Primary Mental Health Information for GPs | Goulburn Valley


Information for GPs in Goulburn Valley

Last updated - 1 March 2018

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Primary mental health services in our region have been slowly transitioning for new services under the National Mental Health Commission's recommendation for national reform, ensuring that mental health funding and services are focused in primary care. With this national reform, low income and disadvantaged populations will be the focus of a stepped, needs-based primary mental health care approach.

Murray PHN has recently appointed a range of mental health service providers to implement this reform from the beginning of March. These join existing providers of other specialist services across our region.

In most of the Goulburn Valley region, the service provider will be the Australian Primary Mental Health Alliance (APMHA), apart from Moira Shire, where we have appointed Numurkah and District Health Service.

PTS = Psychological Therapy Services; PMHCCC = Primary Mental Health Clinical Care Coordination

Additional information

If you need any other information or assistance contact Janice Radrekusa, Executive Director Regional

Introducing the Australian Primary Mental Health Alliance

Who is the APMH Alliance?
APMH Alliance is led by CEO Renee Hayden (nee Williams) and Director, Clinical Services and Workforce Development, Jennifer Craggs. They are supported by a dedicated and experienced team who have been implementing mental health reform with general practice in NSW over the past 14 months.

What is the new reform?
The reform is based on the stepped mental health care model which will provide services matched to the patient's current circumstance and presentation. It allows services to be stepped up or down as the needs of the patient change.

Who is eligible?
Patients who are considered low income, living in rural locations, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (new settlers), Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait, homeless or those at risk of homelessness are eligible to receive services.

What are the program levels of care for patients?

Psychological Therapy Services (PTS)

Low need
Mild presentations - (high prevalent disorders): requiring brief psychological interventions up to 4 sessions. These can be provided face to face, phone or Skype, delivered by psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists.

Moderate need
Moderate presentations - (high prevalent disorders) requiring medium term psychological interventions up to 8 sessions. These can be provided face to face, phone or Skype.

Primary Mental Health Clinical Care Coordination

Moderate need
Moderate episodic disorders - (low prevalent disorders) requiring assertive support; 15 sessions with a team approach. Delivered by credentialed mental health nurses and care coordinators.

Complex need
Enduring and severe - (low prevalent disorders) requiring longer term assertive support of up to 30 sessions with a team approach over a year. Delivered by credentialed mental health nurses and care coordinators.

How do I refer to the APMH Alliance?
Referral involves three steps, outlined in the referral pathway attached:

  1. Complete the new updated GP mental health treatment plan (MHTP). This will be emailed to your practice with instructions for upload into your software
  2. Phone the Central Intake line on 1300 514 811 while the patient is still with you.
    Here we will confirm eligibility.
    If the patient is eligible, we will gather some quick information to ascertain which step the patient is best suited, any anticipated waiting time and recommendation / treatment options available for your patient.
    We will give you a referral ID number which will need to be noted on the GP mental health treatment plan. We will provide both you and the patient with relevant information to ensure their referral is streamlined, supported and seamless.
    As the treating GP, you will have confidence that the patient is connected into the right service, and advice for ongoing support and any follow up you will need to implement as a result. This is where we establish our team approach with you.
    NB: If your patient is NOT eligible, we will provide you with appropriate referral options, best suited to your patient
  3. Fax the GP MHTP to the Central Intake line on 03 9376 0317

Next steps?
Please ensure you have uploaded the GPMHTPs that are available here
The GP MHTP templates you will need to load include Adult GPMHTP, Youth GPMHTP and Child MHTP
Please also ensure you have the APMH Alliance 1300 number and fax number in your systems to enable referrals to commence on 5 March. The contact phone number is 1300 514 811 and the fax number is: 03 9376 0317
Please understand the Alliance will work closely with you to ensure this new process is implemented well.

Future training on reform and changes:
APMHA will be delivering a variety of training to GPs, practice nurses and other potential referrers to provider further familiarisation on the new reform and model, along with general practice updates on managing mental health.

Important points:
Referrals for mental health services under this program are to be processed by phoning the 1300 number while the patient is still in the consultation.

  • The Intake and Triage phone call will take approximately three minutes.
  • The Intake and Triage line will open on 5 March. Hours of operation are 8.30am - 5.00pm.
  • Contact number is 1300 514 811
  • The GPMHTP, K10+ and consent are to be faxed to 03 9376 0317 with the Referral PIN noted
  • The client will be sent a confirmation either by letter or via SMS (or through our third-party app on their smart phone)

APHMA aims to provide you with as much information as possible over the coming month to assist with the transitioning of current patients, to provide information about access to service delivery and to address any other concerns you may have as we navigate this changing landscape.

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