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Enabling strong minds for all

11-10-2021 Category: General Posted by: emily.roberts

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Image: Alicia, Marathon Health Administration Officer

The rates of psychological distress increase the further people live from metro cities. To support under-serviced and high-risk communities, Marathon Health has implemented combined service delivery options, making mental healthcare more accessible for all.

In line with World Mental Health Day–held on October 11—Marathon Health’s evidence based, short term counselling service Strong Minds Western provides access to free and effective psychological services for people aged 12+ living in regional, rural and remote NSW.

Barbara Geddes, Marathon Health Clinical Lead – Strong Minds Western says the service has managed to continue to effectively help people during COVID lockdowns throughout the last year. 

“In the last 12 months 47% of services were face to face, 31% were via Telehealth and 22% were over the phone which enabled more than 82% of clients to achieve improved outcomes from accessing support.

“Despite lockdowns, we were still able to help 882 clients between July 2020 and June 2021,” Ms Geddes said.

However, varying service options aren’t the only tactics employed by the not-for-profit, with some Far West communities with limited GP access, now able to enter the program while waiting for their Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP). Previously, sessions with a psychologist could only be accessed once the MHTP had been completed.

Sherryn Honeywood, Portfolio Manager – Mental Health, says this unique model has been approved to ensure regional Australians aren’t forced to wait lengthy periods for the support they need.

“Often in Far West communities, even GP access is difficult, which means people who need support are waiting just to get into their GP to get that MHTP. By enabling them to access support while waiting for that MHTP to be completed, we’re able to support them get back on track, quicker,” Ms Honeywood said.

Marathon Health has a range of programs available for people feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, including headspace and our Strong Minds and NewAccess programs.

With qualified practitioners available to provide support and coaching, these free services are available for people from the ages of 12. Visit and search for Strong Minds, NewAccess or headspace for more information.

Strong Minds, NewAccess and headspace are supported through funding by the Western NSW PHN as part of the Australian Government’s PHN program.

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