Growing the use of peers in low intensity services

Objective 10.3:

Develop, diversify and geographically redistribute the workforce delivering psychological therapies

Action 10.3.3

Increase the number of skilled peers and students delivering low intensity psychological services for hard to reach population groups

The PHN has commissioned three services that specifically support and grow skilled peers and students to deliver low intensity services for hard to reach population groups.

  • The Problem Management Plus[1] Program delivered by Culture in Mind is a peer led program for people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, including refugees and asylum seekers. Peer workers support people to manage stress and adverse situations.
  • The Sunshine Parenting Program[2] delivered by Peach Tree Perinatal Wellness is a peer led program for mothers (with infants between 0-12 months) experiencing mild postnatal depression and/or anxiety symptoms.
  • The Psychology in Aged Care Wellbeing Program[3] delivered by Change Futures engages provisionally registered psychologists to deliver services to residents living in aged care facilities – supporting people to transition and adjust into the communal living environment, and well as providing treatment for mild anxiety and depression.

All three programs offer their workers comprehensive training and supervision to support their work.

Key achievements

  • Problem Management Plus Program – demonstrated consistent improvements in wellbeing, evident in people’s K10+[4] pre and post scores
  • Sunshine Parenting Program – demonstrated clinically significant improvements in wellbeing, evident in K10+ and Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale[5] (EPDS) pre and post scores
  • Psychology in Aged Care Wellbeing Program – demonstrated clinically significant improvements for residents evident in K10+ and Geriatric Anxiety Scale[6] (GAS) pre and post scores.

Key Learnings

Peer workers and provisionally registered psychologists can:

  • Act as a welcoming and warm entry point into the mental health care system that people might not ordinarily access
  • Support people’s improved mental health outcomes
  • Contribute to more efficient use of system resources.

What’s Next?

The PHN is committed to continuing to expand the evidence base that demonstrates peer workers and students play a critical role in supporting people’s mental health and wellbeing and have a positive impact on system resources.




[4] The Kessler 10+ (K10+) is the mandatory outcome tool required by all PHN commissioned agencies delivering mental health services




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