The Victorian Government has committed to establishing 50 Local Adult and Older Adult Mental Health and Wellbeing Services across Victoria.
The service stream, now known as Mental Health and Wellbeing Locals (Local Services), are an important part of Victoria’s reformed mental health and wellbeing system.
They provide an easy way to get treatment, care and support for people aged 26 years and over who are experiencing mental health concerns – including people with co-occurring alcohol and drug treatment and care needs.
Current locations and providers
The first tranche of Local Services opened in 2022:
- Benalla-Wangaratta-Mansfield: Wellways Australia in partnership with Albury Wodonga Health and Australian Community Support Organisation (ACSO)
- Brimbank: cohealth in partnership with Clarity Health Care and the University of Melbourne
- Frankston: Wellways Australia in partnership with Peninsula Health and Mentis Assist
- Greater Geelong-Queenscliffe: Barwon Health in partnership with Wellways Australia, ermha365 and Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative
- Latrobe: Neami National in partnership with Drummond Street Services and Uniting Vic.Tas
- Whittlesea: Neami National in partnership with Drummond St Services, Uniting Vic Tas and Victorian Aboriginal Health Service.
In October 2023, providers were announced for the second tranche, with services to commence by the end of 2023:
- East Gippsland: Wellways Australia in partnership with Gippsland Lakes Complete Health and Latrobe Regional Health
- Greater Bendigo-Loddon-Campaspe: Mind Australia in partnership with Bendigo & District Aboriginal Co-operative, Bendigo Health, Echuca Regional Health, The Salvation Army and Thorne Harbour Health Ltd
- Greater Dandenong: Mind Australia in partnership with Monash Health, The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Inc. and Thorne Harbour Health Ltd
- Greater Shepparton-Strathbogie-Moira: Wellways Australia in partnership with APMHA Healthcare Ltd and Goulburn Valley Health
- Melton: Mind Australia in partnership with IPC Health, MidWest Area Mental Health Service, Thorne Harbour Health Ltd and Western Health
- Mildura: Wellways Australia in partnership with Mallee District Aboriginal Services, Mildura Base Public Hospital and Sunraysia Community Health Services
- Yarra Ranges: Wellways Australia in partnership with Eastern Health, Inspiro and Oonah Belonging Place.
The Department of Health is currently undertaking a full review of the commissioning approach used for Local Services. Once available, the Department of Health will provide an update on this webpage.
Additional Local Services will be established over coming years in:
- Narre Warren
By the end of 2026, we plan to set up services for all Victorian adults and older adults. This will mean more Victorians will get the support they need sooner while staying in their community, closer to their families, carers and supporters.
Transitioning support from a Hub to a Local Service
As the Local Services are established, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs (Hub/s) in the same area will slowly phase down.
Consultation and engagement
The Royal Commission’s Final Report described how Local Services will provide clinical and wellbeing mental health supports that respond to individuals’ needs.
The Department of Health held a number of engagement and consultation activities in 2021 to guide the establishment of the first six Local Services. This included a broad public consultation survey, interviews and focus group discussions, as well as place-based focused consultations for each of the first six Local Service locations.
People with lived experience and their families, carers and supporters gave valuable insights about the way they want to experience local services. We also heard from people working in mental health and alcohol and other drug services, other health and related services and the broader community.
The Department of Health encourages service providers to engage directly with their local communities to ensure the service is responsive to the diverse needs of the local community.
The Department of Health has developed a Service Framework for providers of this new service stream. It will guide the operation and service delivery of Local Services across Victoria.
The Service Framework reflects the vision and findings of the Royal Commission. It was developed with valuable and diverse input from people with a lived and living experience of mental illness, as well as technical and clinical advice from the mental health and wellbeing sector.
The framework outlines the objectives, key operational principles, service features and functions, components of the service model and the workforce, data reporting and operational requirements for Local Services.
Reviewed 17 November 2023