Stepped Care for Older Adults: support for your mental health

Free tailored support to help older adults meet their mental health and wellbeing goals. 

What is it?

Stepped Care for Older Adults is a mental health support program for adults aged 65+ (50+ for people who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander).
It is a free and confidential service that provides professional mental health support to older adults with mild to moderate mental illness or at risk of developing a mental illness due to social isolation, loneliness, or life stressors.

Services we provide include psychosocial group program and clinical group program, assessment of mental and physical health needs, one-on-one consultations to address mental health concerns, social prescription to promote community connectedness, and facilitated access to support linkages to other health and wellbeing services.

Who can use this service?

People who:

  • are aged 65 years and over (50 years and over for people who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • live in Hume, Moreland, Darebin, Yarra, Gisborne, Melton, Brimbank, Melbourne, Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay, Wyndham, Moonee Valley, or Bacchus Marsh
  • are willing participants of the program
  • have a mild to moderate mental illness or are at risk of developing a mental illness


It's free.

Do I need a referral?

No. You can self-refer by calling 1300 637 744 and ask to speak to the Stepped Care team.

Alternatively, you can be referred by a GP, Aged Care Assessment Service, Regional Assessment Service, local public mental health service, or another registered health professional via our referral form.

The referral can be faxed to (03) 9495 2599 or emailed to


Support is provided from:

  • in the home
  • selected Merri Health sites
  • other community spaces
  • phone and telehealth appointments are also available

See Merri Health locations.

Contact the team

More information

What will happen after my referral is sent to you?

After we receive your referral, one of our team members will call you to ask some questions to find out what support is best for you.

If our program is suited to you, we will connect you with one of our health professionals who will be your treating clinician.

If another service is better suited to you, we will refer you to that service with your permission.  

Do I need to have a diagnosis of a mental illness?


I don't have mental wellbeing concerns, anxiety or depression but I am lonely. Can you still help?

Yes, we have a community connector service and group programs that may support you with loneliness.

I don't live in the areas listed. Can you still help? 

At this stage we can only support older people that live in the areas listed above. However we can help with referrals to other services. Give our team a call to see how we can help you. 

Do I need to go to a Merri Health site to receive support?

This depends on the support you need.

Some services are provided from selected Merri Health sites and others are offered at other community locations or in your home. Phone and video-call appointments are also available.

We will talk to you about this when we put together your care plan.  

Where can I get more information about this service?

Call 1300 637 744 (MERRI H). We can help you with information about eligibility for services and advice on which service will help you with your needs.

This service is funded by the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network. 

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