Background to NewAccess

NewAccess is based on a successful program known as ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ (IAPT) to support people with low to moderate anxiety or depression.

IAPT was first trialled in two UK locations and after being judged a success, rolled out in a further 11 regions with 43,000 people accessing the service in the first six months. The recovery rates from the UK trial, in an average of five sessions, were around 50 per cent.

In 2009 beyondblue funded a one-year study to evaluate the IAPT model’s suitability for Australia and created the NewAccess program. A study into the feasibility of NewAccess, undertaken by Flinders University and Northern Rivers Department of Rural Health, showed the model could work as a service to support people with mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression in Australia.

beyondblue launched the pilot NewAccess program in the Australian Capital Territory in October 2013, followed by New South Wales and South Australia in February 2014. The program was independently evaluated by Ernst&Young in December 2015.

The evaluation showed:

  • A 67.5 per cent recovery rate in people that have participated in the program.1
  • NewAccess is both clinically successful and economically viable.
  • NewAccess appeals to Australians – for every person to make an initial appointment, 88 per cent proceed to treatment and 72 per cent continue treatment to completion.1
  • NewAccess overcomes stigma – free entry, no medical referral, either face-to-face or over the phone sessions, no labelling and practical exercises help to attract those who do not traditionally seek help.

To read the evaluation report please download the PDF below:

The trial of the program concluded at the end of October 2016, with the Canberra and North Coast NSW programs continued through their local Public Health Network’s (PHN) and commissioned through a service provider. The Riverina/Murrumbidgee NewAccess site will be delivered by service provider, Intereach, with central intake managed by the Murrumbidgee PHN. 

1.Edwards, K., Lunn, J., Baass, B. (2015) beyondblue NewAccess Demonstration Independent Evaluation. Melbourne: Ernst & Young.

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