Psychosocial support for people with severe mental illness

Our programs provide psychosocial support services to people with severe mental illness and complex mental health needs.

About the support

We fund programs to provide psychosocial support to people with:

  • severe mental illness
  • complex mental health needs.

Why it is important

Many people with severe and complex mental health needs do not receive support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) or other services.

To help ensure they can live independently and safely in the community, it is important to:

  • understand their needs
  • provide support to meet those needs.


The programs we fund aim to help people with severe mental illness and complex mental health needs:

  • get the support they need to recover, and live independently and safely in their communities
  • reduce demand on more intense and acute health services.

Meeting our goals

To meet these goals, we fund a range of programs and initiatives.

Commonwealth Psychosocial Support Program

Under this program, community-based organisations run one-on-one and group services for people with severe mental illness. They tailor their services to meet the day-to-day needs of the community and their clients.

Find out more about the Commonwealth Psychosocial Support Program.

Online service for people with complex mental health needs

The SANE Australia digital mental health service is for people with complex mental health needs who find it hard to access mainstream services. This includes people with more than one condition, such as intellectual disability and autism.

The service is currently available to people living in 13 Primary Health Network regions. A centralised multi-disciplinary team provides digital individual and group:

  • mental health services
  • care coordination
  • service navigation.

The service also has a self-guided option that provides drop-in channels, resources and forums for information and support.

The University of Queensland has independently evaluated this service and produced the Final Evaluation Report.

The evaluation will inform future digital services or other measures to support people with complex mental health needs and their families and carers.

The service was evaluated between December 2021 and June 2023. At that time, there was limited data available for some participant cohorts. Regular outcomes measurement continues to be undertaken and reported back to us. Many of the learnings from the evaluation have been used to further develop the service, which continues to evolve to ensure it meets the needs of participants.

Unmet need analysis

The Psychosocial Project Group is analysing the unmet need for psychosocial support outside the NDIS. The analysis will inform future:

  • arrangements for providing psychosocial support outside the NDIS
  • roles and responsibilities between the Australian Government and the states and territories.

The project group includes Australian government and state and territory representatives and a lived experience representative. It was set up in September 2022 under the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement.

We expect the analysis to be complete by March 2024.

Who we work with

We fund a range of organisations to help deliver these initiatives and programs, including:

  • Primary Health Networks
  • SANE Australia
  • University of Queensland
  • Flinders University.


The 2023–24 Budget provided $260.2 million for psychosocial support funding:

  • $253.9 million to extend the Commonwealth Psychosocial Support Program for 2 years until 30 June 2025
  • $6.3 million to extend the SANE Australia digital service until 30 June 2024.


Psychosocial support contact

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