Murray PHN eNews #91 | New primary mental health referral pathways 


Edition 91  | New primary mental health referral pathways


Murray PHN has commissioned a range of new primary mental health services to help GPs support  underserviced and vulnerable populations in our region.   For information on new referral options in your area, please click here.

Across the region, Murray HealthPathways provides localised clinical information, referral details and other resources free to GPs and other clinicians.

Our focus has been on completing important pathways for the more prevalent mental health and AOD conditions, with half of these now complete and the remainder to be finalised this year.

Dr Christie Rodda, Clinical Editor and GP at The Beechworth Surgery (pictured above) said the new mental health pages, which were requested by general practice, provide clinical point-of-care information for the assessment, management and referral of patients.

"Clinicians can find acute, primary health, early intervention and preventative information and offer pathways for stepped care approaches such as; telehealth, community support, specialist care and self-management," Dr Rodda said.

Health professionals in our region can access Murray HealthPathways, with new mental health referral information (below) via this link.
Those who do not currently access Murray HealthPathways can register free

Pathways include:
Alcohol and Drug Use

 Mental Health

Alpine Health sets the PACE

Alpine Health has partnered with local healthcare providers Equilibre Health, Kiewa Valley Sports and Spinal Physiotherapy, and Ovens Valley Physio and Pilates, to establish a new program: PACE (Pulmonary and Cardiac Exercise and Education) for locals with heart or lung health conditions.

PACE Nurse Coordinator, Roslyn Bloomer, said the PACE program, which begins on 13 March, was designed to help local people with heart and lung conditions to improve their health, with individual assessment, education, exercise classes and home-based exercise plans. It will operate in Mount Beauty, Bright and Myrtleford.

Alpine Health CEO, Lyndon Seys, said “Alpine Health has been able to establish the PACE program as a result of the Murray PHN's Investing in Primary Care funding. We are looking forward to partnering with our local healthcare providers to deliver these important community services.

Matt Jones, CEO of Murray PHN said PACE program was a great example of the way collaborative partnerships could design and implement activities that addressed local health needs.

People interested in the PACE program can find out more by discussing it with their doctor, specialist or other health professional, by calling 03 5754 3595, or emailing

Photo:   L-R: Julie Blake, Physiotherapist, Ovens Valley Physio & Pilates, Leeah Cooper, Exercise Physiologist, Equilibre Health, Ruth Mulligan, Project Manager, PACE Alpine Health, Fiona Miller, Physiotherapist, Kiewa Valley Sports and Spinal Physiotherapy, Roslyn Bloomer, PACE Nurse Coordinator, Alpine Health

Organisations coming together to stop  stigma
We were delighted to host our first Stop Mental Illness Stigma Charter workshops in Albury, Bendigo, Mildura and Shepparton this month. Around 150 people from 50 organisations across our catchment came together to discuss practical ways to reduce the stigma of mental illness in their organisations and communities.People with lived experienced shared their stories - reflecting on the use of language as a barrier to regaining wellness. One speaker commented that it is now easier to talk about mental health than it was five years ago, however ignorance still bred stigma, which itself is a nicer word for discrimination .

The reason behind the Charter is simple - by understanding and listening to those who experience mental illness, offering support and encouraging recovery, all the while by being mindful of our language and challenging others who aren't mindful of theirs - we can work towards a supportive environment, where stigma doesn't exist.

The feedback received at the workshops will be used to develop new resources.

Click here to see photos from the workshops and if you're interested in learning more about the  Charter click here.

Influenza immunisation updates

The Australian Government has announced two new flu vaccines will be provided for free to more than three million Australians aged 65 years and over.   This is a direct response to last year's flu season where more than 90 per cent of the 1,100 flu deaths were people aged more than 65 years.

The vaccines have been fast-tracked to ensure lives are saved and older Australians receive greater protection. The new vaccines -  Fluad ® and Fluzone High Dose ® - will be available through the National Immunisation Program from April. F

Meanwhile, the Victorian Government has announced a free influenza vaccine program for all Victorian children aged six months to under five years of age, starting this year.   Victorian Government immunisation resources and  vaccine order form will be updated in the near future to reflect the change.

When the 2018 government-supplied influenza vaccines are available to be pre-allocated, detailed advice will be provided to you about the various influenza vaccine brands and the age eligibility.

Health professionals and health consumers in North East Victoria are invited to meet with Tim Kelsey, the CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency and Clinical Professor Meredith Makeham, Chief Medical Adviser. They are visiting the Albury region on Thursday 15 March to discuss digital health, including the My Health Record. For more information or to RSVP contact Robyn Lowe, Communications Program Manager e:

Learn how to support those affected by suicide in Merbein  Mildura  

A community workshop will be held in Merbein on Monday 5 March to help people who would like to support someone who is affected by suicide by increasing their understanding of suicide bereavement and basic support skills.

Murray PHN has partnered with StandBy Murray to bring the What do I say? What do I do? workshop to the Mildura region as part of the Mildura Place Based Suicide Prevention Trial. For more information, click here.

Changes to Victorian No Jab, No Play legislation  immunisation  
Amendments to Victoria's No Jab, No Play legislation were passed in parliament last week, tightening requirements for parents to provide, and early childhood services to accept, only an immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register when confirming the enrolment of a child in early childhood and care services.

Documents produced by GPs or other immunisation providers will no longer be accepted as proof of immunisation. These changes came into effect yesterday, Wednesday 28 February 2018. For more information, click here.

Upcoming changes to medical decision making laws    medical decision making  
Medical decision making laws in Victoria will change on 12 March 2018 when the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 begins. The Act will give statutory recognition for advance care directives so competent Victorians can document treatment preferences for existing and/or future conditions.

The Act will also simplify and modernise laws relating to medical treatment decision making for those without the capacity to make medical treatment decisions. For more information, click here.

Advance care planning in general practice  Bendigo  

 Better Care Victoria is funding a collaborative project between Bendigo Health, Murray PHN and Monash University to support and increase advance care planning in general practice in the Greater Bendigo local government area.

The project is aimed at identifying and addressing barriers and enablers to the uptake and communication of advance care plans across the health system for consumers aged 75 and over. In the coming weeks, expressions of interest will be invited from primary health care and GP services to participate in the project. These services will receive free education and mentoring along with system set-up and support for advance care planning.

For more information contact Meagan Adams ACP Coordinator at Bendigo Health on 5454 6386 or email

Giving Indigenous children a better start to life  Indigenous health outcomes  

Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative is part of the expansion of a Federal Government program to deliver improvements to the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children - A Better Start To Life.

The program consists of two streams - the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program and a New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services Program. Rumbalara is receiving funds under the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program to deliver services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in the Campaspe, Shepparton and Moira areas. For more information, click here.

TAC announces no medical excess    transport accidents  

Victoria's TAC is cutting red tape by removing the medical excess for people injured in transport accidents. For accidents occurring on or after 14 February 2018, healthcare providers can now provide treatment to TAC clients immediately and invoice the TAC directly. For more information, click here.

Transvaginal mesh complications - important information for GPs  women's health  

Safer Care Victoria has developed a free resource to assist general practitioners in identifying complications and supporting women affected by transvaginal mesh.

Transvaginal mesh is a medical product which has been used for more than 15 years to treat pelvic organ prolapse and urinary stress incontinence. Some women have experienced serious and debilitating complications following such surgery. Download the fact sheet here.

Murray PHN CPD events
For the full Murray PHN CPD events calendar click here.

Murray PHN careers

Regional news

Government news


Research and reports


External CPD events and education

  • Click here  to access a list of  CPD and education events delivered by other organisations  locally and nationally.

Training and courses

Surveys and consultations

  • Andrology Australia plans to develop resources to help GPs start conversations with men about fertility and reproductive life planning. Click here to complete a survey that will help to make the resources as useful as possible.


Scholarships, grants   and funding

New codeine rescheduling resources

Copyright © 2017 Murray PHN, All rights reserved.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this newsletter is accurate. Information in this  newsletter  may be duplicated in other media with due  acknowledgement  of the originating sources. Murray PHN does not  necessarily  endorse products and/or  services  advertised in this publication.Murray PHN gratefully acknowledges the financial and other support from the Australian Government Department of Health.
Murray PHN ABN  92 156 423 755

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