Primary mental health services

Murray PHN commissions primary mental health, psychosocial recovery and alcohol and other drug services for people located across the Murray PHN catchment.

Since March 2018, all services have been aligned with a Stepped Model of Care approach, meaning that people receive care that's tailored to their individual needs - stepping it up or stepping it down as needed.

There is a 'no wrong door' approach if accessing these services. Access can be made via direct contact with a provider, or via the state-wide HeadtoHelp or Talk it Out phone and online counselling services.

The Primary Mental Health Services Guidelines were reviewed in September 2020, and outline the scope, eligibility requirements, clinical governance obligations and workforce requirements specific to the provision of services












To submit feedback on the guidelines, please contact Jo Rasmussen, Acting Mental Health & AOD Lead.

The most up-to-date eligibility and referral information is listed on Murray HealthPathways along with more than 40 mental health, alcohol and other drug pathways available free to health professionals in our region (register here). If you do not have access to HealthPathways, you can find information by clicking on the region below:

Doctors who want to refer people to psychiatric triage services, can do so by phoning the appropriate number:

  • Central Victoria |  1300 363 788
  • Goulburn Valley |  1300 369 005
  • North West |  1300 366 375
  • North East |  Call the office closest to where you are located: Wodonga: 1300 881 104, Wangaratta: 1300 783 347 or  Albury: 1800 800 944

Psychological Therapy Services (PTS) eligibility criteria

PTS provides services for adults (and children and young people) with a clinical diagnosis of mild or moderate mental illness who would benefit from short term, focused psychological therapy. Sessions are provided by a qualified mental health professional, and people should have a mental health review by the referring GP after every six sessions if ongoing treatment is required.

Criteria for referral

Generalist PTS

  • People who are less able to pay fees
  • People who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness
  • People living in rural and remote communities
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities (CALD)
  • People with an intellectual disability
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Specialist PTS

  • People who have self-harmed or attempted suicide or are at risk of suicide
  • Children under the age of 12 with, or at risk of, developing a mental disorder
  • Women with perinatal depression
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

A GP Mental Health Treatment Plan is required when a referral is made, although clients (such as those experiencing homelessness) will not be precluded from the service in the absence of a treatment plan.

Primary Mental Health Clinical Care Coordination (PMHCCC) eligibility criteria

The PMHCCC provides clinical care coordination for clients with a severe mental illness, aiming to reduce the likelihood of hospital admissions and improve their physical health through assessment, management and onward referral, in collaboration with other members of the health care team.

Criteria for referral

People must have:

  • A diagnosed mental health disorder (ICD 10 or DSM 5) which significantly impacts their social, personal and work life; and
  • A previous hospital admission for their disorder, or be at risk of needing future hospitalisation without appropriate treatment.

A GP Mental Health Treatment Plan is required when a referral is made, although clients (such as those experiencing homelessness) will not be precluded from the service in the absence of a treatment plan.

Psychosocial Recovery Services (PRS)

People eligible for PRS include those with a severe mental illness and who are not currently receiving supports through an existing program. Or those people who were accessing services from Partners in Recovery, Personal Helpers and Mentors Service, or Day to Day Living Services on 30 June 2019 and are ineligible for the NDIS or do not yet have an NDIS eligibility decision or plan.

The former Partners in Recovery Program created resources which are still able to be printed for use:

Guides and forms

Outcome measures required for PMHC-MDS

The following documents from PMHC-MDS provide examples of each of the outcome measures and an explanation of how they are scored.

Useful links

Other available services:

  • Better Access enables up to 10 sessions in a year. It requires a mental health treatment plan and should be the first option considered by GPs for focused psychological therapy. PTS is designed for clients who have difficulty accessing Better Access (e.g. due to low income, rural and remote or hard to reach groups).

Page last updated 30 July 2021.