The MH-CLSR program is part of a suite of community-based psychosocial support programs for adults called the NSW Mental Health Community Living Programs.

Mental Health Community Living Supports for Refugees (MH-CLSR) is a unique program that aims to provide trauma-informed, recovery-oriented, culturally safe and responsive psychosocial supports to refugees and asylum seekers who are experiencing psychological distress, mental ill health and impaired functioning.

The MH-CLSR program was established in 2019 and aims to help refugees and asylum seekers with, or at risk of mental health conditions, to recover and live in the community with as little ongoing help as possible. The program is currently being run by four community managed organisations (CMOs) in seven Local Health District (LHD) in locations in NSW where primary and secondary settlement of refugees and/or significant service delivery to asylum seekers is concentrated.

The program differs from the Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI) and Community Living Supports (CLS) in that people are not required to have a diagnosed mental illness to receive support and it is available to people of all ages.

The Ministry commissioned Human Capital Alliance (International) Pty Ltd (HCA) to conduct a process evaluation of the first two years of the program (2019-2021). The evaluation was completed in June 2022, with 165 consumers receiving support. It showed that the program was being governed and delivered according to the intended model of care and that it was a valuable addition to the existing suite of community-based psychosocial support programs delivered by NSW Health.

  • The program delivers a need for refugees and asylum seekers that is not met by the mainstream CLS program.
  • The program has a clear and strong purpose and direction, and the model of care is generally being followed.
  • There is a high level of trust and satisfaction with the program amongst consumers. Consumers report the program is easy to engage with. They find it flexible and report that it meets their needs.
  • CMOs and LHDs also report a high level of satisfaction with the program and with the Ministry's management of it.
  • CMOs have recruited a suitable workforce to support delivery of the program, and they have established successful connections with local community organisations.
  • Pathways to refer consumers to local health services are in most cases effective.
  • Partnership arrangements between CMOs and LHDs are functional and supportive of program needs.

Related links

File Size: 1106 kb
Type: Report
Date of Publication: 01 December 2022
Author: Mental Health
ISBN: 978-1-76023-384-6
SHPN: (MH) 221090