NewAccess – FAQs

Program background and support

  1. What is NewAccess?

    NewAccess is a free mental health coaching program, designed to provide easily accessible, quality services for anyone struggling to manage life stress

  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 8,000 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’s 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

  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 it’s identified 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 your individual challenges 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 at any point you are not responding to treatment you will be directed to a more appropriate service. 

  2. How long is each session?

    The 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 people to recognise the way they 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 specialist supervision.

    This training was rigorously tested in the Beyond Blue 2013-16 NewAccess pilot and has been utilised across the many NewAccess sites across Australia.

  5. What is Low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

    Low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (LiCBT) is a structured, evidence based psychological treatment. Put simply, it allows us to recognise the way we think, act and feel. NewAccess Coaches work alongside a person on an issue, develop an understanding of what is causing distress, and guide the use of tools and strategies you can use in day-to-day life. 

  6. What’s different about LiCBT vs other counselling programs?

    NewAccess is different to other counselling services you might have experienced. Low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 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.

    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, Skype or FaceTime, 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 benefitting 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?

    Not at all.  One of the great things about NewAccess is that you work with your Coach each week, either in person, over the phone, Skype or FaceTime. You have someone by your side for the six sessions.

  9. Is the service confidential?

    Yes, the service is confidential.

  10. Can I bring someone with me to sit in on the assessment/session?
  11. Yes, however NewAccess does not provide relationship counselling. If you would feel more comfortable having your partner, a family member or friend sit in on your appointment with you, then please let us know when you set up 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 based on how the person is feeling which is measured using proven tools. A person is considered to have recovered when their measures improve and guided by their Coach, they are ready to conclude treatment.

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

    On average most people find they need about 4.8 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 it’s identified that 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 ACT, QLD and NSW. Locations and ages are listed 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 listed on the Contact a Coach page.

  3. Can my child use the NewAccess program?

    Yes, your child can access the service if they live in a NewAccess area that also looks after their age group.

    Unfortunately, your child is not able to use the service if they are;

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

    Sometimes it’s not evident until the initial assessment that your child may not be suitable for NewAccess. If their symptoms or condition are too severe or not suitable, your NewAccess Coach will refer your child to a more appropriate service. 

  4. Am I eligible for NewAccess?

    You are 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 a person is not suitable for NewAccess. If your symptoms or condition is found to be too severe or not suitable, you will be referred to a more appropriate service. 

  5. 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. 

  6. Can the Coaches do home visits?

    No, appointments can be in person at a NewAccess location, over the phone or via Skype or FaceTime.

  7. NewAccess is not in my area. Why not?

    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. 

  8. 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 individuals to the service, but this step is not compulsory.

  9. 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.

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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