PHaMs Yarrabah

What is the Personal Helpers and Mentors Service?

The Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) service:Laura Festival

  • aims to provide increased opportunities for recovery for people whose lives are severely affected by mental illness
  • takes a strengths-based, recovery approach, and
  • assists people aged 16 years and over whose ability to manage their daily activities and to live independently in the community is impacted because of a severe mental illness.

The Personal Helpers and Mentors, employed by Worklink, will support participants in their recovery journey, building long-term relationships and providing holistic support. They will ensure that services accessed by participants are coordinated, integrated and complementary to other services in the community. A Personal Helper and Mentor:

  • helps participants to better manage their daily activities and reconnect to their community
  • provides direct and personalised assistance through outreach services
  • provides referrals and links with appropriate services such as drug and alcohol and accommodation services
  • works with participants in the development of Individual Recovery Plans which focus on participants' goals and recovery journey
  • engages and supports family, carers and other relationships, and
  • monitors and reports progress against each participant's Individual Recovery Plan

Many communities in remote areas are disadvantaged through a lack of infrastructure, community and clinical services. Department of Social Services (DSS) has implemented a complementary service delivery model for remote areas. This model expands on the established PHaMs service model and is referred to as the PHaMs Remote Servicing model (the model).

The Remote Servicing model assists participants and their families and is complemented by a community development approach. The model recognises and promotes the spiritual, cultural, mental and physical healing for Indigenous Australians living with mental illness in remote communities. While this model does not exclusively target Indigenous Australians, there will be a strong focus on working with Indigenous Australians living with a mental illness in remote communities.

The model expands the current Personal Helpers and Mentors service framework by removing the 16 year age criteria to allow younger people (at risk of suicide and undertaking risk taking behaviors) to access the service. The model has a community development approach including working with individuals and their community support networks and introducing cultural and family brokers to promote cultural competency.

The model will encourage the development of purposeful community based activities that enable social inclusion and strengthening of family and community relationships for the participant as well as the development of the community as a whole.

Worklink's Personal Helpers and Mentors Program is based in the Indigenous community of Yarrabah and supports participants, their family, carers and the community to promote spiritual, cultural, mental and physical healing.