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NewAccess Information for PHNs and Service Providers

Please note: Licensed Deed requirement

For an organisation to provide NewAccess, it is a requirement of Beyond Blue that they agree to enter into a Licensed Deed with Beyond Blue. The Deed outlines how the services need to be delivered in terms of ensuring that fidelity to the model is protected.

For organisations interested in submitting tenders to provide NewAccess, please contact the NewAccess team for further information on newaccess@beyondblue.org.au or call 03 9810 6100.

Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health conditions in Australia.

Nearly three million Australians live with anxiety and/or depression, which affect their wellbeing, personal relationships, career and productivity.1 Only 35 per cent of Australians with anxiety and depression access treatment.2 Men are less likely to seek help than women, with only 1 in 4 men who experience anxiety or depression accessing treatment.3

There are many different reasons why people are not seeking support. It can be a matter of where they live, the cost or the stigma they feel. Some people feel that they aren’t ‘sick enough’ to see a doctor and some are unaware of their options. For others, it just seems too hard.

NewAccess is a way to improve access to Low Intensity CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) for people with mild to moderate anxiety and depression.

Key features of NewAccess
  • Improves psychological wellbeing by offering assisted and/or self-guided Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to Australian adults with mild to moderate anxiety and depression, who are not currently accessing existing mental health services.
  • Provides direct access to mental health services via simple referral pathways e.g. self-referral.
  • Complements the existing mental health services to reach ‘hard to reach’ populations groups, especially men and people in communities where access and uptake of services is lower.
  • Has a high level of measurability with clear metrics and reporting systems to assess progress and effectiveness.
  • Can rapidly establish a new mental health workforce.
  • People requiring more intensive treatment are referred to more appropriate services. Throughout the program, people may also be linked to complementary community networks and engage with other support service providers should they require it i.e. employment, financial or housing assistance.

Integrating NewAccess into the public health system

NewAccess has been successfully delivered in three trial sites in the Australian Capital Territory, North Coast New South Wales (both PHNs) and through a community services organisation (UnitingCare Wesley Port Adelaide) located in South Australia.

NewAccess has been delivered alongside other mental health services within these organisations (such as psychological therapy programs, and Partners in Recovery (PIR)) and people presenting with less severe needs have been met by NewAccess.

Self-referral and other non-medical pathways such as a friend and community services, enable people to access support in a much easier way which thereby increases interest and uptake.

Local implementation of NewAccess: Critical risks and success factors 

To implement coaching models like NewAccess, it is critical that fidelity to the evidence-based Low intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (LiCBT) model is maintained, and ‘therapeutic drift’ is avoided. Therapeutic drift is when a coach strays from the treatment model resulting in a modified course of intervention.

There are two main reasons to avoid this:

  • In the UK’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) program it has been demonstrated that strict adherence by coaches to the model leads to better outcomes for clients. Conversely, recovery rates start to diminish if the treatment recommendations are not adhered to. Participants in the IAPT program were found to be 1.5 times more likely to recover if they receive National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) compliant treatment, compared to those that receive care that is outside the NICE recommendations.1
  • Delivering LiCBT within the prescribed evidence-based interventions protects both coaches and clients.

How to provide the program effectively

Beyond Blue has managed and maintained quality, safety and fidelity to the NewAccess program through:

  • prescribing suitability criteria for the recruitment of coaches
  • providing coaches with high quality, competency-based training
  • clearly defining the LiCBT interventions within scope of NewAccess, and those which are out of scope
  • actively and regularly supervising coaches, and ensuring that coaches restrict their role to the NewAccess LiCBT interventions
  • clinical supervisors monitoring client outcomes and risks
  • having clear systems and processes to ‘step up’ clients who require more intensive, clinical mental health services, and ‘step down’ clients to informal community care as appropriate.
  • Utilising a client information management system which enables detailed, real-time reporting and automatic alerts for specific client issues or events that need immediate review. 

While fidelity to the model is essential, it is equally important to maintain flexibility within coaching models – that is, allowing coaches to flex within the parameters of LiCBT to suit individual client needs, taking into account the diversity of the client experience and requirements.

How to implement coaching models

When implementing coaching models, it is important to remember that:

  • services are embedded within the stepped-care model, including both health and social care systems
  • services are located in accessible venues (or via phone/telehealth)
  • people can self-refer to services and there is low stigma associated with the services
  • the services are well known and accepted by both the general public and health professionals
  • the workforce delivering coaching services are well-trained
  • there are strong safety and quality assurance and monitoring processes, to ensure that commissioned coaching and/or e-mental health services are evidence-based, implemented as intended, and include clinical risk management systems.
  • There is an ongoing focus on evaluation and monitoring, through regular analysis of clinical outcomes.

NewAccess evaluation

An independent evaluation of the program by Ernst&Young shows:

  • A recovery rate of 67.5 per cent recovery rate in people that have participated in the program.4
  • NewAccess overcomes stigma: Free entry, multiple referral pathways including self-referral, either face-to-face or over the phone sessions, no labelling and practical exercises are some of the features that actively reduce stigma barriers.
  • NewAccess is user-friendly, clients are effectively engaged and stay with the treatment.
  • The program attracts those who traditionally do not seek help, such as men.
  • People’s mental health improves dramatically following the program, and has lasting effect.
  • The program is successful in diverse demographic catchments.
  • The new coach workforce and supervision structure is highly effective.

To read the summary evaluation report please download the PDF below:


To speak to Beyond Blue about NewAccess in more detail, please email NewAccess

1. For a full list of references for the statistics on this page, and any others across the website, please visit the references page and search through the relevant category.

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

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