Mental health and suicide prevention

South Eastern NSW has high rates of mental and behavioural disorders and psychological distress amongst adults, with a greater burden borne by Aboriginal people and those living in rural areas.

In 2014, the National Health Commission undertook a review of mental health services and found they were not well targeted or tailored to local needs. The implementation of a stepped care approach to mental health and suicide was recommended, and COORDINARE is dedicated to leading this reform across the South Eastern NSW region.

Mental health is a key priority area for COORDINARE, read our Implementing a stepped care approach to mental health and suicide prevention statement for more information. To find out more about digital mental health resources, click here.

For a downloadable list of support services we fund, click here.

Complex Mental Health - Grand Pacific Health

Provides mental health nursing support and peer worker support to people with complex mental health needs for the Illawarra and Southern NSW regions. Visit the Grand Pacific Health website here.

Complex Mental Health - Shoalhaven Family Medical Centre

Provides mental health nursing support to people with complex mental health needs in the Shoalhaven region. Visit the Shoalhaven Family Medical Centre website here.

Complex Mental Health - Flourish Australia

Provides individual and group psychosocial support services to people with complex mental health needs in the South Eastern NSW region. Visit the Flourish Australia website here.


COORDINARE funds five headspace centres across the region, located in Bega Valley, Goulburn, Nowra, Queanbeyan and Wollongong.

Psychological therapies - Grand Pacific Health

Provides individually tailored, flexible psychological therapies primarily through face-to-face consultations across South Eastern NSW. Visit the Grand Pacific Health website here.

Psychological therapies - Royal Far West

Provides telehealth mental health services to children aged 0-15 years and their families in Southern NSW and the Shoalhaven. Find out more here.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services

COORDINARE funds the four Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations in the South Eastern NSW region, as well as an after hours support service for the Shoalhaven region. This service is delivered by Waminda and the South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation for local Aboriginal people who are experiencing suicidality, acute mental illness, and/or alcohol and other drug issues. 

The South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation are also funded to deliver culturally appropriate mental health and suicide prevention education and training programs in local schools. See our Aboriginal health page for more information.

Psychiatry Support Line for GPs – ProCare Mental Health Services

This is a free service for GPs who require psychiatry advice on the phone or via secure messaging. Jointly funded by COORDINARE, Central and Eastern Sydney, Hunter New England, Central Coast, Murrumbidgee, Northern Sydney and Western NSW Primary Health Networks, it is exclusively for GPs practising in these regions. For more information go to

Next Steps – Grand Pacific Health

Available in Southern NSW, this program aims to improve the support available to people following a suicidal crisis. Peer workers and allied mental health staff work to develop a person-centred plan for recovery. All referrals to the Next Steps program are made via the Local Health District, with the program designed to support those individuals who: present to an acute setting but following assessment, decline or do not require ongoing care from the community mental health and inpatient settings. Visit the Grand Pacific Health website here.  

Gatekeeper Training – Lifeline South Coast

This service provides community mental health and suicide prevention training (Gatekeeper), and also aims to improve the coordination and effectiveness of Gatekeeper training across the South Eastern NSW region. Find out more here.

Improving Physical Health (peer coaching and physical education) - Neami

Health promotion delivered by trained peer health coaches that addresses poor physical health, particularly overweight and obesity related chronic conditions, commonly experienced by people who have a mental illness. Visit the Neami website here.  

Tathra Bushfire Recovery Psychological Support Service 

COORDINARE funds free and confidential mental health support for residents of Tathra and districts affected by the bushfires. Download our provider list for registered mental health professionals in the Bega Valley region. If you would like to provide this service, download the registration form and email Louise Roser,

For more information on how commissioning works, click here.

Stepped care is a staged system of interventions that match an individual’s needs, ranging from the least to the most intensive.

The multiple levels of a stepped care approach offer a spectrum of service options, allowing an individual to access the right service to meet their needs at the right time, in the right place, to maintain their wellness or support their recovery back to wellness.

Download the 10 stepped care principles that COORDINARE has adopted. Also read the Australian Government's stepped care implementation guide for more information. For details on COORDINARE's Integrated Primary Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (Stepped Care) approach for the South Eastern NSW region, click here.

COORDINARE undertook a review of mental health and suicide prevention services across the South Eastern NSW region. We consulted with consumers, carers and service providers and found:

  • an inequitable distribution of primary mental health services across the South Eastern NSW region
  • high rates of hospitalisation for self-harm, particularly for young people and Aboriginal people of all ages
  • increasing rates of mental health related hospitalisation overall.

As a result, we have been working with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) and Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) to develop a Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan which brings about positive change for mental health consumers, their families and carers.

The regional plan has nine priority areas against which key actions require working together across the health system, with consumers and other stakeholders, to provide better integrated care for people with mental illness.

For more information, download the South Eastern NSW Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

Effective suicide prevention requires coordinated effort across sectors, organisations and communities. The Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan adopts a collaborative system based approach to suicide prevention across South Eastern NSW. Strategies and initiatives range from whole of community health promotion initiatives, through to design and commissioning of services that improve supports available to individuals at risk of suicide.

Together with a broad range of organisations and community groups, COORDINARE identify opportunities for system improvements, and design and implement new suicide prevention initiatives tailored to local needs.

Some of the strategies COORDINARE are actively working on include; 

  • working with the Local Health Districts to improve crisis and follow up care for individuals following a suicidal crisis
  • commissioning new services and working with existing services to improve access to evidence based treatment for suicidality
  • supporting GP’s and primary care to better identify and support people experiencing suicidality
  • learning from people with a lived experience and working with communities to raise awareness and tackle stigma
  • training key gate keepers within our community
  • supporting safe media reporting
  • understanding our community and data so that activities and resources are directed where they are most needed.

COORDINARE works with partners matched to the two Local Health District regions. For more information or to get involved in activities in the Southern NSW region contact Peter Murray,

COORDINARE also works closely with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative and supports the implementation of the Black Dog institutes Lifespan trial throughout the Illawarra and Shoalhaven.

Lifeline 13 11 14 (24 hours)

Lifeline provides all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour, 7 days a week crisis support and suicide prevention services.

beyondblue - 1300 22 4636  

beyondblue provides 24 hour, 7 days a week information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.

QLife - 1800 184 527 

QLife operates from 3pm to midnight, 7 days a week providing anonymous, LGBTIQ+ peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.

For other helpline services, please click here.

If you or someone you know is in need of more urgent care, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.