Mental health

Barry Sherwell

Mental Health Team Leader

Mental health is a priority area for Grampians Medicare Local (GML) as we respond to new health status data showing a high prevalence of chronic disease for both men and women including mental health.

Access To Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS)

ATAPS is a targeted program designed to provide short term, evidence-based psychological interventions for the hard-to-reach group who miss out on Medicare subsidised services under Better Access

ATAPS is part of the Better Outcomes in Mental Health Care (BOiMHC) program and provides simple cost-effective treatment for patients suffering from depression and anxiety. GPs refer consumers to allied health professionals who deliver focussed psychological strategies (most commonly cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)). Allied health professionals may include psychologists, social workers, mental health nurses, occupational therapists and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers with specific mental health qualifications.

Through ATAPS, patients are eligible for a set number of treatment sessions per calendar year. 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 referral into a longer term program to meet their needs.

Priority groups within the population that need special support 

Counselling access in Central Highlands area via a GP referral form and Mental Health Treatment Plan to one of the programs above.

Counselling access in Wimmera and Grampians Pyrenees area via Mental Health Script Program - This program assists GPs to manage patients with mental health issues living in rural and remote areas to access counselling for non serious high prevalence disorders. Further enquires contact the Mental Health Team Leader p 03 5381 1756

Better Access to Mental Health

Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) initiative provides access to mental health practitioners through Medicare.

Questions and answers

The purpose of the Better Access initiative is to improve treatment and management of mental illness within the community. The Better Access initiative is increasing community access to mental health professionals and team-based mental health care, with general practitioners encouraged to work more closely and collaboratively with psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, registered psychologists and appropriately trained social workers and occupational therapists.

Support for GPs

The GP Psych Support service provides GPs with critical access to quality patient management advice from psychiatrists 24 hours a day. Contact e 1800 200 588  

Local Psychologists and Specialists

We maintain an up-to-date service directory of local mental health clinicians.

Psychologists may register for inclusion on the list, or modify existing details, by filling out this mental health registration form and returning it to Bridie Roper at .

General Support

If you need to speak to someone:

  • Lifeline's Mental Health information line 1300 131 114 (rural areas only, Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm EST)
  • SANE 1800 187 263 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm)
  • Men's Health Australia - 1300 789 978 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • Just ask

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