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Western Victoria PHN

Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) works with the primary care sector to improve health outcomes, particularly for those at risk. With our experience designing for and with vulnerable user groups, we were engaged to develop a digital platform that enabled better access to mental health support services in the Ballarat region.


Poor access to mental health support for those at risk

WVPHN recognised the tools available to access local mental health support services were not providing a safe and supportive solution. As part of the Suicide Prevention Place-Based Trials program, WVPHN sought to develop a digital platform enabling a comprehensive and effective resolution of the pressing challenges that come with navigating the mental health and suicide prevention space.

Because of our extensive experience and expertise in designing tools with and for vulnerable user groups, we were engaged to develop this platform. 


Inclusive, community-driven design

We worked with Impact Co to create a collaborative framework and were able to welcome participation from the Ballarat community in its development. Through working groups and individual consultations, people with lived experience were involved in the design process. A sitemap and wireframe prototype were created, based on discovery findings, and a calm look and feel was applied to the design. We developed an intuitive interface that curates services in response to simple questions, so users can easily find the services they need, in the location they choose. 

While the external factors affecting someone's experience can’t be controlled, we were able to design a platform that provided a safe and inclusive experience to users. The design optimises cognitive load, prioritises clarity and the provision of cohesive information, and supports those who might need immediate help. 


Improved access to mental health services

People access tools in a diverse range of circumstances and mental states. This platform now offers inclusive and positive connections between local community members and health industry providers and partners. A guided experience asks a series of questions that result in a list of mental health supports tailored to the user's needs. 

These recommendations can be narrowed down further with easy-to-use filters, putting people in control of their choices without being overwhelmed by a multitude of options. Designed with empathy and care, this website represents a crucial step in the journey towards providing access to mental health services and preventing suicide.