have been specified for each criterion. Words in excess of the limits will not be considered in the assessment process.

Further Information

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

  • Resource Kit - Personal Helpers and Mentors

If you have any questions, or experience technical problems when completing or submitting an application, please contact FaHCSIA for assistance at

The Department will post its answers to questions on this webpage by 5.00pm (Eastern Daylight Time or Australian Eastern Standard Time) every Wednesday until the relevant Closing date. Please note that the Department will not respond to any questions received after 5:00pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Tuesday 16 April 2013.

Content Updated: 27 September 2013