Stepped Care

A stepped care approach to mental health

Core to our mental health approach is to design and strengthen a primary mental health system that is aligned to a stepped care approach. The new model, which is based on putting patients’ needs first, was implemented in the Murray PHN region in March 2018.

Stepped care is part of the Commonwealth Government's reform that is aimed at providing the best possible care for people experiencing mental illness and to make that care available in a way that best suits individuals.

Stepped care gives people the opportunity to step their care up, or step it down, depending on their health needs. It is not a one size fits all approach. It provides access to a range of care options that may be appropriate from time to time.

The new system supports disadvantaged individuals to access clinical mental health support close to home where possible, at no charge. The services offered are both psychological support services (PTS – General) and primary mental health clinical care coordination (PMHCCC).

Services that are funded by Murray PHN fall into three broad categories:

  • Psychological Therapy Services (PTS) | supports people with mild to moderate mental illness. It provides brief interventions by qualified clinical and non-clinical staff.
  • Primary Mental Health Clinical Care Coordination (PMHCCC) | services for people with moderate to complex disorders requiring assertive support within a team approach.
  • Psychosocial Recovery Services (PRS) comprised of Continuity of Supports (CoS), Extended Transition Arrangements (ETA) and the National Psychosocial Support Measure (NPSM) | supports people with severe mental illness achieve their recovery goals.

Diagram showing the Stepped Care approach

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