What is a good life? While this will be different for everyone, it is likely to include:

  • having a home and a sense of belonging within the community
  • engaging in meaningful work and learning 
  • feeling connected to family and friends
  • cultural and spiritual connection 

For people who are impacted by mental health issues, this good life can be hard to find or keep, particularly when people are also experiencing feelings of isolation, discrimination and hopelessness. 

The Wellways model of care, informed by our Community Recovery Model, recognises that individuals, carers, family and friends, as well as the wider community, can all play a role in ensuring people have the best opportunities and supports to live a good life.

The Community Recovery Model works to:

  • enable people to take control of their own wellbeing, build skills to connect with others and build a good life
  • support carers, families and friends to understand what helps and to look after their own wellbeing 
  • develop welcoming spaces within our communities that promote a sense of belonging for all people

Model of Care illustration

The model draws on the evidence of what we know makes a real difference for people: for individuals, families, carers and friends, and also for communities. We make sure everything we do has been proven to be effective, including:

  • Skills training programs: participants learn skills for improving self-management, increasing confidence and engaging effectively with health professionals.1
  • Peer education: peers share skills and strategies for self-management and recovery.2 3 Peer educators also work with families to build resilience and with community members to break down stigma.4
  • Intentional peer support: peers offer support, advice and hope.5
  • Individual placement and support: works with people in securing real jobs for real pay.
  • Housing First: assists people in finding a home and building skills to sustain tenancies.7 


1 Gilbert M, et al. (2012) Controlled clinical trial of a self-management program for people with mental illness in an adult mental health service – the Optimal Health Program (OHP). Australian Health Review 36, 1-7.
2 Porter, C. (2012). Psychosocial Models of Recovery from Mental Illness in a Consumer Delivered Service.
3 Stephens, J, et al. (2011). An Evaluation of Well Ways, a Family Education Programme for Carers of People with a Mental Illness. Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria.
4 Rusch, N, et al. (2005). Mental Illness Stigma: Concepts, Consequences, and Initiatives to Reduce Stigma. 
5 Mead, S. (2008). Intentional Peer Support: An Alternative Approach.
6 Drake, R. (1994). Individual Placement and Support: A Community Mental Health Center Approach to Vocational Rehabilitation. 
7 Gulcur, L, et al. (2007). Community Integration of Adults with Psychiatric Disabilities and Histories of Homelessness.