State & territory jurisdictional reports: Activity relating to mental health reform prior to the implementation of the Fourth National Mental Health Plan

22. Better target services and address service gaps through cooperative and innovative service models for the delivery of primary mental health care

Page last updated: December 2010

Department of Health and Ageing

  • Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) provides flexible mental health care services and targets gaps for people who are unable to access Medicare rebateable mental health services. In 2010/11 a tier model was introduced.
    Tier 1 - ATAPS will provide funding for patients unable to access psychological services due to barriers, including financial.
    Tier 2 - ATAPS will provide for patients from specific target groups including; women with peri-natal depression, children aged 12 years and under, people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and suicide prevention.
  • Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Areas recognises that people in rural and remote locations are not able to readily access Medicare rebateable mental health services. Given the diverse needs and conditions of rural and remote Australia, the Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Areas (MHSRRA) Program employs a flexible range of service delivery models with each organisation utilising slightly different models according to the needs of its local communities.
  • Models available to organisations under the MHSRRA Program include:
    • full or part time direct employment
    • 'topping up' existing part time mental health services
    • subcontracting services to other organisations in the area
    • 'sharing' mental health professionals, or forming a partnership, with other organisations within the community; o brokerage/sessional payments
    • 'fly in/fly out'
    • outreach
    • hub and spoke and
    • ehealth.
  • Organisation delivery services under the program are required to liaise with other service providers in the local area to build on and complement existing services. Top of page

Department of Veterans' Affairs

  • VVCS – Veterans and Veterans family counselling Service is conducting a 12-month pilot using video-conferencing technology to provide counselling to veterans and their families who live in regions where access to a local mental health service is problematic or non-existent. This is aimed at improving access to community mental health services.

Department of Defence

  • The Regional Mental Health Teams will provide outreach to the health professionals in the regions by assisting with complex cases, act as a specialist referral agency as well as providing clinical supervision, training and support.
  • The ADF National Mental Health Centre will become the hub of tele-psychiatry services for Defence and provide supervision to mental health professionals nationally, as well as have the capability to support deployed health professionals.