SMPCP Mental Health & Wellbeing Committee

Southern Mallee PCP have facilitated this committee since 2010, which meets quarterly to bring together professionals across the Southern Mallee who have an interest in Mental Health. The Committee's purpose is to: strengthening relationships and collaboration between mental health and related services; focus on mental health in the strategic and local Southern Mallee environment, and discuss, action, network and build capacity around responding to any current or future issues and themes within these environments.


SMPCP Annual Mental Health Forums

An initiative of the SMPCP Mental Health and Wellbeing Committee, these forums aim to bring together professionals across the Southern Mallee (or a specific LGA) for information sharing, networking and capacity building. These forums are shaped by the Committee Members and facilitated by Members and SMPCP Staff. Please see the reports below for further information and resources.


Mental Health & Related Services (Eligibility & Entry Criteria) Resources


These resources are for agency and professional use only and aim to provide professionals with clearly defined eligibility and entry criteria for Mental Health and related services across the Southern Mallee, increase awareness and referral to services, and improve communication between agencies. These resources were developed and endorsed by the Southern Mallee PCP Mental Health & Wellbeing Committee and SMPCP Board of Management in December 2010 and are updated annually by the Committee.

There is an individual resource for Buloke, Gannwarra and Swan Hill. You can find the latest versions on the Improving mental health page.


Mental Health & Related Services (Eligibility & Entry Criteria) Resources

In December 2010 the Southern Mallee Primary Care Partnership (SMPCP) Mental Health & Wellbeing Committee and Board of Management developed and endorsed resources listing the Eligibility and Entry Criteria required to access Mental Health and Related Services in the Southern Mallee (Buloke & Gannawarra Shire and Swan Hill RC). The 2015 review has been Endorsed and is on the SMPCP website Resources & Links page.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in the Southern Mallee

A SMPCP Achievements document has been developed in 2015 to highlight the success of MHFA training within the Southern Mallee and SMPCP Member Agencies trained to deliver, including East Wimmera Health Service (Buloke Shire), Northern District  Community Health Service (Gannawarra Shire) and Swan Hill District Health (Swan Hill Rural City). Click here to access this document.

Previous Committees

SMPCP Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Committee

The Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Forum Committee involved SMPCP Members and other key stakeholders to work together in a planned way to facilitate a series of Promoting Healthy Lifestyle Forums with a focus on sharing good practice, ideas and partnership opportunities relating to prevention and health promotion. It also aimed to promote the Healthy Together Victoria Achievement Program, and a subcommittee was developed - Southern Mallee Achievement Program Network (SMAPN) established in 2014.

SMPCP Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Forum Reports

SMPCP Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Mapping

The SMPCP Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Committee Physical Activity and Nutrition 2009 - 2013 Mapping aimed to document the activities/programs, environments, strategies and plans that support increased physical activity and access to nutritious food and to identify enablers and barriers in order to progress the objectives of the SMPCP Promoting Healthy Lifestyles priority.


Southern Mallee PCP Dementia Pathways Project

The Victorian Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) funded Southern Mallee Primary Care Partnership (SMPCP) to review and enhance the accessibility of health and service information for people who have been diagnosed with dementia and their carers across the Southern Mallee. You can find more information in:

As determined by the LGA Partners, a single page brochure to increase awareness and access to dementia care services across the Southern Mallee Region was developed and printed. To access the relevant LGA brochure please click below and download or print.

Southern Mallee PCP Family Violence Prevention Workshop Project 

Southern Mallee PCP was successful in gaining $8,000 funding from Women’s Health Loddon Mallee for the Standing Strong; Safe Communities for Women Project Action Group to prevent violence against women. This funding focuses on supporting organisations to improve their engagement between a range of agencies, sectors and communities, to create sustainable practices to help reduce violence against women. 

From this funding, a Workshop was held in July 2017 for the three Southern Mallee PCP LGA Partnerships; SMPCP Buloke Strategic Health and Wellbeing Partnership, GLAM (Gannawarra Local Agency Meeting) and SMPCP Swan Hill Health and Wellbeing Partnership, who came together to build their understanding and plan future priorities and strategies to prevent violence against women in the Southern Mallee. You can view the Workshop Report here, which includes many resources and links.

From this, the Southern Mallee PCP Family Violence Prevention Workshop Project was developed with the aim to create an equal and respectful Southern Mallee community, free from family violence. The Project involves two Phases; 

Phase One: partnership development and internal organisational readiness. This includes determining a governance structure, and organisational gender equity audits and action plans. Click here for more information on Phase One and the organisational gender equity audits. 

Phase Two: involves a community campaign and evaluation. This includes connecting with local sporting clubs to conduct gender equity audits, develop action plans and provide awareness and education. It also involves a focus on evaluation and sustainability. 

Project Partners include Southern Mallee PCP Buloke Strategic Health and Wellbeing Partnership, Gannawarra Local Agency Meeting (GLAM) and Southern Mallee PCP Swan Hill Health and Wellbeing Partnership, with support from the Southern Mallee PCP Family Violence Prevention Forum

All Southern Mallee organisations are welcomed to participate in the project. 

Click here to view the Southern Mallee PCP Family Violence Prevention Workshop Project Plan.


Mental Health Matters to us All Resource

Southern Mallee PCP have developed a series of local government specific Mental Health Matters to us All posters in consultation with health and community services in Buloke, Gannawarra and Swan Hill. They include signs to look out for, encourage talking to your mates and provide local, state and national support agencies contact details. On the back of the posters is the New Economics Foundation Five Ways to Wellbeing, which provides five key areas considered important for good mental health and wellbeing - Connect, Be Active, Take notice, Keep Learning and Give.

These posters supported the mental health and wellbeing focused projects as part of the Drought Response Funding, including HALT events, and will be used at future events. Southern Mallee PCP encourage the use and distribution of these posters in work places, sporting clubs and community centres. 

Southern Mallee PCP acknowledges Bendigo Loddon PCP and HALT for their background work on this resource. You can find the posters on our resource page. 

Where do I Start? Access to Mental Health Services in rural and remote Southern Mallee

Southern Mallee PCP conducted an action research project Where do I start? Access to Mental Health Services in rural and remote Southern Mallee in partnership with La Trobe University Rural Health School, Bendigo. In this study, service providers, consumers and carers come together to explore mental health service access in small rural communities in the southern mallee. Twenty consumers and carers were interviewed with seven themes emerging: Try standing in my shoes, Creating a drama, Capability aligned with need, Seeking stability and connection, Unseen and unimportant, Pick your team, and People like me. Recommendations from this project included stigma reduction, service coordination and early intervention to avoid crisis. The key recommendation is for a multi-sectoral, whole of system approach.

SMPCP Board of Management at their October 2015 meeting agreed to;

1. Pursue financial support and resources to undertake a multi-sectoral, whole of system approach which focuses on stigma reduction strategies, service coordination, early intervention to avoid crises, skill and knowledge development of health professionals and other support workers, improved discharge planning, recognition of the role of families and carers, different methods of engaging with people, and a central coordination model in the Southern Mallee.

2. Continue to facilitate the Project Advisory Group with the purpose to plan, implement and evaluate the project recommendations. The membership of this group will be broadened to incorporate more members of the community with a lived experience and member agencies of the Southern Mallee Primary Care Partnership.

The Full Report, a Summary Report, Poster (below) and Digital Story (above) have now been released.

SMPCP Cooking Up a Storm Community Kitchen Project  -  Report and Resources 2009 - 2013

The Cooking Up a Storm (CUaS) Community Kitchen Project commenced as a Southern Mallee Primary Care Partnership (SMPCP) partnership project in 2009 with funding from the Department of Human Services Sustaining Community Wellbeing Grants. The key objective for the CUaS Project was to establish 3 Community Kitchens  and to support and increase social connections of drought affected communities

Healthy By Design; A Rural Experience Project 2012

This Project was a partnership project during 2012 between Buloke Shire, Gannawarra Shire and Swan Hill Rural City Council, Community Planning and Development Program, La Trobe University, Bendigo and SMPCP Promoting Healthy Lifestyle Committee supported by funding from LMR Department of Health Regional Public Health Small Grants Fund. Throughout the year a series of activities were undertaken to explore the application of the Heart Foundation Healthy by Design; a planners guide for environments to active living in rural settings to establish what else and adjustments are needed to make this resource applicable in rural communities. The following documents provide the details and outcomes of the Project

SMPCP Healthy Rural Planners Presentation & Workshop 2012

Sixty people attended to hear presentations & discuss topics relating to strengthening and progressing healthy rural planning. Report here.

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