More mental health support for people 65+

MH BERNIE 202309 2

Published Jan 18 2024

People over 65 are set to benefit from increased mental health support through our Stepped Care for Older Adults (SCOA) program. 

SCOA is a free tailored mental health program to help older adults meet their mental health and wellbeing goals. 

We support people with mild to moderate mental illness, and/or who are at risk of social isolation and loneliness. 

Bernie, SCOA client said "Don't give up! If you recognise that you have a problem, don't bottle it up. Go and see a health professional, there is plenty of help out there."

The program has had some great success since it began in 2019 including: 

  • 80% of clients reported reduced loneliness
  • 128 clients supported 
  • increased access for clients with mobility and transport access through home visits
  • welcomed the Minister for Mental Health Gabrielle Williams MP to meet staff and clients

SCOA has been extended for a further 12 months thanks to our funding partner North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network

Nerissa O'Keefe, Team Leader, SCOA said, "With the increase of prevalence of loneliness amongst older adults nationwide, the SCOA program will continue to work towards addressing this need.

We are currently working on building our presence in the Western Metropolitan Region, in order to support older adults located in these areas.

We are looking forward to continuing to break down barriers, increase social connection and addressing mental health needs of older adults in the community."

If you need a little extra support, or know someone who does, please call us on 1300 637 744, email SteppedCare@merrihealth.org.au or visit our website page for more information.