We can all become anxious and depressed at various times in our life, and this can start to affect how we function and cope. The Next Step program can help you work through difficult times in your life that impact the way you function day to day.

What is Next Step?

Next Step is a free, confidential and evidence-based psychological support service which aims to improve access to treatment for people experiencing anxiety and/or depression. The service helps you access the best type of mental health support to meet your individual needs. To meet varying needs, the service is offered across a continuum and delivered by a trained workforce.

Many people experience different types of anxiety and depression. These conditions can be influenced by many things including stress, change, uncertainty about situations or circumstances, or by a traumatic event. Next Step will help you identify your symptoms and work with you to better manage them using a Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) approach. CBT can help you learn how to change unhelpful or unhealthy habits, feelings and behaviours. Some examples of what you can work on in the Next Step program:

  • Managing social situations or tasks that you find difficult
  • Improving your mood
  • Managing worrying thoughts and feelings
  • Helping you face things you avoid or procrastinate about
  • Helping you if you feel the need to check or do things repeatedly
  • Improving sleep

How does Next Step work?

Next Step seeks to use the least intensive method of care first. We will work with you and together decide what help and support you may need. Next Step delivers three types of support:

Mental Health Coaching

Coaching is a short-term intensive program that uses CBT to help you work through problems you may be experiencing in your life. It is a form of guided self-help and offers practical strategies to help you work through problems such as mild anxiety, depression and day to day life stress. Coaching is delivered by specially trained coaches who are not counsellors or psychologists.

You can access up to six coaching sessions which can be delivered in person or over the phone. If you find that you need more than this number of sessions you can speak with your coach about the other options available to support your mental health, which may include our high intensity therapy.

High Intensity Therapy

If you are experiencing moderate to severe symptoms, you may be linked with High Intensity Therapy. This program builds off the low intensity coaching model, providing more intensive psychological therapy over six to eighteen sessions (dependent on your individual needs). Therapy is delivered by mental health professionals such as psychologists, mental health social workers and mental health nurses. This support is available to any age group, from infancy to aging.

Cool Kids Anxiety Program

Developed by the Macquarie University, Cool Kids and Cool Little Kids is a group program for children who are experiencing anxiety. The program uses CBT to help children and their carers to better understand anxiety and develop strategies to manage their anxiety, with a focus on teaching practical skills. Dependent on the child’s age, their carer may attend the sessions or if they’re over 7 years, both the child and their carer will attend together. The group runs over 10 sessions, usually during school terms.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

To be eligible for Next Step you need to:

  • live, work or study in the ACT
  • be experiencing depression and/or anxiety, or experiencing stress that is impacting your life
  • not currently accessing other psychological intervention services
  • for high intensity therapy you should not be engaged in any other psychological treatment

Why Next Step?

There are many benefits to accessing Next Step:

  • Free access and support if you are unable to access other funded services or where cost is a barrier
  • You will receive evidenced-based structured interventions based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
  • You can access the service online, on the telephone and face to face in various locations across the ACT
  • Anyone can refer – individuals, GPs and other health professionals

What Next?


If you would like to access our coaching program or don’t know which service is best suited for your needs, please contact our team on:

Alternatively, you can speak to your GP about the Next Step Program. For High Intensity Therapy, individuals require a GP referral including a Mental Health Treatment Plan and completed referral form (see below). Once we have received these documents from your GP the intake team will contact the you about the next steps.


If you are a GP or health professional and would like to refer someone to Next Step, you can complete the following online referral form. Note that all referrals should include a Mental Health Treatment Plan.

Referral Form (mayden.com.au)

If you cannot complete the online referral form, please contact our intake team on (02) 6162 6111.


Please note that Next Step is not a crisis service. If you need emergency

assistance please contact Emergency Services on 000 or the Access

Mental Health team on 1800 629 354.


Next Step is funded by the Capital Health Network.

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