MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Northern Australia Primary Health Limited is a leading provider of Mental Health and Wellbeing services. We deliver effective treatments for common mental health conditions including anxiety and depression and most childhood problems.
Our Mental Health and Wellbeing services are provided at no out of pocket expense to the client and are available for adults, youth and children. We work with you, your general practitioner and other community healthcare providers to plan and deliver individualised wellness programs for issues that can impact on emotions, thoughts, social skills and decision making.
We are funded by North Queensland Primary Health Network to deliver psychology services under the Access to Allied Psychology Services (ATAPS)
You can find our referral forms to the right on this page and more information on our services below.
headspace helps young people aged 12-25 who are going through a tough time, providing support for problems like depression, anxiety, bullying and body image. headspace also provides support to families and friends of young people. All services are provided at no out of pocket expense to the client.
Northern Australia Primary Health Ltd is the Lead Agency for 2 headspace centres - Townsville and Mackay.
Please click on the links below to go directly to the centres webpages
MeToo is funded by the Department of Social Services, to provide early intervention and non-clinical support, to children and young people between the ages of 0-18 and their families. The program is client centered that targets a range of issues including school disengagement, emerging mental health issues, behavioural concerns and family dynamics. MeToo is a dynamic and flexible service that can be tailored to individual and family needs and goals.
Services may include but are not limited to:
• Holistic planning for families, care givers and schools
• One on one mentoring
• Social groups
• Linking in with other services
Priority groups include, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people from CALD backgrounds, children in contact with the child protection system (without a current order) and children and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness, unemployment, drug and alcohol use issues, domestic violence, disability or history of trauma.
Referrals can be made through any health service provider, schools or self-referrals.
Although, MeToo is a non-clinical service we are able to assist with providing clinical support if needed. MeToo referrals stipulate that the young person must have at least one family member or carer willing to work with the program and young person.
The MeToo team is committed to attending Professional Development training, as well as keeping up to date with services offered within our region. Through liaising with other services we can ensure a high level of care to assist our clients and families.
Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS)
Through ATAPS, patients are eligible for a maximum of 12 sessions per calendar year - six time-limited sessions with an option for a further six sessions following a mental health review by the referring GP. Sessions can be individual and/or group therapy sessions. ATAPS provides patients with assistance for short-term intervention. If further sessions are required it may mean that the patient needs a longer term programme to meet his/her needs.
In addition, the referring practitioner may consider that in exceptional circumstances the patient may require an additional six individual focussed psychological strategies services above those already provided (up to a maximum total of 18 individual services per patient per calendar year). Exceptional circumstances are defined as a significant change in the patient's clinical condition or care circumstances which make it appropriate and necessary to increase the maximum number of services. It is up to the referring practitioner to determine that the patient meets these requirements. In these cases a new referral should be provided, and exceptional circumstances noted in that referral.
Through ATAPS, patients are also eligible for up to 12 separate group therapy services, within a calendar year, involving 6-10 patients. These group services are separate from the individual services and do not count towards the 12 individual mental health services in a calendar year.
Patients are not to be referred for treatment through Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medical Benefits Schedule (Better Access) initiative and ATAPS at the same time or in the same calendar year unless their individual circumstances have changed. Changed circumstances include: changes in location where the person is no longer able to access Better Access services due to workforce constraints; or their financial circumstances change and they are no longer able to meet the co-payments associated with Better Access services. In deciding if ATAPS is more appropriate GPs should consider the focus and target of the ATAPS programme.
Better Access to Mental Health Care
The Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access) initiative aims to improve outcomes for people with a clinically-diagnosed mental disorder through evidence-based treatment. Under this initiative, Medicare rebates are available to patients for selected mental health services provided by general practitioners (GPs), psychiatrists, psychologists (clinical and registered) and eligible social workers and occupational therapists.
What Medicare services can be provided under the Better Access initiative?
Medicare rebates are available for up to ten individual and ten group allied mental health services per calendar year to patients with an assessed mental disorder who are referred by:
Allied mental health services under this initiative include psychological assessment and therapy services provided by clinical psychologists, and focussed psychological strategies services provided by appropriately qualified GPs and eligible psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists.
Psychiatrists and paediatricians are able to directly refer patients with mental disorders for Medicare rebateable allied mental health services.
Health professionals are free to determine their own fees for the professional services they provide. Charges in excess of the Medicare rebate are the responsibility of the patient.
What are the eligibility requirements?
The Better Access initiative is available to patients with an assessed mental disorder who would benefit from a structured approach to the management of their treatment needs.
Mental disorder is a term used to describe a range of clinically diagnosable disorders that significantly interfere with an individual’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities. Dementia, delirium, tobacco use disorder and mental retardation are not regarded as mental disorders for the purposes of this initiative.
The conditions classified as mental disorders for the purposes of these services are informed by the World Health Organisation, 1996, Diagnostic and Management Guidelines for Mental Disorders in Primary Care: ICD-10 Chapter V Primary Care Version.
How can I access these services under Medicare?
Visit your GP who will assess whether you have a mental disorder and whether the preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan is appropriate for you, given your health care needs and circumstances. If you are diagnosed as having a mental disorder, your GP may either prepare a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, or refer you to a psychiatrist who may prepare a psychiatrist assessment and management plan. Alternatively, your GP may refer you to a psychiatrist or paediatrician who, once an assessment and diagnosis is in place, can directly refer you to allied mental health services. Whether a patient is eligible to access allied mental health services is essentially a matter for your treating health practitioner to determine, using their clinical judgement and taking into account both the eligibility criterion and the general guidance.
You can be referred for certain Medicare rebateable allied mental health services once you have:
Your GP or psychiatrist/paediatrician can refer you for up to six individual or six group allied mental health services, which may comprise either psychological assessment and therapy by a clinical psychologist or focussed psychological strategies by an allied mental health professional. It is at the clinical discretion of your referring practitioner as to the number of allied mental health services you will be referred for (to a maximum of six in any one referral).
Depending on your health care needs, following the initial course of treatment (a maximum of six services but may be less depending on your clinical need), you can return to your GP or psychiatrist/paediatrician and obtain a new referral to obtain an additional four sessions to a maximum of ten individual and ten group services per calendar year. Whether you have a clinical need to access the additional allied health services which attracts a rebate is a decision for your treating health practitioner, taking into account the written report received from the allied mental health professional at the completion of a course of treatment. At this time, a review of your GP Mental Health Treatment Plan may also be undertaken.
From 1 March to 31 December 2012 provision exists for patients to access up to an additional six services individual allied mental health services under exceptional circumstances, to a maximum total of 16 services per patient in the 2012 calendar year. From 1 January 2013 the number of individual allied mental health services for which a person can receive a Medicare rebate will be ten services per calendar year. Exceptional circumstances apply when there has been a significant change in the patient’s clinical condition or care circumstances which necessitates a further referral for additional services. It is up to the referring practitioner (e.g. GP) to determine that the patient meets these requirements.
A Fact Sheet providing more detailed information on the arrangements for accessing further allied mental health services under exceptional circumstances can be found at: www.health.gov.au/mentalhealth-betteraccess
Further information on the Better Access initiative is available at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-ba
Information regarding eligibility, claiming and payment processes can be obtained from Medicare Australia on 132 011 or at www.medicareaustralia.gov.au
Mental Health First Aid Training
It is well documented that mental illnesses often start in adolescence or early adulthood with 50% of all people who experience mental illness having their first episode before the age of 18, and 75% by the age of 25. It is important to provide the much needed tools to enable early detection of mental health problems and for the population to be educated on how to respond in a mental health crisis.
The Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Program is an evidence based course that teaches mental health first aid strategies to members of the public over the age of 18 years. MHFA Australia has a strong commitment to evaluating its training programs using rigorous scientific studies and has done so since the program began in 2000. MHFA training is delivered by accredited MHFA trainers who must maintain ongoing currency and completed training as per MHFA Australia’s guidelines. MHFA training supports adults working with young people to provide mental health first aid to young people developing a mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis. Each MHFA training course consists of the equivalent of two full days face to face learning with supporting workbooks and literature.
We have a number of staff who are accredited to deliver MHFA training and are able to tailor the time and place for training to suit. We are able to deliver training to groups of people from one organisation or individuals from a variety of organisations.
For further information please contact:
(07) 4898 2200
Kirsten Seymour or Michelle Bell (07) 4799 1799
Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP)
Northern Australia Primary Health Limited (NAPHL) employs credentialed Mental Health Nurses. These nurses are based in General Practices in both Mackay and Townsville and provide services to clients of those practices as per the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP).
Mental health nurses work with psychiatrists and general practitioners to provide services like monitoring a patient’s mental state, managing their medication and improving links to other health professionals and clinical service providers.
Support provided under the MHNIP targets patients with severe mental disorders during periods of significant disability.
Mental health nurse functions include, but are not limited to, the following:
Providing clinical nursing services for patients with severe mental disorders:
Coordinating clinical services for patients with severe mental disorders:
These headspace and Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) Programs are supported by funding from the Australian Government under the PHN Program.
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IHCA Certification: QMS 0202 – AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 (Quality Management Systems) Standard MH 001- National Standards for Mental Health Services