Commonwealth Psychosocial Support Program

People with severe mental illness may need extra support with their day-to-day living. We fund this program to help connect them to community services and strengthen their social, educational and vocational skills.

About the program

This program is for people with severe mental illness who need short-term help to function day to day. It helps them to:

  • connect with the clinical care and other services they need
  • build their capacity in managing day-to-day activities
  • strengthen social skills, friendships and relationships with their family
  • increase their educational, vocational and training skills.

This program is not available to people who receive similar support from either:

  • the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
  • a state or territory-funded service.

Why it is important

This program supports more than 18,000 people with severe mental health illness who are not in the NDIS. It will help them to live independently and safely in the community without adding to the strain on hospital beds or the NDIS.


This program aims to:

  • help people with severe mental illness get the support they need to live independently and safely in their communities
  • reduce demand on more intense and acute health services
  • use our health system effectively.

Meeting our goals

To meet these goals, community-based organisations run one-on-one and group services for people with severe mental illness. They tailor their services to meet the needs of the community and their clients.

Who we work with

We fund Primary Health Networks to organise services for this program. They:

  • commission community-based organisations to run services
  • work with state and territory governments to plan and commission services to meet the needs of each region.

We also fund the Flinders University Transition Support Project to help the networks and service providers deliver this program.


The 2023–24 Budget provided $253.9 million to extend this program for 2 years until 30 June 2025. This included:

  • $251.9 million to extend the funding arrangements with Primary Health Networks for a further two years.
  • $1.7 million to continue sector support and capacity building work that helps service providers to implement the program.
  • $0.3 million to the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia to undertake advocacy activities for people with severe and complex mental illness.


In July 2021, this program replaced several psychosocial support programs.

In 2020, the Nous Group ran an independent review of 2 of the previous programs:

  • National Psychosocial Support Measure
  • Continuity of Support Program for psychosocial support.

Responses about the support provided through the programs were positive. Read the Final Report and Appendix A.


To find out more, contact us or your local Primary Health Network.

Psychosocial support contact

Contact us if you have questions about our psychosocial support programs and initiatives.
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