Mental Health Assessment and Referral Service

A National Vision for Australia’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention System

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is leading the establishment of a network of Head to Health services for WA as part of the Australian Governments National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

The network of Head to Health services will improve access to, and coordination of, mental health services delivered digitally, via telephone and face-to-face.

 

The first Head to Health walk-in Adult Mental Health Centre for WA opened 1 March 2022

The centre is part of an Australian Government initiative to trial a number of adult mental health centre’s nationally, aiming to improve access to mental health services for people experiencing distress.

The Head to Health Assessment and Referral Phone Service opened for calls on 1 July 2022

The Head to Health Assessment and Referral Phone Service provides state-wide access to telephone-based assessment and referral to match people to services that meet their mental health needs. The project was commissioned by WAPHA, with Medibank Health Solutions appointed as the provider to run the Service for the WA community.

WAPHA Service Development Journey

A new, accessible mental healthcare service for the WA Community

In late 2021 all Primary Health Networks received draft documentation regarding the Head to Health Assessment and Referral Phone Service. This documentation repositions the proposed service model as part of the national network of Head to Health services, delivering on the commitment of the 2021 Federal Budget.

As a national initiative many of the parameters have been set for the service model. These include use of a universal phone number, consistency in clinical governance, expectations regarding cultural appropriateness, use of a standard assessment tool and delivery under the ‘Head to Health’ brand.

The new prescribed service model aligns well with the insights and direction identified by stakeholders during the collaborative design through the initial pilot design phase.

The revised guidance outlines a model that:

1. places the consumer at the centre

2. supports referral and ongoing care

3. is held to account with national performance indicators

The current Guidance from the Australian Government Department of Health requires PHNs to commission an assessment service to be open for calls from 1 July 2022.

Project status updates will continue to be posted to this dedicated page.

August 2019

Commonwealth Guidance document released PHN Assessment Referral Mental Health Care

2020-2021

WAPHA GP Advisory Group established and consulted, Nous Group Service Design Workshops conducted

June 2021

WAPHA designs independent service pilot for 3 WA locations, though in late 2021 new Commonwealth guidance was provided to PHNs for a national model repositioning the service under the “head to Health” brand including use of a universal phone number, consistency in clinical governance, expectations regarding cultural appropriateness and use of a standardised assessment tool

1 March 2022

Midland Head to Health Walk-in Clinic opens  – St John of God Social Outreach appointed by WAPHA to run the service as part of the Australian Government initiative to trial a number of adult mental health centre’s nationally

30 March 2022

WAPHA opens tender for the Assessment and Referral Phone Service

27 April 2022

Assessment and Referral Phone Service tender closes

July 2022

Medibank Health Solutions appointed to run the Service open for calls from 1 July 2022

1 July 2022

Planned service open date

Disclaimer

While the Australian Government Department of Health has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.