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Local program breaks down traditional barriers to mental health support

08-07-2020 Category: General Posted by: emily.roberts

A revolutionary new take on tackling depression and anxiety is helping people across the Canberra and Western NSW regions access support.

Support to Skills, is a free, early intervention mental health coaching program through Marathon Health. The program helps apprentices access the support they need, while connecting their employers to free mental health training – all to address low apprenticeship completion rates and keep young people well and employed.

Apprentices, pre-apprentices and trainees with symptoms of mild to moderate depression, anxiety, or day to day stresses can now access six free sessions with a specially-trained coach. Using the NewAccess model, designed by Beyond Blue, coaches provide clients with strategies to overcome their concerns.

Jenna, Marathon Health Support to Skills Mental Health Coach knows the stress apprentices can experience firsthand.

“I’ve been an apprentice before, I know how tough it can get and a program like this would have made the world of difference. We’re able to connect people to the support they need sooner, preventing bigger problems from developing later on,” Jenna said.

The Support to Skills program incorporates the hugely successful NewAccess program, tailored specifically to the needs of pre-apprentices, apprentices and trainees that may need a little help to get through the rough patches.

“The fact that Support to Skills is free, combined with the flexible delivery model and people being able to sign up without a GP referral, means that young people who need some support can literally pick up the phone and get access to assistance almost immediately,” Jenna said.

Program delivery is flexible, allowing people to meet with their coach in person or speak with them over phone or via video sessions, eliminating geographical barriers and current physical restrictions in response to COVID-19.

Support to Skills also provides free mental health training to employers to create mentally safe work environments. For more information, visit

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