New levels of flexibility in mental health support for Queenslanders


Queensland customers living with mental illness now have access to a range of out-of-hospital care options thanks to a new partnership between Australia’s largest health insurer, Bupa and leading community-managed specialist mental health service provider, Mind Australia.

With a focus on empowering the patient with choice and flexibility, the Mind Care Choices program is delivered as an outreach model of care that can be accessed at a clinic, in an individual’s own home, over the phone or via video conference with no out-of-pocket costs.

Bupa established this partnership recognising that 87 per cent of its customers would prefer to receive mental health care in the community or the comfort of their own home[1]. Research suggests that a “balanced care” model that includes community-based mental health support services as a complement to hospital care, can help improve continuity of care, adherence to treatment and quality of life[2].

Nirasha Parsotam, Bupa’s Head of Health System Strategy & Integration said it’s important that people experiencing a mental health condition can receive care and support in the setting of their choice.

“We believe this service meets the real demand for alternatives to the traditional psychiatrist led, hospital-based model of care with the ultimate goal of helping patients live happy and fulfilling lives in the community.

“We are extremely pleased to offer our Queensland customers access to this program which is already delivering promising results,” Ms Parsotam said.

Since the QLD pilot started in January this year, 52 members have enrolled in the program and 17 have been discharged back to the management of their GP.

Esther Dancewicz, Occupational Therapist at Mind Australia said from a clinical perspective the program focuses on promoting the right words, actions, and thoughts to be incorporated into people’s lives.

“It’s all about supporting patients and giving them the power to see their lives as worthy of having goals – daily goals, weekly goals, five-year goals, family goals, career goals, better life goals.

“These goals and ongoing community integration give them the assurance that their life is unique, valued, and worthy of being shared with the world,” Ms Dancewicz said.

The program is available to eligible[3] Bupa customers residing in the South East QLD LGAs of City of Brisbane, Ipswich City, Logan City, Redland City and City of Gold Coast.

Visit here for further information about the Mind Care Choices program.

[1] https://www.bupa.com.au/health-programs/bupa-mind-care-choices-program

[2] https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/74710/E82976.pdf

[3] Customers who have a diagnosed mental illness and have experienced one or more overnight hospital admissions for mental health treatment.

Media reference number: 20/087