Funding from the Federal Coalition Government will develop a culturally appropriate screening tool to deliver better mental health outcomes for young people in the East Arnhem region.
Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon said the new tool would enable Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation to better step out and schedule mental health and social and emotional wellbeing care plans for their young clients.
The new platform will house a mental health screening tool and a workforce allocation tool, which will assign clients to a ‘step’ within the stepped-care model. This type of model helps people to move easily between programs as their support needs change.
“This grant is enabling the Menzies School of Rural Health Research to partner with the local community to co-design a model that is fit-for-purpose, and has local community support, which is chiefly important,” Dr McMahon said.
“Consultation and design through yarning sessions, focus groups, interviews and activity workshops are part of the co-design process.”
Federal Regional Health Minister, Dr David Gillespie said the Coalition Government is investing in innovative projects across the country aimed at improving primary care services for local communities.
“This project will contribute to addressing health workforce shortages and maldistribution in East Arnhem, by building on and better integrating existing resources to deliver services more effectively for locals,” Dr Gillespie said.
“I congratulate this community for looking at ways to develop innovative solutions to primary health challenges, that will be ready to trial in the East Arnhem community.”
The grant is one of the first made under the Primary care Rural Innovative Multidisciplinary Models (PRIMM) grants program. The program supports the development, in consultation with communities, of ‘trial ready’ care models that address local primary care challenges.
National Rural Health Commissioner, Professor Ruth Stewart said the PRIMM program was an effective part of the Government’s commitment to improving rural health.
“The program recognises that people in regional, rural and remote Australia have poorer access to quality health care than the cities and looks at ways of addressing that,” Professor Stewart said.
“This project will enable the development of community-supported models of care to a point where they are ready to trial.
“One of the outcomes will be the sharing of findings and lessons with other Australian rural and remote communities, to help them design their own primary health care solutions.”
PRIMM grants provide funding of up to $400,000 over two years. They will be available for six sub-regions across Australia. Round two of the PRIMM grant opportunity will open to applicants later this year.
The PRIMM program is part of the Health Workforce Program, which aims to deliver improved health workforce outcomes and support rural outreach health services.