Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs)

What is the Personal Helpers and Mentors Service?

The Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) service:

  • aims to provide increased opportunities for recovery for people whose lives are severely affected by mental illness
  • takes a strengths-based, recovery approach, and
  • assists people aged 16 years and over whose ability to manage their daily activities and to live independently in the community is impacted because of a severe mental illness.

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

Some PHaMs services provide specialist support, either through funding for a targeted service or as part of an existing general PHaMs service.  These include PHaMs Remote Services, and PHaMs Employment Services.

From 1 July 2016, PHaMs services will progressively transition to NDIS.  Further information about the NDIS is available on the NDIS website.

Who is eligible to participate?

  • A person does not need to have a formal clinical diagnosis of a severe mental illness to be able to access the service.
  • Personal Helpers and Mentors assist people aged 16 years and over whose ability to manage their daily activities and to live independently in the community is impacted because of a severe mental illness.
  • Potential participants are required to reside in the postcodes or Local Government Area allocated in each site.  Service providers have strategies to engage those who are homeless or transient within each site.

What if I am not eligible?

Where a Personal Helper and Mentor service provider is not able to provide support to a person, the Department's expectation is that service providers could identify, and provide the person with information on any other relevant services within the community that may be able to support the person.  The service provider may also initiate a referral to another service, if applicable.

How do I access Personal Helpers and Mentors?

People can be referred to a Personal Helpers and Mentors service provider through a range of other community services, such as disability employment service providers, clinical case managers, drug and alcohol support services, or housing support services.  People can also self-refer.  Potential participants will then undertake a functionally based assessment with the service provider to determine eligibility.  Where a potential participant resides in an NDIS site they should be supported to undertake an NDIA functional assessment to determine their eligibility for NDIS supports.

How do I locate a Personal Helpers and Mentors service?

More Information

Further information about the NDIS is available on the National Disability Insurance Scheme website.

For further information about PHaMs services see:

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