Media Release

A new model of care will be introduced to Gippsland’s residential aged care facilities, giving older Australians an important opportunity to receive whole-person care that responds to mental health, physical health and social needs together.

Gippsland Primary Health Network (PHN) selected Wellways as the successful tenderer to deliver tailored mental health support services to residents in aged care facilities with mild to moderate symptoms of mental illness (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress) or who are at risk of experiencing a mental illness. 

The new Positive Life in Aged Care Enterprise or PLACE program provides Gippsland’s aged care residents with an integrated approach to mental health as a key priority, given the close links between mental health and physical health outcomes.

PLACE is an innovative, non-stigmatising early intervention program for older Australians transitioning into, or living in, residential aged care using skilled Mental Health and Wellbeing Support Workers, alongside trained peer support workers and local community volunteers.

Designed by Wellways, the PLACE program was co-produced with a range of service users and families who have experienced the transition to residential aged care. 

Wellways Gippsland Regional Manager, Beth Fogerty, welcomed the opportunity from Gippsland PHN for Wellways to work directly with older Australians as they transition from home to a residential aged care facility. 

“For many older Australians this transition can lead to the loss of identity or life role,“  Ms Fogerty said. “There is a big fear of the loss of a person’s story and history and a fear of losing connection to family and friends.”

Gippsland PHN Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Proposch, said the Australian Government’s commitment to in-reach psychological treatment services at Residential Aged Care Facilities was a much-needed investment as this type of service is not routinely available for older people residing in Residential Aged Care Facilities.   

“The PLACE program is innovative and has the ability to make a real difference for older people experiencing mental ill health,” Ms Proposch said. “The program will be implemented within a stepped approach, ensuring services are commensurate to individual needs.

“The services delivered by Wellways will complement current residential programs and services, through the addition of specific mental health psychoeducation programs, the development of peer leaders to support mental health outcomes and the links to family support and education.”

There will be a staged roll-out of the program with full implementation planned by June 2022. 

Easy and accessible referrals to the PLACE program will be available soon.

Download Media release statement (PDF - 152KB)

For comment contact: 
Beth Fogerty , Wellways Regional Manager Gippsland
bfogerty@wellways.org | 0414 530 298

General media contact: 
Scott Samson, Public Affairs, Wellways Australia
media@wellways.org | (03) 8486 4200 | 0429 022 248