ermha365 to deliver Pop-up Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Services in Barwon region

Media release

22 September 2021

ermha365 will deliver new mental health services in the Barwon area as part of the Victorian Government’s funding of a $22 million package designed to meet immediate surge demands resulting from the pandemic.

Pop-up Community Mental Health & Wellbeing Services will relieve pressure on existing specialist and general practice services due to the stressors and concerns brought about by the pandemic. They will complement clinical interventions and treatment by actively supporting the recovery of people with emerging or existing mental ill-health and ensure that people with new and ongoing mental health needs can get the support they need.

“We welcome this announcement from the Victorian Government, and we are thrilled to be providing more mental health services in the Barwon region, where our ermha365 team is already well established in the community,” ermha365 CEO Karenza Louis-Smith said.

In a March 2021 ABC News story, ermha365 highlighted the need for mental health services in regional and rural areas and fast-growing outer suburbs of Melbourne and welcomed the creation of 60 new community-based services to ensure that Victorians can access most services locally.

“All of us who work in this sector know that the further away from Melbourne, the thinner and thinner and thinner the services become, so to have more options available for people across Victoria is crucial,” Karenza Louis-Smith said.

ermha365 will be offering Pop-up Community Mental Health & Wellbeing Services across the City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliffe, Shire of Surf Coast, Shire of Colac Otway, Shire of Corangamite (South) and Shire of Golden Plains (South East).

The services include one-on-one wellbeing coaching, wellbeing checks, emotional support and practical assistance for people struggling with mental health.

Group support sessions will also be offered to support personal recovery, management of mental health symptoms and social and community connection. The Pop-up Service will link people in need of assistance to other, existing services to help them, their family, friends and carers to address life stressors, such as the threat of homelessness, financial difficulties and social isolation.

ermha365 is already deeply embedded in the local Barwon community as a provider of Early Intervention Psychosocial Response Services and Prevention and Recovery Care residential services in partnership with Barwon Health; and the HIVE program for adults with lived experience of mental illness. It also provides NDIS services for people with psychosocial disability, as well as TAC-funded psychosocial outreach and case management services to support the recovery of people who have been involved in a motor vehicle accident.

“The ‘coronacoaster’ of going in and out of lockdowns has created uncertainty for people in Barwon. These services will help people who are feeling distressed and overwhelmed by the pandemic, and also reduce the burden on Emergency Departments already under great pressure”, said Jackie Ashmore, Chief Operations Officer – Mental Health, Forensic & Community Services.

For more information please contact Emily Webb ( or 0447 762 350) or Robyn Haydon ( or 0407 833 904).

ermha365 provides a range of mental health services designed to help people experiencing mental health challenges to thrive in the community.