Navigating mental health in primary care

13 August, 2019

by Dr Kirsten Van Haaster

Our network of Melbourne mental health pathways continues to expand, now directing GPs to topics such as Psychosis (First Episode and its neighbour, Established) with a detour via Antipsychotic medication if desired.  GPs are now able to drop in on Depression in Children and Adolescents, and Anxiety in Children and Adolescents, for clinical support. Our Suicide prevention and Self- harm pages are already receiving a steady stream of visitors.

GPs are invited to visit to the referral pages, both psychiatric and psychological, flowing on from all of our mental health pages.  I expect that the maps of early psychosis services in particular will prove very useful in clinical practice.

On the plan for the near future we will have a pathway for Bipolar disorder.

We have a very useful page called ‘Carer Support- Mental Health’ as a resource for families, friends and carers of people with mental illness.  This reflects the emphasis that both The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) and the Department of Health are placing on the important role of carers and carer support in our mental health service provision.

It’s certainly a challenge mapping services in the mental health space, both because of the complexity and number of agencies operating in this field, and because of ongoing gaps in service provision.  It’s my hope that HealthPathways will make it a little easier for GPs and other users to navigate the current landscape.