Case study: holistic support helped Natasha*

A smiling woman stands on a beachLives Lived Well welcomes a huge diversity of people through its doors each year. All of our clients have busy lives outside of treatment and need an approach that can be flexible to their lifestyles and goals. This was the case for Natasha, a successful businesswoman, mother and partner in her late 40s who approached our Woolloongabba Day Program in Brisbane to seek support for her alcohol use. She had tried sessions with a private psychologist in the past, which hadn’t been successful and shared with her clinician her scepticism for a positive outcome. Despite this, she felt the flexibility and regular engagement offered by a day program might have better results.

Natasha commenced the program by completing our new early treatment program, First Step. This allowed her to complete a series of measures and receive feedback on the areas of her wellbeing that would benefit from being with the service. It was here that Natasha learnt that her alcohol use was within the high-risk range and she was experiencing severe depression and moderate anxiety. She also reported feeling suicidal nearly every day. Natasha’s goal for treatment was to stop her alcohol use, improve her mental health, and continue to maintain an active social life, which she saw as an important part of her identity.

Natasha successfully completed the five-week Day Program and then participated in the aftercare groups to help with relapse prevention. Three months after treatment she has maintained her goal of abstinence and has even started organising non-drinking social groups.

Her mental health also improved with a 40% reduction in scores for anxiety and a 67% reduction in her depression scores. Natasha also reported that she no longer feels suicidal and enjoys more meaningful engagement in her community. She commended her clinicians and rated her experience with the service as “extremely satisfied.”

*Name has been changed to protect client’s privacy. The image used is a stock image of a person for illustrative purposes only and does not, expressly or implied, portray a person with drug, alcohol or mental health problems.

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Practical strategies and support with First Step

Craig Worland, a Lives Lived Well team member, stands beside Professor Leanne Hides

Craig Worland (Lives Lived Well) and Professor Leanne Hides (UQ)

Lives Lived Well is always looking for ways to improve our support offerings as a provider of evidence-informed services and our enduring partnership with The University of Queensland (UQ) plays an important role in our efforts to develop innovative programs and bolster our clinical capabilities. In 2022-2023 we celebrated the sixth year of our partnership with UQ and continued our collaboration on several significant clinical initiatives, including First Step.

Building on the success of the pilot trial with Lives Lived Well in Brisbane North Community Services from 2020 to 2022, we embarked on the organisation-wide implementation of our ground-breaking early treatment model, First Step, during the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

Developed in partnership with UQ, the First Step program facilitates a highly responsive and individually tailored treatment option for people dealing with problematic alcohol and other drug use. UQ supported the rollout of a randomised cluster-controlled trial, evaluating the real-world possibility of such an implementation.

As many clients engage in treatment briefly, First Step aims for clients to walk away with practical strategies and support from their first session with Lives Lived Well. This ensures that clients who attend briefly receive the support they are seeking, and clients who want to continue in treatment complete a solid foundation that can serve as a springboard for further progress.

Grounded in the principles of motivational interviewing, First Step incorporates core evidence-based techniques, including outcome measure feedback, psychoeducation and harm minimisation, personality-targeted coping skills training, and individualised goal setting. The program’s content is packaged into three distinct modules and is typically delivered across two to three sessions of treatment.

Already, 2,000 Module One sessions have been completed since the program roll-out commenced and early indications suggest positive outcomes, with high levels of client engagement, satisfaction and clinical improvements observed.

First Step embodies our commitment to providing a consistent and effective treatment experience for our clients at Lives Lived Well, drawing upon best practices in contemporary alcohol and other drug interventions.

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New program helps support the mental health of underserviced communities

New program helps support the mental health of underserviced communities

Lives Lived Well is now offering a free, evidence-based mental health program aimed at supporting individuals in underserviced communities within the Darling Downs and West Moreton region.

Funded by the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN, the initiative, known as Targeted Psychological Therapies (TPT), helps reduce barriers to mental health care through having highly skilled mental health professionals provide tailored, short-term interventions.

Lives Lived Well Clinical Service Manager Lindsay McMahon explained that eligible individuals can access five complimentary sessions with qualified mental health professionals, when facilitated through a GP Mental Health Program.

“In recent times, we have all become more aware of our own mental health and we might need some extra support. With this program, we are proud to support the community through our network of mental health professionals at no cost to the individuals accessing our service” Mr McMahon said.

GPs act as the primary referral pathway for individuals accessing the TPT Program.

The five sessions are designed to address a broad spectrum of mental health needs with the program’s primary focus being on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, members of the LGBTIQ+ community, individuals at risk of suicide or self-harm, and people experiencing financial disadvantage.

If treatment is deemed necessary and clinically appropriate patients can access a further five sessions at no cost*

Mr McMahon emphasised the importance of people initiating mental health conversations with GPs, stating, “When we take time to look after our mental health, we can be there for our families and others by building our resilience and to better cope with the everyday stresses of life”

“If you need support, please ask your GP about TPT,” he said.

To learn more about the Targeted Psychological Therapies (TPT) program, please visit our website at

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Lives Lived Well Marketing team by emailing [email protected]

Enhanced support for aged care residents

Enhanced support for aged care residents

Lives Lived Well has recently introduced an exciting new program designed to assist residents in nurturing their mental health and wellbeing.

The Residential Aged Care Home (RACH) Group Program is a free initiative, made possible through funding by the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN.

Karla Smith, Team Leader for Clinical Services at Lives Lived Well, said the response to the introduction of the program over the past month has been remarkably positive.

“Mental health is a critical aspect of overall health and wellbeing, and its significance remains unchanged, regardless of age or living arrangements,” she said.

“Our team of experienced and qualified facilitators is committed to ensuring the participants receive the best support possible.

“They are passionate about making a positive impact on the lives of aged care residents.”

Available in towns across the Darling Downs and West Moreton region, the RACH Group Program spans six sessions, making it an accessible and comprehensive resource for residents in need of support.

Each session aims to empower and support residents on their mental health journey, addressing unhelpful thinking patterns, developing effective coping skills, building self-confidence, and helping them set meaningful goals for the future. The initiative strives to create a supportive environment where individuals can improve their overall wellbeing and lead happier lives.

Importantly, there is no need for a specialist or GP referral to access this program. To learn more about the RACH Group Program, we encourage residential aged care homes in the region to simply give us a call on 1300 101 149.

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Lives Lived Well Marketing team by emailing [email protected]

Veterans and families invited to attend Open Day

Veterans and families invited to attend Open Day

Lives Lived Well extends a warm welcome to veterans, their families, carers, and ex-service organisations to attend a Veterans’ and Families’ Wellbeing Hub Open Day, scheduled for Wednesday 22 November 2023.

The event, taking place from 10am to 12pm, offers an opportunity to engage with the Hub’s services and connect with fellow veterans and their families over morning tea.

Whether individuals are reflecting on their service or navigating the transition into civilian life, having timely access to the right support can significantly impact their health and wellbeing, as well as that of their families. We’re looking forward to showcasing the support and resources available at our Hub, located at 12 King Street, Caboolture.

To ensure we can cater to all our guests, please remember to RSVP by emailing us at [email protected] by 17 November.

For those seeking further information about the Veterans’ and Families’ Wellbeing Hub, including its offerings and services, please visit


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Lives Lived Well Marketing team by emailing [email protected]