cohealth is Australia's largest community health organisation, providing quality local health care services in Melbourne's west, north and inner city.
Built on the values, reputations and expertise of three respected organisations, cohealth provides quality services across mental health, oral health, family violence, alcohol and other drugs, aged care and medical and integrated health services.
cohealth was formed after the leadership teams of Doutta Galla Community Health, North Yarra Community Health and Western Region Health Centre recognised in late 2012 that their shared values and common strengths could be the foundation for an even stronger organisation. Their research made it clear – a larger, united organisation would be able to invest in the people and research needed to be an influential advocate for accessible, equitable health services. The teams collaborated to build a new model and an innovative approach to services, effectively securing a future for the community health services that people in Melbourne’s north and west rely upon. Together, they successfully captured the essence of three dynamic, efficient organisations, creating cohealth to connect their communities.
Like their original organisations, cohealth is passionate about consumers and communities having the opportunity to shape and influence services. They call this codesign and actively involve those who use services in their design, development and delivery. They think that services created this way are more likely to be effective and of higher quality. Across the organisation, more than 200 community members and consumers work with cohealth as volunteers or members of cohealth's community advisory groups to make sure they hear the voice of consumers, recognise and work side by side with them to shape and target their services.
cohealth's services now cover 14 local government areas (including all 6 within Melbourne's west), which include extensive public housing, a high incidence of homelessness and large numbers of new migrants, with 50% of cohealth's clients born overseas. In many of cohealth's communities access to employment and education is inadequate, social participation compromised and consequently health status of populations poor. cohealth provide services for:
- Local communities
- Refugees and asylum seekers
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- People at risk of harm associated with alcohol and drug use
- Families and young people at risk
- Disadvantaged and disenfranchised people
- People with or at risk of chronic disease
- People with or at risk of mental illness or poor mental health
- Older people with complex needs
- People who are, or at risk of being, homeless.
Cohealth collaborate and partner with many organisations to address health inequalities, including:
- Zoe Belle Gender Centre – improving the health and wellbeing of Victoria’s sex and gender diverse population
- Yarra Drug and Health Forum – community development and advocacy around drug issues
- Mental Health Community Support Services Catchment Based Planning
Interested in becoming one of LeadWest's affilliates?
LeadWest works with and supports a number of organisations in Melbourne's west that are community-focused.
LeadWest Affiliates are organisations that participate actively in our regional leadership networks, helping LeadWest better understand the needs of Melbourne's west and better hone our advocacy campaigns.
If your organisation would like to become a LeadWest Affiliate, please contact us.