Primary Mental Health Information for GPs | North East


Information for GPs in North East

Last updated - 21 May 2021

Primary mental health services in our region transitioned to new stepped care services in 2018, under the National Mental Health Commission's recommendation for national reform. The change ensured that mental health funding and services were focused in primary care, and that low income and disadvantaged populations can access a stepped, needs-based primary mental health care approach.

Murray PHN has appointed a range of mental health service providers to deliver stepped care, who join existing providers of other specialist services across our region. In our North East region, the service provider is APMHA HealthCare, apart from Towong Shire, where we have appointed Corryong Health.

PTS Suicide Prevention will continue to be provided by North East and Border Mental Health Services, and PTS – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander will be provided by the Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service.

This webpage contains the most up-to-date information; however should you wish to download the above information in a document you click here.

Additional information

  • Click here for information on patient eligibility for PTS or PMHCC funding
  • For details on the APMHA HealthCare, please see the attached information sheet. Their referral service can be reached at 1300 514 811 
  • Health professionals in our region can also access mental health referral information via Murray HealthPathways. If you do not currently access HealthPathways, you can register free here
  • If you need any other information or assistance contact Janice Radrekusa, Executive Director Regional

Introducing APMHA HealthCare

Who is APMHA HealthCare?
APMHA HealthCare Ltd is a Not For Profit company that has evolved from the Victorian Primary Mental Health Alliance Pty Ltd. APMHA provides intake, triage, secondary consultation and clinical and psychological services. Click here to learn more.

What is the reform or a stepped care model?
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, those people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (new settlers), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Peoples, 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 APMHA HealthCare?
Referral involves three steps, outlined in the referral pathway attached:

  1. Complete the 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 correct contact details of APMHA HealthCare in your systems to enable referrals. T: 1300 514 811 / F: 03 9376 0317

Important points:
Referrals for mental health services under this program are to be processed by phoning the 1300 514 811 number while the patient is still in the consultation.

  • The Intake and Triage is open from 8.30am - 5.00pm and is available on 1300 514 811
  • The phone call will take approximately three minutes.
  • 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).

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