Personal Helpers and Mentors Service (PHaMs)

Transitioning program

Funding for PHaMs is transitioning into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Please read below for more information about receiving future supports.

PHaMs provides practical assistance for people aged 16 years and over whose lives are severely affected by mental illness. PHaMs helps people overcome social isolation and increase connections with their community.

People are supported through a recovery focused and strengths based approach that recognises recovery as a personal journey driven by the participant. Potential participants undertake a functionally based assessment with a PHaMs service provider to determine their eligibility for services. 

Transitioning to the NDIS

As the NDIS is rolled out across Australia, PHaMs will be progressively phased out.

PHaMs clients will need to test their NDIS eligibility to continue to receive supports. Begin the process of testing your eligibility early.

PHaMs clients eligible for the NDIS will access supports through their NDIS plan. Supports provided under the NDIS are holistic and are designed to give people more choice and control over the services and supports they need. Clients will continue to receive supports through PHaMs until their plan is finalised.

Find out more about how people with psychosocial disability are supported in the NDIS.

From 1 January 2019, new clients with severe mental illness can be referred to the appropriate NDIS Local Area Coordinator or Primary Health Network in their region to determine access to appropriate psychosocial supports.

More information on the new National Psychosocial Support Measure operating from 1 January 2019 is available on the Department of Health’s website.

More information on locations and contacts for Local Area Coordinators is on the NDIS website.

Download and share stories and resources

The following stories and resources from the NDIS website help to explain the types of supports available for people experiencing psychosocial disability under the NDIS.

Continuity of Support

As announced in the 2018-19 Budget, the Australian Government will provide Continuity of Support (CoS) for existing PHaMs clients ineligible for the NDIS. CoS will support these clients to achieve similar outcomes to those they were aiming to achieve prior to the introduction of the scheme.

From 1 July 2019, existing PHaMs clients who are ineligible for the NDIS will receive CoS through community mental health services delivered through the Primary Health Networks, administered by the Department of Health.

For providers

PHaMs providers have an important role in supporting their clients to access the NDIS.

A new streamlined access process is now in place for PHaMs providers to ensure the access process is more seamless for their clients.

Providers can use access resources on the streamlined process on the Transition Support Project web portal (access is by provider registration).

The Department of Social Services, with Flinders University and the NDIA, has prepared a guide for service providers to help clients with psychosocial disability to access the NDIS.

PHaMs providers are encouraged to register with the NDIS to continue delivering services and supports to clients.


PHaMs helps people who have a severe functional limitation resulting from a mental illness to better manage their daily activities and to access a range of appropriate services and supports when they need them. It was an initiative of the Council of Australian (COAG) National Action Plan on Mental Health 2006 to 2011.

The 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,
  • 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, and
  • does not require a potential participant to have a formal clinical diagnosis of a severe mental illness.

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

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