NewAccess – FAQs

Program background and support

  1. What is NewAccess?

    NewAccess is a free and confidential mental health support program developed by Beyond Blue, designed to help you manage life challenges and get you back on track.

  2. Why was NewAccess introduced?

    Three million Australians live with anxiety and/or depression, many of whom are not accessing support.  There are limited options for people to access support other than going to see their GP and getting a mental health plan. In addition, mental health services are inundated supporting individuals with more complex requirements.

    Because of this, Beyond Blue undertook a global search for effective and proven approaches to this problem. NewAccess was developed for people in Australia and based on the successful IAPT program that is delivered nationwide by the NHS in the UK. 

  3. What is the program based on?

    NewAccess is based on a successful evidence-based service of care known as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). NewAccess has been developed for people in Australia from the IAPT program which is delivered nationwide by the NHS in the UK. 

    The program is the result of 10+ years in development and testing. It was independently evaluated and proven to help people with mild to moderate anxiety or depression.

  4. How many people have done the program?

    Since 2013 the program has supported more than 10,600 people in Australia. 

    The numbers continue to grow as the service expands and awareness increases. More people are realising this free practical service is an easily accessible solution that can help them manage the way they think and get back on track. 

  5. How is the program funded?

    NewAccess is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health via Primary Health Networks (PHNs).

    The Australian Government funds 31 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) across the country. A PHN is an independent organisation tasked with the responsibility of tailoring and commissioning health services to meet local community needs.

  6. Does Beyond Blue fund the program?

    Beyond Blue does not fund the provision of the service within your local community. Service delivery is currently funded by your local Primary Health Network. Beyond Blue does however, fund program support including governance, program marketing and consultation.

  7. What is Beyond Blue’s role in this program?
  8. After 10+ years of research and development including a three-year pilot of the service, today Beyond Blue provides structured guidance to both Primary Health Networks and their chosen service providers in ensuring the successful implementation of NewAccess.

Details about the program

Will I still be able to use the NewAccess program during the coronavirus outbreak?

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our providers will continue to offer coaching via video or audio call. Please be sure to check with your provider directly to find out what options are available. As usual you don’t need a doctor’s referral to access this service and you can make an appointment and talk to your coach from the comfort of your home.

How suitable is NewAccess to support people during the coronavirus outbreak?

These are difficult and unsettling times, and we know many people will rely on NewAccess for support. We hope it can help in the following way:


  • NewAccess is run by phone or video chat and has been proven to be effective when delivered this way.
  • NewAccess provides proven treatment to help manage feelings of uncertainty and distress that can be caused by the media coverage
  • You don’t need to visit your GP or get a mental health treatment plan to use NewAccess.
  • There are many ways to contact our NewAccess Coaches, and you don’t need a referral.
  • Our Coaches are trained to assess your circumstances and find if NewAccess is the right service for your needs. If not, they can help connect you with the service that will be best for you.
  • NewAccess links you to someone you can see and speak to in real time, an important connection for many people right now. They become your Coach and you meet with them weekly on the phone or on video chat, for up to six weeks.
  • NewAccess is designed to give people strategies for managing their own worries and distress. It gives you tools to manage any future issues that may come up.


  1. How does the program work?

    NewAccess is different to other counselling services you might have experienced. It uses Low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that allows us to recognise the way we think, act and feel. Instead of a counsellor, you have a Coach to help you work through an individual plan that you develop together.  

    Initial assessment – up to 60 minutes

    • This is when you talk through your challenges and choose one or two issues to focus on. You develop a problem statement which summarises the issues you want to overcome and how you plan to do this.
    • During the assessment, if your needs are more complex, you will be referred to a more appropriate service.

    Up to five sessions with your NewAccess coach – 30 minutes weekly

    • Over these sessions you’ll work with your NewAccess coach on a program tailored to you and work through your problem statement.
    • You will be given homework tasks to complete which are important for your growth as you move through the sessions.

    Throughout the six weeks your progress is reviewed at each session. This ensures you receive an appropriate level of care. If the program doesn't work for you, you will be directed to a more appropriate service.

  2. How long is each session?

    Your first appointment is normally up to 60 minutes with subsequent sessions up to 30 minutes.

  3. How much does it cost?

    Nothing. It’s free.

  4. What type of training and support do the NewAccess Coaches receive?

    NewAccess Coaches are trained in Low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This is a structured, evidence-based treatment that allows you to recognise the way you think, act and feel.

    The Coaches undertake 12-months of training, starting with a six-week intensive that then moves to practical learning which involves managing clients and an ongoing curriculum under clinical supervision.

    This training was tested in the Beyond Blue 2013-16 NewAccess pilot and is used across the many NewAccess sites across Australia.

  5. How do I become a NewAccess Coach?

    If NewAccess is available in your region, you can get in touch with the provider directly to find out if there are any coaching opportunities available. If it’s not available, you can email so we can keep your details on file and let you know if the program becomes available in your region. You can find out if NewAccess is offered in your region by searching your postcode here.

    The training is intensive and conducted over a 12-month period with a strict clinical supervision framework in place (NewAccess Coaches do not require a background in mental health). The NewAccess Coach training provider delivers a program which includes academic and practical competencies, measured as pass and fail. Training comprises the following elements:

    • Six weeks full-time intensive training
    • Two weeks onsite clinical supervision post initial training and local shadowing
    • Ongoing training once a month for five months

    Delivery is a mixture of in-person and remote, and includes:

    • Face to face and online training
    • Group activities such as role playing
    • Strong focus on experiential learning and competency assessment.
  6. What’s different about Low Intensity CBT vs other counselling programs?

    NewAccess is different to other counselling services you might have experienced. Low-intensity CBT allows you to recognise the way you think, act and feel. Instead of a counsellor, you have a Coach to help you work through an individual plan that you develop together.

    Over six focused sessions you will work with your Coach to develop practical strategies that focus on the key issue discussed in your first session.

    A unique feature of NewAccess is the monitoring of outcome measures (using clinical tools) at each session. This allows you to see how you’re progressing towards recovery. 

  7. Why would I see a Coach when I could see a psychologist?

    NewAccess aims to remove some of the barriers that typically stop people from seeking support. You don’t need a GP referral or Mental Health Plan to access the program and it’s free. Available in person, by phone or video call, the program is easy to access without long delays.  

    NewAccess is proven, evidence based and independently evaluated.

    The great thing about NewAccess is that it’s designed to complement existing mental health services, not compete. Currently about 70% of people who go through the program recover, but if your Coach can see you’re not benefiting from the program, you will be referred to a higher intensity support such as a psychologist.

  8. Is this just another online program that I have to do by myself?

    No. One of the great things about NewAccess is that you work with your Coach each week, either in person, over the phone or video call.

  9. Is the service confidential?

    Yes, the service is confidential.

  10. Can I bring someone with me to sit in on the assessment/session?

Yes, however NewAccess does not provide relationship counselling. If you would feel more comfortable having someone else join you please let us know when you book your appointment.

Program effectiveness

  1. How do I know it works?

    The program continues to deliver recovery rates of 60-70 per cent.

    If you want to learn more about the program evaluation, read Ernst & Young’s independent evaluation report completed after the pilot. 

  2. What does ‘recovery’ mean?

    Recovery is the term used when a NewAccess participant – who at initial assessment was at 'caseness' for anxiety or depression, and at the final session moved below 'caseness' for both measures.  There is a final review before the participant is guided to conclude treatment.

    'Caseness' refers to a participant who has scored above the clinical cut-off score on at least one of the depression and anxiety markers.

  3. Why six sessions? How do you know six is enough?

    On average most people find they need about 5 sessions. If six sessions aren't enough, your Coach can refer you to an additional service.

  4. What happens if I don’t feel better after six sessions?
  5. Your progress is monitored each week. If you’re not improving you will be supported to see your GP who can put you onto a different service.

Accessing the program

  1. Is there a service near me?

    Services are available in parts of NSW, QLD and VIC. Locations and ages are on the Contact a Coach page.

  2. I’m under 18. Can I access the service?

    Yes, in some of our NewAccess centres the program is available to people 12+ or 16+. 

    Locations and ages are on the Contact a Coach page.

  3. Am I eligible for NewAccess?

    You may be eligible for NewAccess if you:

    • live in an area that delivers the NewAccess program
    • you’re the correct age for your region (some regions service 12+, 16+ or 18+).

    Unfortunately, you will not able to use the service if you are;

    • currently seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist
    • dealing with severe/complex presentations.

    Sometimes it’s not evident until the initial assessment if NewAccess will meet the needs of the person. If NewAccess is not suitable for you based on your circumstances, symptoms or condition, you will be referred to a GP or another service better suited to your needs. 

  4. Is the program right for me?

    NewAccess is a great starting point if you would like support for your mental health. 

    Things such as work or study stress, living arrangements, relationship issues, health or financial concerns can all affect our lives, sometimes causing us to feel stressed, anxious, unable to concentrate or sleep. If this is the case for you, then consider NewAccess. 

    It’s important to act early before symptoms become severe and overwhelming. 

  5. Can the Coaches do home visits?

    No, appointments are not conducted at a person's home.  Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic appointments can either be over the phone or via video call.    

  6. Why is NewAccess not in my area?

    Unfortunately, NewAccess is not funded nationally. Because of this, it’s only available in areas where the Primary Health Network in your region has chosen to provide the service. 

    If you would like NewAccess to be available in your area, please contact your Primary Health Network to discuss. Visit the PHN website to view their location map and contact details. 

  7. Do I need a doctor’s referral for NewAccess?

    No, you can contact the service yourself and book into the program without a referral.

    A GP or health professional can also refer you to the service, but this step is not compulsory.

  8. How long do I have to wait for an appointment?

    Typically, you will be contacted within two business days of your enquiry and your first appointment can be within a week.

Information for NewAccess Small Business Owners

What is  NewAccess for Small Business Owners?  

NewAccess for Small Business Owners is a free and confidential mental health program, developed by Beyond Blue to give small business owners the support you need. Whether you’re just feeling stressed, or completely overwhelmed about everyday life issues like work, relationships, health or loneliness, NewAccess is there when you need it.   

Over six sessions your NewAccess Coach will work side by side with you to overcome difficult issues, providing you with practical skills to manage your stress and get you back to feeling like yourself.   

Why have we set up a program specifically for small business owners?

Running a small business is a unique experience which can involve stress and pressure coming from many directions. If left unaddressed, these demands can sometimes place you at risk of severe or longer-lasting mental health challenges. 

We understand you may feel obliged to work when unwell, take work home or find it difficult to justify allocating time for yourself, let alone for your mental health. And there are always many barriers that can make seeking help difficult, such as:  

  • stigma 

  • cost  

  • lack of time  

  • limited availability of services during business hours and in convenient locations, and prioritisation of business over self.    

Understandably, a lot of small business owners are reporting that COVID-19 has negatively affected their mental health.   

To address this need, Beyond Blue’s NewAccess for Small Business Owners program aims to provide a much needed and practical support option for you. 

How does this program differ from the general NewAccess program? 

While NewAccess for Small Business Owners is based on the same evidence-based and proven model as Beyond Blue’s NewAccess program for the general population, all coaches for the small business owners program have a background in small business, putting them in a good position to understand the small business context, including the unique challenges faced by small business owners. 

It is available across Australia in all regions via telehealth. 

How is the program funded and supported?  

This program is funded by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and delivered by Richmond Fellowship Queensland (RFQ).

The initiative was jointly conceived by Beyond Blue and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO), responding to rising calls for a dedicated mental health support service for small business owners.  

How long will NewAccess for small business owners be available? 

The national telehealth program will initially be available for a period of 12 months from March 2021 to March 2022. 

Who is it for?

NewAccess for Small Business Owners is for anyone aged 18 or over who owns a small business. For the purposes of program eligibility, a small business is defined as ≤ 20 employees. 

A person is not eligible for the program if they are: 

- currently seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist 
- dealing with severe/complex mental health issues. 

An initial assessment conducted by a clinically supervised Coach is used to identify if NewAccess for Small Business Owners is the most appropriate service to support your mental health needs.    

Please note, if your symptoms or condition are found to be too severe or complex for this program, you will be referred to a more appropriate service or back to a GP. 

Why it works 

NewAccess has been operating for several years in Australia, starting with a pilot phase in 2013-2016. Independent research and evaluations have confirmed its efficacy and ability to be scaled as a low intensity early intervention service.  

Based on the UKs Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) model, the NewAccess model is adaptable for particular settings and populations. Evidence tells us the NewAccess program is effective. The average recovery rate for general population services is 70 per cent. The Comcare workplace pilot, which supported participants to deal with common issues like work-related stress, achieved a recovery rate of 78 per cent. 

Importantly, NewAccess is designed to appeal to people who might not otherwise seek support for their mental health and to provide support early, preventing symptoms from potentially getting worse.   

The program avoids clinical language, does not require a doctor’s referral and is delivered by relatable coaches – in this case people who have owned their own small business – making it an ideal service for small business owners.  

For more information please contact the NewAccess team. 

Crisis support

If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000. Other services include:

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