Mental Health Community Living Supports for Refugees (MH-CLSR) is a community based program located in seven Local Health Districts (LHDs) that provides support for refugees and asylum seekers with mental health issues to live and participate in the community in the way that they want to. MH-CLSR is part of a suite of community-based psychosocial programs for adults called the NSW Mental Health Community Living Programs.
The program began in 2019 to provide support to at least 79 refugee and asylum seekers with mental health issues at any given time, within the first 10 years of arriving in Australia.
No formal mental health diagnosis is required and program participants can be of any age.
Four community managed organisations have been contracted to deliver MH-CLSR across seven (7) LHDs:
The Ministry recently 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 2023, 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. A copy of the evaluation is available at MH-CLSR Program: Process Evaluation (2022).
People receiving MH-CLSR services work with:
The amount of MH-CLSR support you receive is flexible and can change over time to meet your needs.
When things are going well, you may only need a few hours of support a week, but there may be times when you are finding things are difficult or distressing and it would be helpful to get more support.
A person is not automatically eligible for social or community housing just because they are a MH-CLSR consumer.
If you need housing the normal application process and eligibility criteria for social housing apply, and the MH-CLSR service will assist you to apply if needed.
You may be eligible for MH-CLSR support if you are
The MH-CLSR program will give priority to people who meet the eligibility criteria and have the highest level of need -- such as someone who needs a high-level of support and whose mental health may become worse without MH-CLSR supports.
Your local MH-CLSR provider can provide you with more information about MH-CLSR, including how to access or refer someone into the program. You can contact your local CLS provider using the contact information below:
South Western Sydney Local Health DistrictCall New Horizons: 1300 726 372Or STARTTS: 02 9646 6666 (ask for CLS-R)Email:
Sydney Local Health DistrictCall New Horizons: 1300 726 372Or STARTTS: 02 9646 6666 (ask for CLS-R)Email:
Mid North Coast Local Health DistrictCall New Horizons: 1300 726 372Or STARTTS: 02 9646 6666 (ask for CLS-R)Email:
Hunter New England Local Health DistrictCall STARTTS: 02 9646 6666 (ask for CLS-R)Email:
Murrumbidgee Local Health DistrictCall Australian Red Cross: 0478252652 (state language if interpreter needed)Email:
Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health DistrictCall Grand Pacific Health: (02) 42869200Website: Community Living Supports for Refugees
Western Sydney Local Health DistrictCall Anglicare Sydney: 1300 111 278Email:
If English is not your first language, you can use the telephone
Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National).
This service is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call TIS on 131 450.
You can also prebook an interpreter online using the TIS National
Pre booked phone interpreter form.