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Page content updated 14/11/2019
Health Care ProfessionalsMental HealthServices for Moderate Mental Health Needs

Services for Moderate Mental Health needs

GCPHN funded services available:

Program Psychological Services Program
Services The Psychological Services Program (PSP) provides short term psychological interventions for financially disadvantaged people (must have a Health Care Card) with non-crisis, non-chronic, moderate mental health conditions, or for people who have attempted, or at risk of suicide or self-harm.
Priority Groups  Services are targeted to give priority to the following groups with a Health Care Card:
  • People experiencing, or at risk, of homelessness
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse population (CALD)
  • People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual, pansexual and others (LGBTIQAP+)
  • Women experiencing perinatal depression (until one year after childbirth)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  • Children (aged 0-12) who have, or are at risk of developing a mental, childhood behavioural or emotional disorder
  • People who self-harm or who are at increased risk of suicide (non-crisis)
These groups were identified in the 2016 Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Needs Assessment which identified seven hard to reach groups for psychological services on the Gold Coast.
Eligibility Criteria Clients must meet all the following criteria as well as one of the above priority groups to be eligible for referral:
  • Client must hold a current Health Care Card or Pension Card (the only exclusion to this is children living in out of home care)
  • Client has a non-acute, non-chronic, moderate mental health condition that can benefit from short term intervention
  • Client has a PHN Funded Mental Health Stepped Care Services Referral from eligible referrer
Client resides in the GCPHN catchment area.
Exclusion Criteria Clients not eligible for Psychological Services include:
  • Client with acute mental health needs, or who is under the care of Public Mental Health (i.e. Acute Care or Continuing Care Team, Child Youth Mental Health Service)
  • Client living in a government funded aged care facility
  • Client whose primary reason for referral is dementia, delirium, tobacco use disorder and/or mental disability
  • Children under 12 whose primary reason for referral is for assessment/treatment of a neurodevelopmental disorder including Attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder, Autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities.
  • Client with long term chronic, complex mental health issues e.g. personality disorder, bi-polar, acute psychotic condition
  • Client in crisis, and
  • Client involved in workers compensation or motor vehicle compensation proceedings.
Clients in the above categories must be referred to more appropriate mental health services; e.g. Better Access, medical assessment, acute mental health services, etc.
Intake and Triage The intake and triage for all commissioned programs sits with Primary and Community Care Services (PCCS). GPs, Paediatricians and Psychiatrists can call PCCS on 07 3186 4000 for service information. A PHN Funded Mental Health Stepped Care Services Referral is required to access this program.
Sessions All Target Groups (except SP)  – One referral referral per calendar year – 6 sessions
Suicide Prevention – Three suicide prevention referrals, allowing for up to 8 sessions each in any one calendar year (24 in total in one calendar year). The Exceptional Circumstances Referral must be used.
Relationship with Better Access
Patients can access both Better Access and GCPHN Psychological Services Program in the same calendar year if the patient will benefit clinically from these services.
It is recommended that GP’s refer the patient firstly to Better Access. It is essential that the GP assesses the patients once Better Access sessions are completed to determine if more psychological services are required and will be clinically beneficial, or whether the patient should be transitioned to higher or lower intensity services. If more sessions are required the GP can refer the patient to the Psychological Services Program, if the patient meets the Program eligibility criteria.
Clinician Resources
Referrals GPs, Psychiatrists and Paediatricians can refer patients by downloading the Mental Health Stepped Care Services Referral Form

Note: Expand the 'Public Community Services' tab. It is the top referral form in the content below this tab.

Program Psychological Services in RACF
Is this program right for me? The Psychological Services in RACF aims to improve access to psychological services for people with low to moderate mental health disorders and illness in Residential Aged Care (primarily stress, anxiety and/or adjustment issues and depressive symptoms), through evidence based psychological and behavioural therapies within a stepped care approach.
Program  Structured Psychological Therapy
  • Provision of evidence-based, time-limited psychological therapies
  • Individual psychological support within the RACF for individuals requiring low intensity and moderate intensity psychological therapy
    • low intensity groups (transitions into aged care)
    • low intensity individual sessions focussed on engagement and well-being
    • mild to moderate individual sessions with people with identifiable mental health conditions
  • Types of therapy to include:
    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
    • Reminiscence Therapy
    • Behaviour Therapy
    • Other evidence based therapy
  • Group Psychological Therapy
    • Reminiscence Therapy
    • Other evidence based therapy
  • Service Setting
    • Residential Aged Care Facilities within the Gold Coast region
  • Individual living in a Commonwealth funded RACF within the Gold Coast PHN area
  • Individual has a non-acute, non-chronic, mild to moderate mental health condition that can benefit from short term intervention
  • Individual is identified as being 'at risk' of mental illness, defined as individuals who are experiencing early symptoms and are assessed as at risk of developing a diagnosable mental illness over the following 12 months if they do not receive appropriate and timely services
  • Individuals who present as mildly depressed or anxious but do not have a diagnosis
  • Individuals who are having trouble adjusting to changes or coping with loss
  • Dual diagnosis of mental health disorder and dementia or neurocognitive disorder (including brain injury/developmental disability) where behaviours are identified as mental health related
  • Individual has the capacity to provide consent (excludes advanced dementia)
Access and referrals Request for Service:
  • Residents, family members, friends and carers, residential aged care workers (not listed above), allied health practitioners, Aged Care Assessment Team, dementia or other specialist services can request the service.
Referrals can be received by the following:
  • General Practitioner of Residents
  • RACF Clinical Nurse/Registered Nurse
  • RACF Facility Manager
  • Gold Coast Health Older Persons Mental Health team members in consultation with resident, GP and RACF
  • Link to online booking -
  • A mental health care plan is not required to access this service
Contact details Change Future's is funded to provide this service

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