Winner

2020

Next Step

Excellence in Implementation of Evidence Informed Practice

Next Step program provides free psychological interventions to young people with mild to severe symptoms of a mental health condition, delivered in partnership with CatholicCare, Woden Community Services and CBT Institute. Common conditions treated include anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The Next Step service is the only one of its kind in Australia providing a fully integrated, stepped care model of mental health support across the lifespan. Based on the UK’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) model, young people are stepped up or down to the service intensity that is appropriate for them. This results in an efficient use of mental health resources, where young people receive access to the right support at the right time.

In line with the UK’s NICE Guidelines (2011), the team of highly skilled clinicians and coaches have all received over 12 months of intensive specialist training in CBT interventions. Next Step services are fully funded by the Capital Health Network. This means the service is free to all young people and the program aims to remove deterrents in order to meet the needs of underserviced groups and people with financial barriers to gaining treatment.

Next Step is flexible enough to be delivered through video-conferencing software, removing another impediment to accessing treatment for young people, and has been particularly beneficial during the recent pandemic. Next Step saw a marked increase in young people’s engagement with treatment throughout the pandemic. With eight physical locations across the ACT, it is accessible to young people in Gungahlin and Tuggeranong.

By virtue of its structure, funding, and passionate team, Next Step helps young people access the best type of mental health support to suit their individual needs. Access to evidence-based and excellent mental health treatment is a fundamental right, not a privilege, and the program and its professional team adhere to these values.

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