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Community mental health and wellbeing in
Brimbank
A review of needs, services, gaps and the future role of Brimbank Council
December 2021

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Brimbank City Council: Community mental health in Brimbank
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Executive summary
This report aims to assist Brimbank City Council in developing an understanding of the challenges and gaps in
mental health service provision in relation to community needs, with identification of actions for addressing these
needs. It has three parts:
Part 1: Context and community need
An overview of the political and social landscape in which this report is written, with reference to individual and
community mental health and well-being. This part explores perceived changes and disruptions in the provision of
support, current and expected needs for mental health and wellbeing services, including specific population groups
such as women, culturally and linguistically diverse, LGBTQI+ and older people. This section identifies that there is
a high degree of change in services at the state level following the publication of a Royal Commission report, and
there is a lack of clarity how State and Federal governments will work together to implement the findings.
Forecasts suggest there will be an increased demand for mental health and wellbeing services in and around
Brimbank.
Part 2: Community service responses, networks and gaps
This section provides a summary of local/regional mental health services, and the perceived challenges for
providing support. Key barriers to delivering and receiving support include not knowing and understanding what
support exists, individuals’ resistance to acknowledging the need for assistance, stigma associated with getting
help, and the challenges of navigating a complex system.
There are networks for organisations providing services for those with mental ill health, however there is a
perceived need for leadership and sector collaboration focused on how diverse organisations can promote good
community mental wellbeing. Council’s role as advocate for bringing more investment and services to the area was
highlighted as important, with development of this as a key opportunity around community mental wellbeing.
Part 3: The role of Council today and tomorrow
The final section of the report identifies Council’s strengths and assets, and what Council could change or start
doing to support the mental wellbeing of the Brimbank community. This section identifies three key roles for
Council in supporting community mental health and wellbeing; Advocate, Enabler, and Facilitator, with 15
suggested actions to consider for the short, medium and long term. These suggestions leverage Council’s strengths
and strategic position, while meeting needs identified in this report.
A comprehensive set of appendices provides more detail and context for some of the content of the report.

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Brimbank City Council: Community mental health in Brimbank
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
2
INTRODUCTION
4
PART 1: CONTEXT AND COMMUNITY NEED
5
PART 2: COMMUNITY SERVICE RESPONSE AND GAPS
14
PART 3: THE ROLE OF COUNCIL TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE
17
APPENDICES
25

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Brimbank City Council: Community mental health in Brimbank
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Introduction
Supporting improved mental wellbeing is a health and wellbeing priority for Brimbank City Council (Council), as
articulated in ‘Together We Are Brimbank’, the integrated Council Plan and Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan
2021-2025. Council commissioned Spark Strategy (sparkstrategy.com.au) to develop a report that explores the
challenges and gaps in mental health service provision in the context of the Brimbank community and identify
potential interventions or opportunities for the Council to deliver and/or support. This report achieves an action
within Council’s Year One Action Plan:
Prepare a report detailing analysis of the mental health service provision and
needs for Brimbank residents and local strategies to improve community mental health and wellbeing.
About this report
The report has been prepared during a time characterised by disruption and significant change in the mental
health and wellbeing sector. This change has been driven by policy and service reforms identified by The Royal
Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System, and an external environment that is still amid a global
pandemic. COVID-19 has impacted lives globally. In the context of Brimbank, it is recognised that mental health
and wellbeing has been significantly impacted and supporting community in this space is a key part of recovery.
This report has been broken down into three sections. The first two sections provide insights and information from
stakeholder engagement and desk-based research. Where we believe it would aid the reader, we have included
supplementary information in the appendices. The third section outlines three roles for Council to play, and
provides a set of suggestions to consider. These have been developed in response to the needs and opportunities
identified in the earlier parts of the report.
Capturing insights
The content of this report has been produced using inputs from engagement with Council stakeholders, reviewing
Council documents and desk-based research.
The perspectives of stakeholders were captured through eight interviews and two focus groups. This included
internal (Council staff) and external stakeholders (partners and service providers). All engagements were
conducted online using teleconference. Organisations involved in interviews and focus groups included the
Victorian State Government and issue or demographic focused organisations (e.g. homelessness, LGBTQI+, young
people, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, and Carers).

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Part 1: Context and community need
Part 1 provides an overview of the context in which Council is operating, and a forecast of what local future need
may look like for mental health and wellbeing. It covers the role of federal, state and local governments in
identifying and responding to need.
The mental health and wellbeing landscape
The Victorian Department of Health defines mental wellbeing as ‘a dynamic state of complete physical, mental,
social, and spiritual wellbeing in which a person can develop to their potential, cope with the normal stresses of
life, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships with others and contribute to the
community’.
1 2
The term ‘mental health’ is often conflated with
‘mental illness’. Stigma has often been attached to the
concept of mental health and wellbeing. All people
have mental health, just as all people have physical
health. Mental health is a universal attribute which
exists on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum is ‘healthy’, and the other is ‘illness’. Figure 1 shows a simple
version of this spectrum, as used by Headspace.
3
Mental health services are generally categorised
into three groups; Primary/universal services,
Secondary (specialists), and Tertiary (hospitals).
These services are often represented in a pyramid,
where the base is wide to indicate reaching a large
group or people. Tertiary services at the peak are
provided to a much smaller group of people. Figure
2 illustrates this.
1
VicHealth, Submission to the RCVMHS: SUB.0002.0029.0238, 2019
2
RCVMHS: Factsheet ‘Promoting mental wellbeing for all Victorians’
3
https://headspace.org.au/young-people/what-is-mental-health/
Tertiary
Crisis response
interventions
e.g. Hospitals
Secondary
Programs and support people
with identified problems to
prevent escalation
Primary / Universal
Programs and services aimed at entire
populations to provide support and education
before problems occur
Figure 2
There is significant change happening around mental health and wellbeing in Victoria. A clear picture of the
future is lacking, creating need for stability in the short to medium term.
Significant changes at the state level in response to a Royal Commission are making the future role of
existing Federal and State Government health networks and bodies unclear and there may be
disruptions in the short-medium term as these changes roll out.
State delivered services will be more community focused, providing an opportunity for councils to
partner with Government around local need and service planning.
Councils across Victoria appear not to be putting community mental health as a priority (yet), and the
peak body for local government has not made suggestions for council’s role.
Figure 1
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The nature of mental health support and
interventions can be conceptualised using
the ‘mental health continuum’ (see figure 3).
Councils are not experts in providing
psychological therapies, treatment or care
services, but they often play a role in mental
health promotion and prevention, as
highlighted by the dark red triangle in figure
3. Occasionally, Councils can support the
delivery of treatment and care services,
through referrals to services, and creating
the conditions for an environment where
treatment services are well connected and
guided by common goals and frameworks
(Case identification).
What exists and what is changing in the mental health and wellbeing
landscape?
The following section considers key policy responses and responsibilities at the federal, state and local government
levels.
Federal Government level
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
NDIS funds support that enables a person with a disability to undertake activities of daily living and participate in
the community and social and economic life. This includes people with a mental illness or psychiatric condition.
‘Partners in the community’ support the NDIS to deliver social and economic outcomes for people with disability.
NDIS in Brimbank
As of 30 June 2021, there were 765 NDIS participants active in the ‘Psychosocial disability’ group, who had an
average annualized support budget of $60,000 each. Since the scheme started, 424 generalist NDIS Registered
providers have been active in the Brimbank-Melton service district, with 226 active during the quarter April to June
2021. Generalist providers covers all NDIS services. Finding specific NDIS support providers is understood to be a
challenge.
In the Brimbank LGA, Brotherhood of St. Lawrence (BSL) is the local ‘Partner in the Community’, providing two
services: Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI), and Local Area Coordination (LAC).
ECEI employ coordinators who support children under seven with a developmental delay or disability, and their
families access services tailored to their child’s requirements. They connect children to community health services,
playgroups and other local activities. LAC are the main point of contact for people aged seven and over, to
navigate the NDIS system. LACs assist people with disability link to supports, services and local activities. The LACs
meet with participants to help them understand the NDIS, create their plans and explain how they can best
optimise their use of the NDIS system.
BSL is a social justice organisation which operates to address the core causes of poverty within Australia, by
working alongside those who are experienced lived disadvantage. If Council seeks to identify or offer support to
people with disabilities that are related to mental health, a partnership with BSL would assist with this.
Figure 3

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Primary Health Networks
Primary Health Networks (PHN) are not for profit organisations funded by the Commonwealth government to
improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the primary health care system. PHNs do not directly provide services,
instead they manage a range of service agreements with organisations to deliver primary health care programs in
areas of identified need. Program areas funded include mental health.
In 2016 the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) was identified as the key actor
assigned to planning for and commissioning all primary mental health services according to localised community
needs within Brimbank and the broader North Western Melbourne region. The scope of primary mental health
services includes, a) diagnosing and treating people with mental disorders; b) enabling structures to prevent
mental disorders and c) ensuring primary healthcare workers can apply key psychosocial and behavioural science
strategies and skills in day to day practice to improve population health outcomes.
The establishment of Public Health Units (PHUs) by the Victorian Government is clouding the clarity of direction of
PHNs within the state. There is appetite for collaboration from the PHNs, but it is not yet clear how PHNs will
collaborate with Mental Health Boards, Health Service Partnerships and the PHUs.
Victorian State Government level
The mental health and wellbeing of Victorians is a responsibility of Victoria’s Department of Health. The
department is responsible for mental health policy, planning, strategy and programs that deliver prevention, early
intervention, treatment and support.
Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System
Victoria has recently witnessed a high-profile conversation about the role of the State Government in delivering a
mental health system. The report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System was presented to
the Victorian Parliament in March 2021, outlining proposed changes to create a future mental health and
wellbeing system that provides holistic treatment, care and support for all Victorians.
The report makes 65 recommendations, which are grouped around four key features of a future mental health and
wellbeing system for the state. These features are:
A responsive and integrated system with community at its heart
A system attuned to promoting inclusion and addressing inequities
Re-established public confidence through prioritisation and collaboration
Contemporary and adaptable services.
The Victorian Government accepted all 65 recommendations from the Royal Commission and committed $3.8
billion to mental health and wellbeing in the 2021-22 Victorian State Budget. The Mental Health Act 2014 will be
repealed, and a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act will be enacted, changing the legislative foundations for the
mental health and wellbeing system. The Act will also support the delivery of services that are responsive to the
needs and preferences of Victorians, and put the views, preferences and values of people living with mental illness
or psychological distress, families, carers and supporters at the forefront of service design and delivery.
The Royal Commission set a vision for a responsive and integrated mental health and wellbeing system, with
regional governance and commissioning. To achieve this vision, Regional Mental Health and Wellbeing Boards will
be established by December 2023. Until then, Interim Regional Bodies will provide locally-informed advice to the
Mental Health and Wellbeing Division in the Department of Health as it plans, develops, coordinates, funds and
monitors a range of mental health and wellbeing services in each region.
A deeper explanation of the Royal Commission and the report is provided in the appendices.

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Mental Health and Wellbeing Boards
The new regional Boards are to be governed by a skills-based board (rather than a representative board) but will
include people with lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress, and people with lived experience
as a carer. The Boards will seek to support communities to achieve the highest attainable standard of mental
health and wellbeing be seeking to ensure services are locally responsive, integrated, well-resourced and delivered
by community-based organisations.
4
The Boards will;
Understand need and plan services in collaboration with service providers
Support collaboration between agencies and community support services
Fund and monitor service providers
Support mental health workforce planning and readiness
Identify and scale innovative, valued practices and initiatives
Help people find services through a directory
Engage local communities to achieve the above points.
An overview of the transition of functions from the Department Of Health to Regional Boards is included in the
appendices. If a regional board is not established for Brimbank until the end 2023, the transition plan suggests
there will be no state-led collaboration between agencies and community services organisations.
Primary Care Partnerships
The Victorian Primary Care Partnerships (PCPs) are established networks of health, local government and
community services that improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians by working together to find smarter
ways to deliver health services and health promoting activities within the community. PCPs were established in
2000. HealthWest PCP works across Melbourne’s western suburbs, which includes Brimbank along with Maribyrnong,
Melton, Wyndham and Hobsons Bay.
In October 2021, PCPs across Victoria received advice from the Victorian Government that PCP functions will be
transitioned into PHUs by April 2022. PCPs are currently working with the department to co-design the process of
transition, and there are many unanswered questions about what the future will look like. The Victorian
Government has committed that a strong focus on health promotion and prevention should be retained.
Local Government level
Local government enables the development of the municipal area it represents, supports individuals, and groups,
and provides a wide range of services for the wellbeing of the local community. This includes mental wellbeing. At
the time of preparing this report, the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) had not publicly contributed thinking
or guidance around the role of councils in community mental health and wellbeing. MAV welcomed the news of
the significant investment by the state government in mental health, noting it will benefit all Victorians
5
. The
President of MAV identified the opportunity for Councils as follows:
“Victorian councils already have deep ties to their community and local service providers. There is a real
opportunity for the Victorian Government to work closely with councils to ensure these community connections are
fully utilised.”
A desk-based survey of councils from across Victoria suggests that mental health and well-being is not a priority
currently. Looking at 10 councils, only two had a strong or explicit references to mental health and wellbeing. Two
others had a plan or high-profile program around the issue. This may in part be due to the timing of Council plans
4
Volume 1 of the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System
5
https://www.mav.asn.au/news/investment-in-mental-health-and-jobs-welcomed
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Regional Mental Health and
wellbeing boards
being published in 2021, missing an opportunity to incorporate the outcomes of the Royal Commission. A table
outlining these findings can be found in the appendices.
What does the Commission’s report mean for Council?
Although the recommendations are primarily made for the state government to adopt and action, it is valuable to
touch on how these may relate to the Brimbank municipality.
A key recommendation focuses on ensuring that treatment, care, and support are available and accessible to all
Victorians. An example of the impact of this is the establishment of a Local Adult and Older Adult Services (Local
Services) in Brimbank - one of six across Victoria
6
. The aim of a Local Service is to support people in accessing
services ‘closer to home’, addressing a geographic access barrier for the residents of Brimbank. Local Services are
for people aged 26 years and over who have mental illness or psychological distress, need more help than they can
get from their usual doctor but do not need high care services.
Local Services will provide the following service types:
Clinical treatment and therapies - such as mental health assessment and psychology services, including for
alcohol and other drug issues
Wellbeing support - such as support to recover, strengthen relationships, build life skills, get involved in
the community and address issues like physical illness, homelessness and money problems
Education, peer support and self-help - opportunities to connect with other people with lived experience
of mental illness, families, carers and supporters to share experiences and ideas and learn from each
other
Planning and coordination - help to find, access and navigate other health and social support services.
Figure 4. Royal Commissions new six-level responsive and integrated system
The Commission also recommends the establishment of ‘community collectives’ in every local government area to
support community
led activity that promotes social connection and inclusion. Community collectives will bring
together community members and leaders in communities across Victoria to guide and lead local social connection
and inclusion efforts. The collectives will take the lead in consulting with local communities to identify challenges
and opportunities, supporting them to determine issues and take action to support the mental health and
wellbeing of their communities. Each community collective will be supported by local government.
Each collective will be made up of a broad and diverse range of community members and local leaders,
determined by the community with the support of local government as auspice. As auspice, local government will
provide support and coordination, and administer funds on behalf of the community collective. The Victorian
6
https://www.brimbank.vic.gov.au/news-and-events/media-releases/media-releases-2021/march-2021/media-release-council-welcomes-mental
Families, carers and supporters, informal supports, virtual communities, and communities of place, identity and interest
Broader range of government and community services
Primary and secondary mental health and related services
Local Mental Health and Wellbeing Services
Area mental Health and Wellbeing Services
State-wide services
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Government will fund each local government to recruit one fulltime
equivalent staff member at the program
manager or coordinator level to support the community collectives. Additional flexible funding should be provided
by the State Government to enable the community collectives to undertake their functions, including distributing
funding to support local community activities.
Community collectives are anticipated to be in place by the end of 2022, however further information is required
from the State government as to how this will be implemented.
Recommendations also challenge the existing system’s traditional focus on medical treatment alone by
highlighting the importance of community and places in shaping mental health and wellbeing outcomes. This
includes a focus on redesigning services to move from a crisis-driven model to a community-based one.
What are key needs and challenges within the community?
Through eight interviews and two focus groups, community, Council, and partner organisations were engaged to
understand trends and anticipated future needs around community mental wellbeing. Specifically, we asked
stakeholders to identify population groups or social characteristics that they believe are more at risk of
experiencing mental wellbeing challenges in the future. The following section breaks down key reflections and
insights drawn from these discussions, complimented with evidence from broader desk research to more deeply
explore the issues raised.
Young people
There are many factors influencing poor mental health outcomes in young people (ages 12-25), and it is a
significant health concern. Over 75% of mental health issues occur before the age of 25, while suicide continues to
cause the largest loss of life of young people in Australia.
7
Across Australia, one in four young people lives with a
mental illness and one in three experiences moderate to high levels of psychological distress
8
. Contributing factors
include younger people experiencing ‘eco-anxiety’ due to the climate crisis
9
, and a relationship between insecure
employment and the high cost of housing.
Younger people are highly represented in the hospitality workforce which was the worst hit industry during the
Covid-19 pandemic. As a result young Victorians reported high levels of anxiety and financial stress, with 23% of
young adults (between 18-24) reported experiencing psychological distress
10
. Brimbank Youth Services are
conducting the Resilient Youth Australia survey to measure the long term effect of the pandemic.
7
https://www.beyondblue.org.au/who-does-it-affect/young-people
8
https://www.nswmentalhealthcommission.com.au/content/youth-and-young-adults
9
Clayton et al., 2017; Australian Psychological Society, 2020
10
https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/media-and-resources/publications/vichealth-coronavirus-victorian-wellbeing-impact-study-follow-up-survey
Social characteristics and economic status of individuals are expected to be the biggest determinants of
mental health and wellbeing in the future
The characteristics of age, gender, cultural and linguistic diversity, LGBTQI+, Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander, employment status, disability and being a newly arrived refugee are identified as being a key to
determining the level of need in the future.
When experienced in combination, these characteristics have an amplified impact, because of increased
barriers to support, social isolation and anxiety from financial stress.
By 2023 there may be more than 650 people in Brimbank with government funded personal budgets to
spend on mental health services and support.
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Women (especially over 55)
Although women were identified as a distinct group, our attention was drawn to how gender is one of the biggest
magnifiers of negative impact in the other groups (older people, unemployed, etc).
The Brimbank Community Impact Analysis 2021 shows that two in five women in Brimbank have been diagnosed
with anxiety or depression, higher than the Victoria average. Women face greater rates of unemployment and
increased caring responsibilities, when compared to men.
11
The pandemic lockdowns created far greater
employment concerns among women, who were primarily responsible for looking after pre-school kids, compared
to 8% of men. 72% of females reported they spent most of their time helping their children with homeschooling
solely, compared to 26% of men who undertook this responsibility.
Older women are more at risk due to a higher exposure to homelessness. Those aged 55 and over were the fastest
growing cohort of homeless Australians between 2011 and 2016, increasing by 31%. This trend was expected to
continue given the ongoing shortage of affordable housing, the ageing population and the significant gap in wealth
accumulation between men and women across their lifetimes.
12
Women are more at risk of domestic and family violence, with approximately one in four women having
experienced intimate partner violence compared to one in 13 men. The impact of this on women may include
anxiety, depression, eating, sleep and panic disorders, suicidal behaviour, traumatic and post-traumatic stress
disorders.
13
Employment status
A briefing by ACOSS observes that the loss of jobs and income due to Covid-19 increased psychological distress.
The incidence of persistent depression or anxiety rose from 10% in 2017 to 19% overall in April 2020, to 29%
among people who lost their jobs, and to 41% among those experiencing financial hardship. Among those who lost
their jobs, 11% reported suicidal ideation.
14
Financial stress and a loss of a sense of personal control are the main
factors negatively impacting mental health.
In June 2021, approximately 10.1% of people aged 15+ in Brimbank were unemployed and looking for work.
15
Elderly
26,369 people in Brimbank were aged 65+ at the 2016 census, approximately 13.5% of the population, and this
proportion is increasing. Despite the expectation that future generations of older people will be more active and
healthier, there will continue to be a strong association between ageing and health issues, including mental illness.
The mental health of older people may be affected by losing the ability to live independently and experiencing
bereavement.
16
Age-based discrimination has significant negative impacts on the mental health of older people, with a third of
Australians over 50 experiencing some form of age-related discrimination. As with those who are unemployed,
financial stress is a major factor in mental wellbeing. One in five people over 55 do not have any money to spend
on leisure or social activities, contributing to isolation and loneliness.
17
Finally, there is a correlation with older age and homelessness, with the biggest growth in homelessness numbers
in people aged 55–74 (particularly women, as mentioned elsewhere).
These factors may lead to social isolation and/or loneliness, loss of independence and increased psychological
distress. Loneliness has been linked to premature death, poor physical and mental health, and general
dissatisfaction with life.
11
Brimbank Community impact Analysis 2021 report
12
https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/age-discrimination/projects/risk-homelessness-older-women
13
https://dvvic.org.au/understand/about-family-violence/
14
https://www.acoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/2020_08_28_ACOSS-Briefing-Paper_Impact-of-financial-distress-on-mental-health-re-COVID-19-2.pdf
15
https://economy.id.com.au/brimbank/unemployment
16
https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/c2ff6c58-e05e-49ed-afd7-43bd21eef4e2/AW15-6-4-Mental-health-of-older-Australians.pdf.aspx
17
https://www.cotavic.org.au/news-items/supporting-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-of-older-victorians/
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Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)
Communities of people who were born overseas or who are Australian born with one or both parents or
grandparents born overseas are commonly referred to as Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD). This term
generally refers to people who are from countries in which the main language spoken is not English.
CALD people are pre-disposed to poor mental health outcomes because of stigma associated to seeking mental
health support within their communities.
18
Constant exposure to racial discrimination causes social exclusion, which
in turn impacts mental wellbeing. A Victorian study in 2014 found people who experience racism frequently are five
times more likely to experience poor mental health outcomes, than those who do not.
19
Those who experience
racism are also less likely to seek help from an ‘Anglo-centric’ health service, as they expect and fear prejudicial
behaviour from practitioners.
20
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
For Australia’s Indigenous community, social and emotional wellbeing is a holistic concept that includes mental
health and illness but also encompasses the importance of connection to land, culture, spirituality and ancestry,
and how these affect the wellbeing of the individual and the community. In 2018–19, among the total Indigenous
Australian population an estimated 24% reported a mental health or behavioural condition, with a higher rate
among females than males. Anxiety was the most reported mental health condition (17%), followed by depression
(13%).
21
The general health status of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is poor in comparison to the
rest of the Australian population. The relative socioeconomic disadvantage, racism and intergenerational trauma
experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people compared to non-Indigenous people places them at
greater risk of exposure to behavioural and environmental health risk factors, including mental health. The
younger age structure of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population means that the scope of the issues
currently being faced is expected to increase in the coming decades.
22
Disability
This includes all people with impairments of body function or structure, activity limitations or participation
restrictions. People with disabilities, and their carers, are among the most socially and economically disadvantaged
groups in Australia. The social and economic disadvantage in which they live is a major contributor to their poor
health, including their mental health.
23
Mental health conditions can be both a cause and an effect of disability, and often involve activity limitations and
participation restrictions beyond the ‘core’ areas of communication, mobility and self-care. Adults with disability
are more likely (32%) to experience high or very high levels of psychological distress than adults without disability
(8.0%). This is particularly true for adults with severe or profound disability (40%)
24
LGBTQI+
LGBTQI+ is an acronym used to group identity characteristics relating to biological sex, gender, and sexuality. It
stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans (transexual or transgender), Queer, Intersex. The ‘+’ encompasses a wide
range of other related identities.
Poorer mental health outcomes among the LGBTQI+ community is attributed to stigma, prejudice and
discrimination that perpetuates hostile and stressful social environments. LGBTQI+ people have a higher risk of
18
Blashki, G., L. A. Kiropoulos, and Steven Klimidis. "Managing mental illness in patients from CALD backgrounds." Australian family physician 34, no. 4 (2005).
19
Department of Health and Human Services, Racism in Victoria and what it means for the health of Victorians, 2017, p. 16.
20
The Lote Agency, ‘’Mental health and the unique challenges faced by people from CALD backgrounds” (2021)
21
https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/indigenous-health-and-wellbeing
22
https://humanrights.gov.au/about/news/speeches/social-determinants-and-health-indigenous-peoples-australia-human-rights-based
23
https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/-/media/ResourceCentre/PublicationsandResources/Health-Inequalities/VH_Disability-Summary_web.pdf
24
https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/health-of-people-with-disability
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major depression, generalised anxiety, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts compared to the general population.
9.4% of youth surveyed attempted suicide in the past 12 months. Carers of mental health in the LGBTQI+
community are often peers from informal social settings and the last resort for this community, due to the nuances
of the LGBTQI+ lived experience of systemic discrimination. Carers in this group are often under-resourced and
struggle with their own mental health associated to burnout from caring responsibilities. Young CALD LGBTQI+
people in Brimbank also reported there is lack of culturally responsive in-language awareness resources to
communicate about gender identity within CALD communities that leaves harmful prejudice/stigma inadequately
addressed, and therefore is a determinant of poor mental health in CALD LGBTQI+ people.
25
New arrival refugees
Although migrants with refugee status are not new, a specific mention was made of the expected inflow of
refugees from Afghanistan following the withdrawal of troops and change of government in the country earlier this
year. Refugees have been highlighted as being at higher risk of traumatic experiences, complex health issues and
little to no social networks in Australia.
For people from refugee backgrounds, the mental health impacts of their pre-migration traumas may be complex
and severe. When there are high communication barriers between refugees (and CALD, see above) and a public
health care system, the experience of seeking help itself becomes distressing.
26
It is unclear how large this group may be. It was noted by one Council staff member that refugees are often placed
in the outer suburb growth corridors, and it is unclear if large populations would be settled in Brimbank.
Characteristics are not exclusive
The characteristics above are not mutually exclusive groups and often overlap. The need for wellbeing support is
likely to increase where someone experiences the intersectional effects of these factors - for example 62.9% of
young people who identify as LGBTQI+ have experienced mental health issues.
NDIS – Government forecasts
As mentioned earlier, NDIS includes support that enables a person with a mental illness or psychiatric condition to
undertake activities of daily living and participate in the community and social and economic life. Current
modelling estimates that by 2023 there may be approximately 660 individuals in and around Brimbank with NDIS
support relating to a mental health illness. A deeper explanation of NDIS and forecasting is included in the
appendices.
25
Writing Themselves In 4: The health and wellbeing of LGBTQA+ young people in Australia. Victoria summary report (2020) by La Trobe University
26
Victorian Refugee Health Network, pp. 7–8; Foundation House, Submission to the RCVMHS: SUB.1000.0001.0868, p. 50

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Brimbank City Council: Community mental health in Brimbank
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Part 2: Community service response and gaps
Part 2 of the report looks at what is provided today, where there are gaps in provision, barriers to accessing
services, and what weaknesses there are in how those services are delivered.
To provide suggestions around Council’s future role in supporting community mental health and wellbeing, it is
important to understand the ‘current state’ of the community service response, including what exists and where
there are gaps. The next section outlines the types of services available to residents.
Types of services and support available
Services which support good mental health and wellbeing for the residents of Brimbank fall into categories defined
by being locally or nationally delivered, if the support is general or specific, and if the audience is universal or
targeted. The following summary describes what service provision exists for residents of Brimbank, across
categories. A more comprehensive snapshot of the types of services provided in and around Brimbank has been
provided in a separate document.
Nationally delivered online or telephone mental health support
Available to all Australians, services such as Lifeline Australia are open to anyone to call up, or talk online. They are
anonymous, offering a ‘reach out and talk’ service.
Locally delivered services – specific support, general audiences
These are secondary and tertiary mental health services provided to anyone, inclusive of public and private
services such as psychologists and counsellors, medical centres, mental health and psychiatric units. These services
are for people who are in the ‘coping’, ‘difficulties’ or the ‘illness’ parts of the continuum.
Locally delivered services – general support, targeted audiences
These are services that support specific demographic or sociographic groups, with a range of services. Some of
these services include those focused on mental health and wellbeing. They may alternatively provide referrals into
trusted mental health support services or do both. Examples include Carers Victoria, Rainbow Door (for LGBTQI+),
and the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association. This also includes Council’s Youth Services (Wellbeing and
Belonging Unit).
Locally delivered services – targeted support, targeted audiences
Brimbank also has organisations which exist to provide mental health and wellbeing services to a specific
population group. Examples include the nationally recognised Orygen and headspace for adolescence and youth.
Despite their being this range and variety of services, it does not mean all residents are well served, or that
services are collaborating and delivering effectively as a sector, as the next section describes.
There are three areas for development in better serving and supporting community mental wellbeing.
Challenges to service access exist because of not knowing and understanding what support exists,
individuals’ resistance to acknowledging the need for assistance, stigma associated with getting help,
and navigating a complex system.
There is a need for leadership around sector collaboration, focused on how diverse organisations can
promote good community mental wellbeing.
Council could build on current advocacy work to further communicate needs to government, as the
key representative of local people.

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Gaps, barriers and weaknesses in supporting mental health and
wellbeing
This section of the report synthesises observations and feedback gathered through stakeholder engagement
relating to gaps or weaknesses in the sector support mental wellbeing. The feedback has been gathered into three
areas; service delivery, partnerships and collaboration, and improving the system.
Service delivery
Most feedback we heard through the focus groups was around gaps or barriers in the direct provision of services.
This also included infrastructure or spaces for the residents of Brimbank to access, which support community
mental wellbeing.
Cost:
Accessing classes that support mental wellbeing (e.g. yoga, pilates, meditation) or therapy
(psychologists) often requires payment which many people are unable to afford. Some free-to-access
services are available, but these are limited.
Services are inflexible or not available when needed:
Related to the above, where no-cost or low-cost
services or support are available, it can be difficult for individuals to access due to location, or timing. An
example is the provision of yoga at community centres, but these are only open 9am-4pm, when many
people are working.
Lack of awareness of what support is available:
There is a lack of broad awareness of support options in
the public through to medical professionals. For the latter, we heard GPs often focus purely on the person
being cared for, but do not consider what support the patient's carer may need (NB: reasons for this are
not stated, it could be capacity or capability).
Language barriers:
Linguistic diversity in the Brimbank community means that for many, English is not a
first language, or indeed for new arrivals, may not be used at all. Noting the future needs (below) there is
likely to be a continuation of this. We heard that many online and printed resources around mental
wellbeing and health are not provided in languages which are understandable to some members of the
Brimbank community, further compounding the lack of awareness barrier, above.
Low literacy:
Similar to language barriers, it was highlighted that even natural English speakers do not
universally have strong literacy skills.
Stigma in accessing services:
Australia has seen a significant uplift in the public narrative about mental
health and wellbeing, however we heard that despite this for some there is a stigma (or perceived stigma)
in accessing wellbeing support.
Cultural differences:
We heard in Brimbank that some culturally diverse communities do not understand
or acknowledge the western model of mental health and wellbeing. An anecdotal example provided to us
illustrate this was of one individual who would not recognise they needed psychological support but
would acknowledge having a gambling problem.
Navigating myriad, complex services is a challenge:
Echoing the sentiment in the report by the Royal
Commission, which noted that ‘the system is complex and fragmented and, for those who do manage to
get into it, difficult to navigate’. This is concerning for Council’s stakeholders, as it creates another barrier
beyond those listed above. If an individual decides to seek help, this experience can be off-putting.
People not identifying their needs.
The first step to seeking support is to recognise and act on the need.
Some groups (e.g. carers of others) often do not identify or act on seeking support and services for their
own wellbeing.
Capacity for support severe and complex mental ill health is low.
At the ‘tertiary end’ of mental health
services where people require specialist or hospital care, there is a shortage of dedicated hospital beds for
people with severe and complex mental health needs (at Sunshine Hospital). The addition of new beds is
planned.
Partnerships and collaboration
Focus groups identified opportunities for improvement around how organisations work with others through
coalitions, networks and referrals.

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Brimbank City Council: Community mental health in Brimbank
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Coordination of services and referral pathways are underdeveloped.
This means mental health and
wellbeing services are at risk of duplicating effort, and people accessing those services may bounce
around providers before finding the service they need. We heard there were specific weaknesses in
culturally appropriate coordination of services. This means, if someone asks for help, finding the right
service can be difficult because service provision is layered and complex. It was remarked that at present
this is “nearly impossible”. A lack of cultural diversity in the staff of Council and service providers was
highlighted as a contributing factor to this.
A Brimbank network for service providers, focused on supporting good mental health and wellbeing, is
missing.
We heard that a network or partnership focused on promoting good mental health and wellbeing
(i.e. primary prevention) is missing in the Brimbank area. NWMPHN and Healthwest PCP hold this
responsibility to some degree, however both cover a much greater geographic area that the Brimbank
municipality. NWMPHN is also focused on planning and commissioning of intervention services, and the
future of PCPs is unclear as they are rolled up into PHUs. The arrival of Mental Health Boards in Victoria
are expected to connect organisations around more complex mental health needs. As this is unlikely to
promote collaboration around promoting community mental wellbeing, this gap will continue.
Improving the system
We also heard that more could be done in challenging and changing systems and enabling structures, mainly
around seeking more investment for more service delivery in the area.
Advocacy to government around local needs and funding for services.
This is less a gap, rather there is a
perceived need or opportunity to do more. Extending existing advocacy efforts, local services would like
to see Council lead advocacy and lobbying campaigns built on deeper, nuanced understandings of local
needs. Council can build on this report and engage local service providers to gain a more granular
understanding of need with regards to wait lists and services provided. Using this, Council would
coordinate efforts to make the case to state or commonwealth governments for funding that supports
sufficient service provision to meet those needs.

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Part 3: The role of Council today and in the future
Part 3 identifies Council’s strengths and assets, and what Council could change or start doing to support the mental
wellbeing of the Brimbank community. The insights in this section are largely drawn from the feedback from
internal and external stakeholder interviews and focus groups.
Strengths to build on
Public spaces and facilities that enhance mental health and wellbeing
Council owns and manages public spaces and infrastructure such as libraries, parks and community hubs that
support positive mental health and wellbeing outcomes of residents. These spaces play a significant role at the
‘universal prevention’ stage of the mental health intervention spectrum, where health service providers expend far
fewer resources. These public amenities are seen as universal because they are meant for the whole population,
and nobody is excluded.
Provision of community services and programs
Council currently delivers services for community which fall on the mental health continuum, from prevention to
treatment (see figure 3). A full list of services provided by Council is provided in the appendices. Council currently
provides;
20 different services which
directly
support mental health and wellbeing
23 different services which
indirectly
support mental health and wellbeing
4 different services which
directly, and indirectly
support mental health and wellbeing
Five of the services provided by Council are universal, i.e. open or relevant to all, but tend to be about surveying or
understanding community need. The other 42 services are targeted to specific cohorts, such as Over 65s, Young
People, CALD communities, disabilities, and carers. Some notable initiatives mentioned are being delivered for
youth including mentoring, counselling for 12-15 year olds, and general capacity building short programs.
Council has a unique connection with the local population
Council is uniquely positioned to reach all residents in Brimbank through its scope of powers in planning and
building control, business and economic development, waste and environmental management, human and
community services, health and local laws within the municipality. All households within the Brimbank municipality
interact with the Council as ratepayers and consumers of public utilities and services. Major mental health actors
with substantial funding and reputation in the region, lack this high level of direct community reach. Direct access
to the population through households and provision of public services is a unique asset that can be leveraged by
Council.
Council has an independent platform for convening networks and coalitions
The Brimbank Service Provider Network (BSPN) connects and adds value to the work that is being done by service
providers and organisations servicing the communities of Brimbank. Membership is open to service providers and
organisations that provide services to the communities of Brimbank.
Key points of this section are:
Council has strengths to build on with regards to supporting community mental wellbeing, such as
public spaces, services and facilities, its own good practice with staff, and its unique position in the
community. For Council to articulate how it contributes to community wellbeing, Council could
benefit from establishing a cross-department mental wellbeing framework.
Three key roles have been identified for Council; Advocate, Enabler, and Facilitator, with 15 suggested
actions to consider for the short, medium and long term.

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Although not an official council committee, BSPN reflects Brimbank City Council’s commitment to inter
governmental, community collaborations, information sharing and coordination to support and strengthen
effective service delivery for Brimbank communities. The objectives of the network include;
Sharing knowledge, ideas, experience, and information relevant to the provision of effective services
Identifying strategies and opportunities for collaboration and partnerships
Facilitating interagency and intergovernmental approaches to addressing and advocating for the
communities needs and issues
To host workshops, presentations on ongoing needs and trends and sharing best practice initiatives
Stakeholders commented that their organisations do not have resources to build and sustain networks, but they
believe Council is well placed to do this as a convenor and connector. Opportunities exist in leveraging this
experience, to create a new network focused on community mental health and wellbeing in Brimbank, perhaps as
the focus of a working group of BSPN.
Council leading the way with mental health first aid
Council’s teams have actively sought to support the mental health of staff and the community. Services leaders
(from Libraries and Youth Services) undertook Mental Health First Aid training to build the skills and capacity of
Team Leaders and Coordinators in supporting and assisting staff. For libraries, around 7 staff were trained,
meaning around 108 people (including casual staff) can be supported. Staff identified interest in doing the training
to build skills and better support community members using Council’s libraries. Library staff have experienced a
range of issues around inappropriate behaviours over the years. The challenge for staff is that due to the
transactional nature of the relationship with community members, it isn’t easy to know what is happening for the
person being responded to or supported.
Council’s Youth Wellbeing and Belonging team delivered online training in 2021 to 14 Library staff, 4 Enhanced
MCH Social workers/Nurse and 8 Youth Services staff. Three more training programs are planned in 2022 including
one for Council staff, one for staff at Youth Junction (a community organisation) and one to be determined.
The original initiative included training for the youth counsellors to be qualified to deliver the ‘Teen Mental Health
First Aid’ program in schools in 2022, but this has been delayed because of Covid and school lockdowns.
Library service leaders are supportive of library staff who wish to do Mental Health First Aid (generic or youth
focussed). Budget would need to be allocated as the training is not offered through Council.
Council employee mental wellbeing support
The Federal Government’s Productivity Commission’s Inquiry report
27
explores the impact that the workplace can
have on individual wellbeing (mental and physical). Given the large amount of time that members of the
community spend at work, this is worth considering.
Our conversations with Council staff revealed Council’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is well used compared
to historical and comparisons with other employers/sectors. This is attributed partly to increased need for mental
wellbeing support during the sustained pandemic related lockdowns, but also the approach that has been taken by
Council in selecting a good EAP provider and communicating this offer to staff effectively. With 35% of Council staff
living in the Brimbank area, this has an impact not only on employee wellbeing and Council productivity, but also
benefiting community wellbeing.
We heard that it is unlikely that other employers in the Brimbank area are offering EAP to employees. Through on
going work by Council’s Economic Development Team, simple communications around the economic and social
value of an EAP can be disseminated to businesses operating within the municipality.
27
https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/mental-health/report
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What roles can Council play for greater impact in the future?
Looking ahead, it is clear mental health and wellbeing is a focus that is here to stay. The stigma associated with
engaging, talking about and acting on our mental health has reduced and the targeted attention and investment
taking place at federal, state, local and community level mean that there is a great opportunity for Council to
embrace and act.
Outlined below are key roles and potential short, medium and long-term action that Council can take forward.
Some are quick wins, while others propose more significant investment, or even re-thinking of the status quo.
These all must be considered in the context of expertise, role and budget. But Council should not be afraid to
consider them and the potential impact it could have.
Role 1: Council as advocate
As highlighted throughout this report, Brimbank has deep ties to the community and local service providers. This
provides a unique position for Council to be not just a representative voice, but to identify ways in which to
influence on behalf of the community and service providers. This is about:
Leveraging existing (and possibly) new mechanisms within the community to elevate need and gaps;
Leveraging relationship with State Government to influence Victorian policy and funding to focus on the
areas of vulnerability, from service through to infrastructure shown to support and prevent community
health and wellbeing;
It is recognised that advocating for local community through funding, policy and other forms of investment is
already a critical part of Council’s role. Taking this through the lens of mental health and wellbeing can add real
potential impact for the community.
Action
Overview
Timeframe Cost
Considerations
1.1 Develop
localised community
data and
understanding
Embed annual or bi-annual
community research with a
primary focus on mental health
and wellbeing. This can be
targeted to specific cohorts or
broader. Having baseline and
ongoing data, will have a
significant impact on influence
in engaging and advocating on
behalf of the people of
Brimbank.
Medium
term
Medium Capturing data is no simple task. It
requires relevant expertise and
support. This could be done
leveraging existing internal
expertise or consider engaging with
external support to lead this
activity on a repeat basis.
1.2 Influence
existing
commitments, such
as, new mental
health hub.
Consider the mechanisms being
used to engage and support the
development of the new mental
health hub to bring local
context and voice. An example
of this could include
establishing a council-led
working group (inc. service and
community representatives).
The purpose is not to disrupt
but provide a connected and
diverse voice to help identify
opportunities to support the
development of the hub.
Short term Low
The risk will always be in the
politics involved in any type of
group, alongside the actual
influence. The value is in listening
and collective ownership. The cost
of running such a group would be
based purely on time and effort,
with the aim being to leverage
existing Council expertise to
support this.
1.3 Develop a
mental health and
wellbeing advocacy
agenda
Advocacy is a big a term, that
means different things in
different contexts. Developing
an advocacy agenda is
Short term Low
The challenge will be to ensure
pragmatism and realism in any
agenda. It should be based off
where Council has existing

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Brimbank City Council: Community mental health in Brimbank
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essentially about providing
strategic direction for Council to
identify and prioritise issues and
potential actions available to it.
The agenda, ideally would be
based on the information both
in this report as well as from
further community
consultation, to identify unmet
need where demand is greater
than service supply.
connection and strength and points
of known influence and voice. It
should also be tied to other
strategic outcomes and directions
already set by community in the
community vision and other
Council Plans. It is work that can be
led internally at low cost.
1.4 Develop an
interim Mental
Wellbeing
Implementation
Plan that outlines
short to medium
term actions
The value is to be able to act in
short term whilst the sector is
being restructured, define
Council’s role and prioritise and
identify points of intervention
and investment across the
whole of Council.
Short term Medium Will require commitment and
accountabilities across different
Council departments. The approach
would require a lead unit and a
governance structure established
to oversee the Plan such as a cross
Council Mental Wellbeing Working
Group.
Explainer for action tables
The tables below consider two key levers – Time and cost. As early-stage suggestions, these are high-level at this point and require further
investigation.
Costs
- The investment implication for the action. This identifies if additional spend is required, or if the action can be carried out within
existing resourcing.
High:
Estimated, over $50k additional spend required
Medium:
Estimated, under $50k investment required
Low:
No investment required
Timeframe
- The timeframe for potential action and consideration.
Short-term:
To be considered and actioned with the next 12 months
Medium-term:
to be considered and actioned with 1-3 years
Long-term:
To be considered and action beyond 3 years (NB: action maybe required before to initiate)

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Role 2: Council as an enabler (through services and information)
This research has identified that many in our community are falling through the cracks in the support they need,
many in our community are not actively engaged with what is available and how different supports, services and
community places and spaces could support them. It is all too easy to rush at the proposition of how Council could
deliver these services. The better response is to evaluate where Council’s strengths best overlap with the potential
interventions either through services or information.
One key strength is that Council has greater reach than any one service provider, the primary reason being the
diversity of their scope and role in community. Members of the community engage with Council on such a range of
matters from the simple touch points of paying tax or attending council facilities through to accessing grants and
programs. It is this depth and breadth of interaction that provides Council the unique position over any one service
provider i.e. the Council has many channels to communicate and influence, where often service providers are
waiting for action from community, whether it be direct contact or referral.
Another key focus (but maybe not always a strength within Council) is the capture and reporting on local data.
Data that can help decision-makers from within local services and across State Government, understand the
impact of different interventions from early prevention to direct services has on community mental health and
wellbeing. To do this, there is a need for an evaluative framework that helps not just tell a story, but identifies the
indicators and measures that need to be and can be captured. Council is well placed, based on existing connection,
and understanding of the community to take on a lead role in this. Through the existing commitment in Council’s
Public Health and Wellbeing Plan there is opportunity to develop a framework of measures through consultation
within community that helps to not only understand action but elevate it, through clear and consistent language.
Basically, Council can lead the way in saying what is being done to positively impact community health and
wellbeing and how it is working.
Based on these points, there are several potential areas of action:
Action
Overview
Timeframe Cost
Considerations
2.1 Review Council
support for
community groups
and community
organisations across
the Community
Wellbeing
Directorate
Developing a consistent and
uniform approach that supports
increased mental wellbeing in
the community alongside other
priorities. This can be evaluated
against the framework
developed in action 2.3.
Short term Low to
medium
Opening spaces and places for
community to use appears a simple
option, but there are complex
considerations including existing
Council policies and guidelines, the
impact on Council services, and
existing arrangements and
competing priorities of community
groups and organisations. .
2.2 Include a
funding stream
within existing
community grants
program for mental
health and
wellbeing projects
Council can provide funding to
local community organisations
to support the development of
their ideas and responses to
promoting good mental health
and wellbeing. Criteria could be
linked to the impact framework
of action 2.3. Grants are
evaluated as a medium cost, but
this is dependent on the level to
which this was funded.
Short term Low to
medium
Council can choose to re-distribute
current funding, which would not
increase the overall cost – but
would reduce Council’s
commitments to other impact
areas. Alternatively, Council can
choose to increase the funds
available through existing grants to
provide a new grant stream.
2.3a Develop a
Council-wide impact
measurement
framework focused
This will allow all services to
report in a consistent way,
ideally on a quarterly basis.
Data collected can be used to
report on Council’s positive
contributions to wellbeing, and
Medium
term
Low to
Medium
The intent here is not to develop a
new performance measure for
services, rather an approach to
identify opportunities for Council.

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Action
Overview
Timeframe Cost
Considerations
on community
mental wellbeing.
identify new opportunities for
support – either delivered by
Council or community.
The PERMA model has been
provided in this report as an
illustrative example.
2.3b Identify an
internal resource for
implementing
framework.
A role which works across
Council to support all
departments to develop and
implement the framework. This
role would also act as the
coordinator of data for
reporting purposes.
Medium
term
High
This is likely to require a full-time
position to support the
development of the framework,
change management process,
framework application and co
ordinator of reporting.
2.4 Inform local
employers about
supporting
employees with
mental wellbeing.
Using Council as an example of
good practice, share with local
employers how they can
support their staff and promote
mental wellbeing.
The Council’s Economic
Development Team can
communicate and disseminate
information about the economic
value of EAP to organisations
operating within the
municipality
Short term Low
Local businesses are currently
under significant pressure and may
not be open to ideas at this stage.
Council’s Economic Development
staff are already very busy with
other support to local businesses.
2.5 Mental health
first aid training roll
out
Building on the highly regarded
training undertaken to date, this
would assist Council in assisting
employees and service users to
provide informal, early mental
health interventions.
Training the trainers is a low
cost, high impact option which
also builds capability of the
Council workforce.
Short term Medium A financial cost is incurred for
Council staff to take the initial
training, after this it is a question of
dedicating time for people to
receive the training in-house.
This is impactful as residents access
Council services who might not
think to talk to their GP or access
another service around their
mental wellbeing.
2.6 Review Council’s
existing public
health literature and
information and
where gaps exist,
develop mental
wellbeing
campaigns and
messaging on
available supports
and services.
This is an audit of ‘what do we
do today?’ to understand where
gaps may lie in current
materials for the high need
cohorts mentioned earlier in
this document. This should be
comprehensive and far
reaching, to include digital and
traditional channels. Where
gaps in information exists, seek
to fill them.
Short term Low
New public health messaging
around mental wellbeing should be
created in consultation with target
audiences. Using the community
panels in action 3.2 would be an
ideal channel for this.
Examples of messaging employed
by other councils are included in the
appendices.
2.7a Continue
specialist youth
counselling services.
Committing to continue to fund
the youth counselling services
into the future helps to ensure
young people have appropriate
support, from services they
trust and are familiar with.
Long term Low
This is low cost as it does not
require an increase in costs from
spend levels today.

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Action
Overview
Timeframe Cost
Considerations
2.7b Extend
specialist youth
counselling services
to reach more
young people
Recognising that younger
people are forecast to have
greater requirements for
support in future, Council can
extend its current service
provision to reach a greater
number of local young people.
Medium to
Long term
High
As the need for psycho-social
mental wellbeing support grows,
Council’s service can respond. This
is set as a medium to long term
action as it requires needs
assessment of where this extension
would be most impactful, as well as
building an increase in costs into
future youth service budgets.
Role 3: Council as a facilitator
We heard through our engagement that when it comes to community mental wellbeing, mental health service
providers in Brimbank feel disconnected from each other, working in siloes. This is supported by survey insights
from the NWMPHN’s ‘Blueprint for better health’.
28
This lack of connection can impede service delivery and
creates unsatisfactory and unsustainable outcomes for the communities they seek to serve.
Creating connections and networks can be complex. Often they change constantly, there is rarely one source of
information, it requires nurturing and management and has to have a clear and compelling reason for coming
together. Greater collaboration and increased relationships across service providers (including Council) could drive
a significant change and improvement in mental health and wellbeing services. If developed, these networks will
have the additional capacity to define clearer services, share resources (from people to knowledge) and improve
referral, at least the understanding for clients to know where to next. It is no easy undertaking, but councils (such
as Brimbank) are often in the best position to do this. The following points make the case for acting as a central
facilitator, but as a provocation that networks rarely easily or comprehensively form alone, and they need a leader
/ central point in which to work out from.
1) Funding has greater flexibility (not unlimited or easy – but less tied to specific service outcomes);
2) Council has spaces that can be leveraged to connect people and organisations;
3) Councils (including Brimbank) traditionally have been a key funder and supporter of community-based
services; and
4) Council holds a role in whole of community wellbeing.
Based on this premise, Council could consider the following actions:
Action
Overview
Timeframe Cost
Considerations
3.1 Engage with
State Government
and other
stakeholders for the
introduction of the
proposed
‘community
collective’ model.
Council has progressed its
thinking and positioning on
mental health and wellbeing
and can be proactive in
engaging with the State
Government about the
implementation of the
proposed community collectives
across all Victorian LGAs.
Short Term Low
The State Government may not
have developed the final model for
community collectives yet.
3.2 Support the
development of a
community
wellbeing network.
Council can facilitate the
development of a network of
local organisations, which would
act as a central point of contact
in Brimbank. The network will
Short term Low
The coordination role could either
be a new role internally or funded
to be delivered by a partner (high
cost), or an inclusion to a current
role (Low cost).
28
https://www.blueprintforhealth.org.au
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Action
Overview
Timeframe Cost
Considerations
develop or support existing
work (see 3.2).
A coordinating role would be
needed to organise meetings
and other activities that
contribute to the evolution and
maintenance of the network.
Council can provide meetings
rooms to host meetings.
See
‘Council as facilitator’ case study
in appendix
The new network could be
developed through the BSPN, and
then set up independently or as a
working group of the BSPN.
This action could also be performed
well by a well-connected
community service organisation in
the local area.
3.2 Establish
advisory panels
representing those
identified as having
a greatest need for
support around
mental wellbeing
These panels would provide
Council and partners access to
the diverse experiences and
expectations of different
groups. Panels would be
recruited through community
partners, and may be consulted
on matters such as public health
messaging, advocacy topics, or
for Council’s partners to consult
on new service design and
delivery. Their input would also
be used in advocacy efforts (see
role 1).
Medium
term
Medium Participants should be well
supported in joining and
participating in advisory panels and
receive remuneration for their
time. These may be coordinated by
the community wellbeing
partnership manager, or
community organisations could be
funded to support these. The latter
is ideal for ensuring quality and
appropriate partnerships with
those community populations.

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Appendices
Appendix title
Pages
Appendix 1: Case studies & examples
25 – 26
Appendix 2: Introducing The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System 27
Appendix 3: Transition of functions from the Department of Health to Regional Boards 28
Appendix 4: Introducing NDIS and forecasts for Mental Illness support needs in Brimbank 29
Appendix 5: Exploring a mental health and wellbeing framework for Council
30 – 31
Appendix 6: Exploring Victorian Councils approach to community mental health and
wellbeing
32
Appendix 7: Council services, programs and activities which support individual and
community mental health and wellbeing
33 - 39
Appendix 8: Examples of community wellbeing public health messaging
40
Appendix 9: Overview of consultation
41

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Appendix 1: Case studies & examples
Impactful partnerships: Brimbank council, IPC and social prescribing
IPC Health provides universal health care, including general practice, mental health and illness interventions.
Council’s Neighbourhood Houses provide social engagement and support programs. On the spectrum of
interventions, IPC Health provides mainly
primary mental health care
and is situated in the ‘prevention’,
‘treatment’ and ‘continuing care’ phases of the wellbeing continuum. Council’s Neighbourhood Houses provide
supports to the community through community-led mental health support from a promotion and prevention lens.
A partnership between Council, Victoria University, the NWMPHN and IPC Health has led to the embedding of a
Social Prescribing program. The Social Prescribing Link Workers at IPC Health refers patients to community
programs offered by Neighbourhood Houses.
Social Prescribing is an innovative, integrated model of care that links clinical care and community services to
improve health and wellbeing outcomes for the community. It complements traditional forms of medical and
health care to help individuals who have social and wellbeing needs that can’t be met by the health system. This
could include things such as feeling lonely or wanting to connect to people with similar interests
https://www.ipchealth.com.au/social-prescribing
Developing a mental health action plan: Knox Council
The Knox Mental Health Action Plan was developed in 2021 as a strategic framework to address the existing and
emerging mental health requirements of their local community, and to alleviate coordination of the myriad
interventions in the community in future. It was a response to COVID19 and the general needs of the community.
Like Brimbank Council, Knox Council deployed an impact survey to measure the effects of COVID19 on households.
This survey and analysis helped to gauge the community need within the region. It catalysed the creation of the
‘Knox Mental Health Forum’ held in December and February 2021, where peak bodies and partner organisation in
the field of community wellbeing and mental health services came together to recommend the future role of
Council in the community wellbeing space for Knox residents. The forum recommended four main pillars for Knox
Council could focus on:
1. Health Promotion
2. Community Education
3. Sector Coordination and Collaboration
4. Advocacy
Through this project Knox Council was able to understand what services or initiatives were available across
primary, secondary and tertiary interventions.
- Primary Prevention: aims to prevent the onset of a condition by stopping it from occurring in the first
place
- Secondary prevention: focuses on the detection and treatment of a mental health condition at its earliest
possible stage to reduce its duration and severity
- Tertiary prevention: aims to reduce the impact of an established condition on an individual’s functioning,
quality of life and longevity through treatment and psychosocial supports
Socioeconomic indicators and liveability indicators were used to measure the gaps in what Knox Council was doing
across the interventions. A similar mapping exercise can help Brimbank understand where the Council should focus
on.
https://www.knox.vic.gov.au/our-council/policies-strategies-and-plans/mental-health-action-plan
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Council as facilitator: Cardinia Shire Council
Cardinia Council’s Liveability Plan focuses on the social determinants of health; the conditions in which people are
born, learn, live, work or age.
The plan outlines the common agenda and priorities that Council, partners and the community, will collectively
work towards over the coming years. One key priority on the plan is “Improving mental health and wellbeing”.
Two activities delivered by Cardinia to achieve this are 1) Advocating for more mental health services in Cardinia
Shire, and 2) Facilitating the Cardinia Shire Mental Health Alliance.
The Cardinia Mental Health Alliance was established in 2017 with the objective of providing a platform for local
Mental Health Service Providers to work collectively towards improving the mental health and wellbeing outcomes
for residents of Cardinia Shire. The Alliance consists of membership from more than 30 different organisations and
a Strategic Action plan consisting of 13 actions over a three-year term.
https://www.cardinia.vic.gov.au/health_and_wellbeing
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Appendix 2: Introducing The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System
What is a Royal Commission?
A Royal Commission is an investigation, independent of government, into a matter of great importance. Royal
Commissions make recommendations to government about what should change. In February 2019, a Royal
Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (The Commission) was established, signalling “the failure of
Victoria’s mental health system to support those who needed it”. The Commission’s final report was delivered in
March 2021.
What is in the report?
There are 65 recommendations for reform of the current system to achieve a 10-year vision for a re-balanced
system. In this future state, mental health and wellbeing treatment, care and support are to be delivered in
community settings and extend beyond an acute health response to a more holistic approach to good mental
health and wellbeing across the community. The Commission defined four features of the desired future mental
health system, summarised in the table below.
Key feature
Description
A responsive and
integrated system with
community at its heart
The future mental health and wellbeing system will be fundamentally restructured around a
community-based model of care. There will be two parallel systems. One will be a system for
infants, children and young people. The other for adults and older adults. The service system
will consist of six levels, where the top level is aimed at the largest number of people.
Contemporary and
accessible services
Contemporary and adaptable service delivery is crucial to improving the experiences and
outcomes of people living with mental illness. Providing such services will require a
fundamentally different approach: the new system will need to adapt to changing expectations,
trends and emerging challenges.
A system attuned to
promoting inclusion
and addressing
inequities
The future mental health and wellbeing system will be responsive to people and populations in
Victoria with the greatest need, providing services that are safe, tailored and localised. The
system will adapt to new and changing inequities, supporting those who may be experiencing
disadvantage.
Re-established
confidence through
prioritisation and
collaboration
Strong foundations create the conditions for the reformed mental health and wellbeing system
to be sustained. These relate to effective leadership, governance and oversight, accountability
and collaboration across governments and communities, and ensuring that people with lived
experience of mental illness or psychological distress are leading and partnering with others in
reform efforts.

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Appendix 3: Transition of functions from the Department of Health to Regional Boards
Below is a high level roadmap of the transition of functions from the Department Of Health to Regional Boards,
taken from Volume 1 of the final report from the Royal Commission (p.272).

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Appendix 4: Introducing NDIS and forecasts for NDIS Mental Illness support needs in Brimbank
The National Disability Insurance Service (NDIS) is the result of a major government reform, focused on improving
the way support and services for people with disability were paid for and provided. The idea of NDIS is to develop a
market-based approach, providing participants of the scheme with a budget which would pay for a personal plan
of support, unique to their disability and circumstances. The types of supports that the NDIS may fund for
participants include daily personal activities, transport to enable participation in community, social, economic and
daily life activities, therapeutic supports including behaviour support and help with household tasks to allow the
participant to maintain their home environment.
NDIS funds support that enables a person with a mental illness or psychiatric condition to undertake activities of
daily living and participate in the community and social and economic life.
The pricing model for NDIS is set nationally, outlining what access to services should cost, allowing participants to
plan how they spend their NDIS funding. (NDIS does not cover the cost of support which is not related to a
person’s disability or support needs.) NDIS is based on a market-based approach, so to be successful it must have a
sufficient mix of suppliers (service providers) and customers (NDIS participants) in a given geographic area. If there
are too few scheme participants in a given area, providers will not see commercial value in setting up and
delivering services in the area. For those who have need and budget for support, but live in an area with
insufficient providers, ‘buying’ services and support will be challenging, or not possible.
Current modelling estimates that by 2023 there may be nearly $230m spent per year on
all
disability support
services through NDIS, by approximately 5,000 people living in and around Brimbank. The table below provides the
upper and lower forecast of NDIS demands by 2023 in postcode areas which overlay with the City of Brimbank
footprint. Forecasts are drawn from the NDIS Demand Map
29
.
Expected total NDIS spend
per year ($M)
Estimated total NDIS
participants
Est. mental illness
(% of total)
Postcode
Lower
Upper
Lower
Upper
Lower
Upper
3020
$26.5
$44.3
730
964
45 (6%)
161 (16%)
3021
$50.3
$72.0
939
1,379
90 (6%)
192 (14%)
3022
$2.0
$6.0
64
121
<10 (<15%) 19 (16%)
3023
$36.4
$56
921
1,242
40 (4%)
138 (11%)
3036
$3.3
$7.9
67
117
<10 (<15%) 14 (12%)
3037
$23.1
$42.7
822
1141
37 (5%)
139 (12%)
TOTAL
$141.6
$228.9
3,543
4,964
232 (7%) 663 (13%)
29
https://blcw.dss.gov.au/ndis-demand-map/
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Appendix 5: Exploring a mental health and wellbeing framework for Council
A key suggestion for Council is to develop a mental health and wellbeing framework, which would set a common
understanding, language and set of outcomes for all Council services, and potentially for local community based
organisations working in the municipality.
What would the framework include?
A framework for mental health and wellbeing would show the key mental wellbeing outcomes Council is seeking to
achieve (e.g. resilient residents, happy communities/residents), what it will measure or monitor to demonstrate
progress towards these outcomes (e.g. individual sense of satisfaction, feelings of anxiety), what Council provides
to help deliver those outcomes (e.g. number of services delivered, m2 of parks provided) and how measurement
will be undertaken (e.g. community surveys, proxy-data, services reporting on activities).
To illustrate how a framework might be used, we have mapped Council services and facilities against Seligman’s
(2011) “PERMA” wellbeing model. PERMA explains that for human wellbeing to flourish and for people to become
more resilient, one or more of five elements need to be nurtured. The “PERMA” model of wellbeing is summarised
below.
Positive emotion:
feeling happiness, hope, interest, joy, love, compassion, pride, amusement, and gratitude.
Spending time with people you care about and maintaining relationships.
Doing activities that you enjoy (hobbies such as arts, sport, culture, etc).
Reflecting on things you are grateful for and what is going well in your life.
Engagement:
living in the present moment and focusing entirely on the task at hand.
Participate in activities that you really love, where you lose track of time when you do them.
Spending time in nature, watching, listening, and observing what happens around you.
Identifying and learning about your character strengths, and pursuing things you excel at.
Relationships:
refer to feeling supported, loved, and valued by others, since humans are intrinsically social
beings.
Joining a recreational group that interests you.
Maintaining existing social connections and creating new friendships.
Meaning:
belonging and/or serving something greater than ourselves - having a purpose in life
Getting involved in a cause or organization that matters to you.
Trying new, creative activities to find things you connect with.
Using your passions to help others.
Accomplishment:
achievement, mastery, or competence, and possessing the self-motivation to finish what
you set out to do.
Setting personal goals.
Reflecting on past successes and learning from them.
Celebrating achievements.

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Below, Council owned public spaces and services have been mapped against one or more of the PERMA
components.
Council owned public spaces
Example Mental Wellbeing Activity PERMA Component
5 libraries
Encourages social connection
through physical space and
facilitates educational achievement
Engagement
Achievement
11 Neighbourhood houses (7
managed by Council)
Encourages social connection,
physical activity, skill development
through programs
Physical Activity
Achievement
Relationships
Positive Emotions
Engagement
Meaning
Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness
Centre
Keilor Basketball Netball Stadium
Sunshine Leisure Centre
St Albans Pop-Up Gym
7 Flagship Parks
29 Suburban Parks
120 Neighbourhood Parks
100 Local Reserves
Encourages healthy behaviours
including regular physical activity
Enables public recreation and
engagement
Endorses the utilisation of the
natural environment
Physical Activity
Achievement
Relationships
Positive Emotions
Engagement
Sunshine Art Spaces gallery
The Hunt Club Community and Arts
Centre
Sunshine Town Centre
Promotes individual fulfilment and
civic contribution by facilitating
space for arts and culture
Positive Emotions
Engagement
Relationships
Achievement
This is a very light-touch mapping of Council’s services to wellbeing outcomes. The PERMA model is used her as an
example to illustrate how Council might currently contribute to mental wellbeing outcomes across services and
departments.

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Appendix 6: Exploring Victorian Councils’ approach to community mental health and wellbeing
This table provides a quick snapshot of how mental health and wellbeing is being prioritised by other Councils
around Victoria. Mental health is often mentioned in Public Health and Wellbeing plans, and is not included below,
unless by exception where there is a key or really strong focus.
Council
Is mental health and wellbeing…
…prioritised in Council’s
plan?
…given a specific
plan or strategy?
…a dedicated portfolio
responsibility of a member?
City of Melbourne
Yes
Not found
Not found
Wyndham CIty
No
Not found
Not found
Golden Plains Shire
Priority 1 of Municipal
Public Health and
Wellbeing Action Plan
2021-2025
Not found
Not found
City of Melton
No
Not found
Not found
Hume City
No
Not found
Not found
Maribyrnong
No
Not found
Not found
Moorabool Shire
No
Not found
Not found
City of Darebin
No
Not found
Not found
Knox City
No
Mental Health Action
Plan
Not found
City of Wangaratta
Priority 2.1
Grit and Resilience
Program
Not found
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Appendix 7: Council services, programs and activities which support individual and community mental
health and wellbeing
This table captures the range of programs and services currently delivered by Council, which are seen to directly or
indirectly contribute to community mental health and wellbeing. The table was developed through consultation
with Council staff. Direct services are secondary and tertiary services, addressing identified mental health and
wellbeing needs. Indirect services are primary, preventative services focused on support and education to support
good mental health and wellbeing. ‘Cohorts’ are socio-demographic characteristics of population-subgroups.
Unit
Program / Service name Direct or
indirect?
Cohort(s) targeted or
universal access
Locations
delivered
Any partners
involved? Who?
Community Support Support for Carers
Program
Direct
Carers
Brimbank
Funded by State
Community Support Social Support Groups Direct
Over 65s
Brimbank
Funded by
Commonwealth
Strengthening
Communities
Carers Support Group Direct
Carers
Brimbank
Brimbank
Strengthening
Communities team
Brimbank Disability
Network Group
Direct
People living with
disability, carers and
disability service
supports
Brimbank
Brimbank
Strengthening
Communities
Brimbank Active Seniors
(BAS)
Direct
Seniors (55 years and
over)
Brimbank
Seniors Clubs in
Brimbank
Strengthening
Communities
Seniors Forum
Direct
Seniors including
representatives from
Seniors clubs in
Brimbank
Brimbank
Seniors Clubs in
Brimbank
Strengthening
Communities
Volunteers
Direct
Universal (eligibility
requirements)
Brimbank
Youth Services –
Wellbeing and
Belonging
Youth Counselling
One on one counselling
sessions helping young
people with early signs of
mental ill heath including
anxiety, depressions,
grief and loss, Non
suicidal injury, low level
of suicidal ideations.
Direct
Young people 12-25 Online, Face to
face in schools
and council
facilities across
Brimbank
Not in the direct
delivery but may be
contacted to provide
ongoing support
dependent on the
young persona needs
and wants.
Youth Services –
Wellbeing and
Belonging
Youth Support
One on one support
sessions helping young
people with links to
specialist support
services, mentoring pro
social behaviour,
psychosocial education,
emotional intelligent
early signs of mental ill
heath including anxiety,
grief and loss.
Direct
Young people 12-25 Online, Face to
face in schools
and council
facilities across
Brimbank
Not in the direct
delivery but may be
contacted to provide
ongoing support
dependent on the
young persona needs
and wants.
Youth Services –
Wellbeing and
Belonging
Tuning in to Teens
training
Our seven-week Tuning
in to Teens program
teaches parents how to
Indirect
Parent of children 10-
18
online

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Unit
Program / Service name Direct or
indirect?
Cohort(s) targeted or
universal access
Locations
delivered
Any partners
involved? Who?
help their teen develop
emotional intelligence
Youth Services –
Wellbeing and
Belonging
Youth Mental Health
First Aid Training
Indirect
Adults
online
Youth Mental Health
Australia
Youth Services –
Wellbeing and
Belonging
Resilient Youth Australia
survey rollout
Indirect
School children grade
4-12
In Brimbank
schools,
6 secondary and
10 Primary
Brimbank schools
Youth Services –
Wellbeing and
Belonging
School engagement
programs
Indirect
Secondary Schools In Brimbank
schools,
6 secondary and
10 Primary
Brimbank schools
Youth Services –
Wellbeing and
Belonging
Crystal Queer program
A social support group
for young LGBTQIA+
people and schools
Indirect
Young people 12-25
that identify with the
LGBTQIA+ community
Brimbank
Learning Futures,
online during
pandemic.
Not in the direct
delivery but may be
contacted to provide
ongoing support
dependent on the
young persona needs
and wants.
Youth Services –
Wellbeing and
Belonging
L2P learner driver
program
The L2P Learner Driver
program helps anyone
facing significant barriers
to achieving the
mandatory 120 hours
driving experience to get
a Victorian license, such
as difficulty finding a
vehicle or a supervising
driver
Indirect
Young people 16-21
who need support in
getting their 120
hours of driving
before they get the P
plates.
Runs out of the
Brimbank
Learning Futures
and in cars
Vic Roads
Youth Services –
Wellbeing and
Belonging
Empowering Moves
As an early intervention
group, the program has
three key functions:
1. To provide safe pro
social learning
opportunities.
2. To provide ongoing
assessment for
appropriate post
group
referral/support and
aid a continuum of
care.
3. To support the
ongoing engagement
of young people with
their community
through the
development of
interpersonal skills,
Indirect
Young people 12-25 Lionsden Boxing
Gym
YSAS

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Unit
Program / Service name Direct or
indirect?
Cohort(s) targeted or
universal access
Locations
delivered
Any partners
involved? Who?
self-confidence, self
worth and life skills.
Youth Services –
Wellbeing and
Belonging
Youth Insearch
Youth Insearch is an early
intervention program of
support, mentoring,
education, and
empowerment, for
young people aged 14-
20, delivered through
weekend workshops,
support groups, peer
support & leadership,
and individual care.
Direct
young people aged
14-20,
Weekend camp
and ongoing
weekly support
groups.
Youth Insearch and
referring schools and
organisations.
Youth Services –
Young Communities
Brimbank Youth Council
A group of 16 youth
councillors who
represent their peers in
formal meetings with
Councillors, engage in
consultations, trainings
and deliver a youth led
project.
Indirect
Young People- Grade
5 and 6 students
Brimbank Civic
Community
Centre
Brimbank Primary
Schools, internal BCC
departments.
Youth Services –
Young Communities
Young Researchers
A program where
student groups are
taught qualitative
research skills and
supported to run their
own research project
within their school. The
program also explores
career pathways in
research and University.
Students present reports
at the end of the year
Indirect
Young People –
Secondary aged
students
Brimbank
Learning Futures,
BCCC, online
during pandemic.
Swinburne University
Psychology
department –
Professor Monica
Thielking and Senior
Lecture Catherine Orr.
Secondary Colleges –
Copperfield College,
Victoria University
Secondary
College, Keilor Downs,
St. Albans Secondary
College, Catholic
Regional College St
Albans
Youth Services –
Young Communities
School Holiday Showbag
program
Provide opportunities for
young people to socialise
and attend an activity
during school holidays
through double passes to
movies and to leisure
centre.
Indirect
Young People 10-17
years
Young People 10-17
years who are
experiencing
disadvantage
Pick up from local
libraries – Deer
Park, Sunshine,
St. Albans,
Sydenham
Leisure Services
passes to centre
Libraries for pick up
Village Cinemas -
supplier
Local youth workers
who work with
vulnerable young
people and can
purchase bags for their
clients.

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Unit
Program / Service name Direct or
indirect?
Cohort(s) targeted or
universal access
Locations
delivered
Any partners
involved? Who?
Youth Services –
Young Communities
Universal Access Disco
2 x themed disco events
held each year, an
opportunity for students
to socialise and engage in
a disco. Students also
involved in development
decorations for event
through craft sessions.
Indirect
Young People -
Students with
disabilities from
Jackson School and
Sunshine Special
Development School
Brimbank City
Council Facility –
Hall.
E.g. Deer Park
Hall
Jackson School
Sunshine Special
Development School
Youth Services –
Young Communities
Youth Engagement
Opportunities
Youth Specific
opportunities for young
people to have a voice/
say in decisions that may
impact them. Often
capacity building
opportunities embedded
within.
Indirect
Young People 10-25
years
Internal departments –
e.g. Urban Design,
Leisure Services,
Environment etc.
Neighbourhood
House Unit
Workshops on mental
health for community
groups aimed at
educating individuals and
groups
Direct
All ages
External – e.g. VICSEG,
MICARE
Neighbourhood
House Unit
Social Groups – e.g. yoga Direct
Adults and Seniors
External Individuals
and groups in the
community
Neighbourhood
House Unit
Workshops on Anxiety Direct
CALD communities
External – e.g. VCE
student, Burmese
Community
Neighbourhood
House Unit
Community Garden
Direct
All ages
External
Neighbourhood
House Unit
Study Support –
opportunity for
volunteers to support
students
Direct
Primary and
secondary aged
Neighbourhood
House Unit
Creative Arts – dance,
music production,
Direct
Young people aged 12
to 25
High schools in
Brimbank and Melton
Neighbourhood
House Unit
Youth drop in – hangout
space, play cards, record
music, table tennis
Direct
12 – 25
High schools in
Brimbank and Melton
Neighbourhood
House Unit
Physical activity with a
monthly workshop –
topics on health and
wellbeing
Direct
12 – 25
High schools in
Brimbank and Melton
Social Policy and
Research
Mid-West Mental Health
Alliance – attend
bimonthly meetings
Indirect
Universal access
Western Metro
Region
Mid-West Area Mental
Health (Melbourne
Health) and various
mental health service
providers
Social Policy and
Research
Invest in You Too Project
(gambling harm
prevention project)
Indirect
Universal access
Brimbank
Australian Vietnamese
Women’s Association
(lead)

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Unit
Program / Service name Direct or
indirect?
Cohort(s) targeted or
universal access
Locations
delivered
Any partners
involved? Who?
Victorian Responsible
Gambling Foundation
(funder)
Social Policy and
Research
Policy development and
implementation and
Advocacy (homelessness,
social and affordable
housing, gambling harm)
Indirect
Universal access
Brimbank
Work across Council
and with some external
partners, e.g. Alliance
for Gambling Reform
Sport & Recreation Take charge mental
health e-learning
Indirect
Volunteer Sports
Clubs
Online
Sports Community in
conjunction with
Belgravia Foundation
Sport & Recreation Athlete mental heal and
welfare’
Indirect
Volunteer Sports
Clubs
Online
Sports Community
Community Projects Growing Brimbank –
longitudinal reporting on
population health and
wellbeing (including
psych distress)
Indirect
Universal
(residents)
Brimbank
Victoria University,
Mitchell Institute
Community Projects
and PAR team
Community Impact
Analysis – reporting on
the impact of COVID
(including health and
wellbeing survey of
residents)
Indirect
Universal
(residents)
Brimbank
Community Projects Impact Brimbank –
community led, place
based activities and
events, aiming to
improve health and
wellbeing (connection)
Indirect
Universal
(residents)
Brimbank
Funded by State (DJPR)
Libraries Unit
Various Health &
Wellbeing sessions
throughout the year
Direct
Both – some targeted
at Young people,
Adults, or
parents/families
Various libraries
and
Online
Wellness practitioners,
Drummond Street, ISIS
PC, Youth
Organisations,
Gateway Community
Services, Jesuit Social
Services.
Libraries Unit
Practise Your English,
Connect & Chat, Sip n
Stitch, Conversation
Club, Book Group,
Seniors tech Group,
Friday movies
All of these sessions are
social opportunities for
people to get together
and combat loneliness.
Most of these activities
have people who have
attended for years – in
some cases it is the only
social interaction they
may have
Indirect
CALD communities,
adults, seniors,
families
Various Libraries
& online
Mostly delivered by
staff with the
occasional guest
speaker
Libraries Unit
Home Library Service Direct
Universal – elderly,
frail, incapacitated,
vulnerable, carers.
Direct to
households
Volunteers

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Unit
Program / Service name Direct or
indirect?
Cohort(s) targeted or
universal access
Locations
delivered
Any partners
involved? Who?
Libraries Unit
Sensory Hour – weekly
hour of reduced service,
quiet time for people
with Sensory issues /
sensitivities to utilise the
space in a quiet, non
busy environment
Indirect
People with
sensitivities to noise,
lights, busyness
Deer Park Library
Saturday
Mornings
No.
Maternal and Child
Health
Program / Service name Direct or
indirect?
Cohort(s) targeted or
universal access
Locations
delivered
Any partners
involved? Who?
Universal and Enhanced
Service
Refer to appropriate
services for mental
health support
Direct &
indirect
Families with children
0-3.5 years
All MCH sites and
client homes
Mums Matter
Community Health
Bubs in Mind Royal
Children’s Hospital
Drummond Street
PANDA
Harvester
Psychologists
Centre for Perinatal
Excellence
Early Years
Community
Programs
DFFH Smalltalk
Supported Playgroups
Referral service program
for parents identified as
‘parenting in difficult
circumstances’
Refer to appropriate
services for mental
health support
Parent self-care and
wellbeing sessions
embedded into the
program including in
languages other than
English
Direct &
indirect
Targeted cohort
Families with children
0-5 years – eligibility
criteria applies
Health Care Card or
equivalent
Aboriginal and/or
Torres Strait Islander
families
Kinship care
Child FIRST/Child
Protection.
Families referred from
or participating in
Enhanced Maternal
and Child Health
Services
At Playgroup
Centres &
Community
venues
Outreach in
family homes
MCH
Multicultural Women’s
Centre
IPC Health
DadsGroup
Early Years
Community
Programs
DFFH First Steps
New Parent Groups
Referal to MCH Nurses
for appropriate services
for mental health
support
Parent self-care and
wellbeing sessions
embedded into the
program
Direct &
indirect
Targeted cohort
First Time parents
with babies 6 weeks
to 4 months
Playgroup
Centres, MCH
Centres &
Community
venues
MCH
Multicultural Women’s
Centre
Tweedle
DadsGroup
Early Years
Community
Programs
Brimbank Council
Volunteer led
Community Playgroups
Direct &
Indirect
Families with children
aged between 0 -5
including families who
At Brimbank
Playgroup
Centres
MCH
Multicultural Women’s
Centre

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Unit
Program / Service name Direct or
indirect?
Cohort(s) targeted or
universal access
Locations
delivered
Any partners
involved? Who?
CaLD outreach team
refer parents to
appropriate mental
health services in
languages other than
English for mental health
support
speak a language
other than English
Kindergarten
VICSEG
IPC Health
Extended families
North West Multiple
Birth

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Appendix 8: Examples of community wellbeing public health messaging
Below are some examples of how different Councils are communicating to residents about the value of community
mental wellbeing, and what people can do to protect and improve their mental wellbeing.
City of Knox
The Hub is walk-in friendly to allow more people access to the support and resources they need when
facing mental health challenges
“Our mental health and wellbeing affects so many aspects of our lives and our ability to participate and
contribute to our community, so Council is focused on helping the people of Knox to find the support they
need to live fulfilling lives here.”
Help is available to everyone, regardless of disability, sexuality, gender identity, culture and religion.
City of Melton
While many of us know that exercising is important for our physical and mental health, that doesn’t
change the fact that half of us aren’t getting enough exercise each week. Why?
Depression and anxiety affects 3 million Australians, so it’s important to have resources and information
available to help everyone achieve their best possible mental health, no matter what age, background or
stage of life you are at.
City of Melbourne
We all know that regular exercise can have a beneficial effect on our sense of physical and mental
wellbeing. Whether you prefer getting active at one of our recreation centres, in our gorgeous parks, or
just on the way to work – City of Melbourne has a whole host of activities, programs and classes to help
you get out and move your own way.

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Appendix 9: Overview of consultation
The following outlines the approach taken to consultation for this report. Consultation took the form of focus
groups and interviews, all conducted online. The purpose of these activities was to gain perspectives and insights
from within Council (internal stakeholders), and from the community (external stakeholders).
External stakeholder consultation – interviews
One on one and small group interviews were conducted with senior representatives from the following key
partners and community organisations.
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network
IPC Health
Cohealth
Prevention United
NorthWestern Mental Health
Orygen (headspace)
External stakeholder consultation – focus group
Representatives from the following organisations attended a focus group. The organisations participating
represent a diverse range of the community, as well as State Government.
Department of Education and Training
VicHealth
Mental Health Victoria
Centre for Multicultural Youth
Le Mana (Empower) Pasifika Youth Project
Queerspace
HealthWest
Western Metro Homelessness Services
Carers Victoria
Internal stakeholder consultation – focus group
Representatives from across Council divisions, teams and units attended a focus group. Those who attended the
focus group had a range of demographic and issue focuses, including youth, older people, disabilities,
homelessness, gambling harm, and gender. The positions include officers, coordinators and team leaders in:
Youth Services
Library Services
Social Policy and Research
Health and wellbeing
Community Strengthening
Strategic partnerships and planning