Community News

Finding the right mental health support just got easier

There is now a single point of contact for people on the NSW North Coast to connect with mental health, alcohol and other drugs services.

Neami National, a community-based organisation that provides services to improve mental health and wellbeing, has recently established Connect to Wellbeing North Coast.

Connect to Wellbeing has received $1.23 million of funding from Healthy North Coast (HNC) through their North Coast PHN program, an Australian Government initiative.

HNC’s chief executive officer Julie Sturgess said in the past it had often been difficult for people to find the right information when looking for services – either for themselves or others.

“Connect to Wellbeing provides a single point of contact for consumers, carers, GPs, allied health professionals, and other agencies who need to access or refer people to mental health and alcohol and other drugs services across the North Coast,” Ms Sturgess said.

“This partnership between Healthy North Coast and Neami National will help to ensure that people get access to the services that are most ideally matched to their needs.”

Neami National NSW state manager Peter Gianfrancesco said, “We’re delighted to be partnering with Healthy North Coast to deliver this valuable service across the region.”

“The program focuses on the needs of the consumer. Connect to Wellbeing ensures that people have access to the right service at the right time and will make it easy for people to move between programs as their needs change,” said Mr Gianfrancesco.

Connect to Wellbeing North Coast is currently assisting around 1,000 people each month to access mental health, alcohol and other drugs services across the region.

Donna (not her real name) contacted Connect to Wellbeing seeking support after being impacted by the bushfire crisis. She was connected to the Healthy Minds Program and has said, “I appreciated being able to get help when I needed it and am grateful that the contact is by telephone, because transport is an issue for me. I look forward to my weekly calls and feel that someone really cares about me and how I’m going. Since I’ve been having my counselling sessions, I’ve learnt some strategies that have really helped me.”

The Connect to Wellbeing team is based in Coffs Harbour and provides services for people from Port Macquarie to Tweed Heads. The service is free and available to community members, health professionals and community services. Call 1300 160 339, email

 *Please note that Connect to Wellbeing is not a crisis service. If you or someone you care for needs immediate support, please call 000 or:

 Lifeline 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

1800 Respect 1800 737 732

MensLine 1300 789 978

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636