Programs & Services

A Better Life (ABLe)

As part of the support package for the cashless debit card trial, A Better Life (ABLe) services will support people with mental illness that includes drug and alcohol use disorders and/or gambling disorders.

ABLe provides increased opportunities for recovery for people aged 16 years and over whose lives are 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.

More information about ABLe

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Carers and Work

Carers and Work provides intensive support to carers of people with mental illness to address non-vocational barriers to carers achieving workforce participation.

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Family Mental Health Support Services

Family Mental Health Support Services (FMHSS) provide early intervention support to assist vulnerable families with children and young people up to age 18 years who are at risk of, or affected by, mental illness.

More information about FMHSS

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*Mental Health Respite: Carer Support

Mental Health Respite: Carer Support (MHR:CS) provides a range of flexible respite and family support options for carers of people severely impacted by mental illness. The aim of services is to provide support for the carer and their family, to help them maintain their caring role.

More information about MHR:CS

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*Note: -PHaMs, PhaMs Employment and MHR:CS have been identified as services in scope for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). During the NDIS trial, PHaMs participants and MHR:CS clients living in a trial site will continue to access their current services, and have their eligibility for the scheme assessed over time.

Please see the NDIS website for more information.

*Personal Helpers and Mentors

Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) provides practical assistance for people aged 16 years and over, whose lives are severely affected by their mental illness, by helping them overcome social isolation and increase their connections to the community.

PHaMs is transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Further information about the NDIS is available on the National Disability Insurance Scheme website.

More information about PHaMs

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*Personal Helpers and Mentors Employment

Personal Helpers and Mentors Employment (PhaMs Employment) services are specifically funded to assist people with mental illness to address non-vocational barriers to finding or keeping a job.

PHaMs Employment services are transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Further information about the NDIS is available on the National Disability Insurance Scheme website.

More information about PHaMs Employment

Locate a PHaMs Employment service

Drought Assistance for Farming Families and Communities

The Enhanced Social and Community Support Measure – Drought Assistance Package (the measure) ended on 30 June 2016 as scheduled.

The measure was introduced in 2014 as a one-off boost to expand community access to services in areas experiencing increased impacts from drought. Under the measure, the Department of Social Services delivered additional, targeted Family and Relationship Services and Community Mental Health support to drought-affected communities in 69 Local Government Areas across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Ongoing services

The Australian Government is committed to supporting farmers and farming communities dealing with drought and experiencing hardship. Ongoing support measures include Drought Concessional Loans, Farm Household Allowance income support and financial counselling. More information about these measures can be found on the Department of Agriculture website.

Family and Relationship Services continue to be available nationally following the closure of targeted support in drought-affected areas. These services work to strengthen family relationships, prevent breakdown and ensure the wellbeing and safety of children through the provision of broad-based counselling and education. For more information about these services, visit Family Relationships Online or contact the Family Relationship Advice Line on freecall 1800 050 321.

Community mental health services continue to be available through Family Mental Health Support and the Personal Helpers and Mentors service. Family Mental Health Support provides early intervention support to assist vulnerable families with children and young people who are at risk of, or affected by, mental illness. Personal Helpers and Mentors services assist 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. For more information or to locate your nearest Community Mental Health Service, please visit the DSS Service Directory.

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