Mental health, AOD and suicide prevention

A stepped approach to mental health, suicide prevention and AOD support

All of our mental health support services are delivered through the framework of our stepped care model. In short, this means that there are different support options for people with different levels and types of need and that there are clear pathways between these options as an individual's needs change. Our stepped care model also needs to connect with other community and clinical mental health services available in the community.

Each support option is based on the best evidence we have about what works in mental health prevention and recovery and the connections between support options are as integrated as we can make them. Given that PHNs are only in their second year, we are still in a transition from the old system to a new stepped care mental health support system.


As of September 2016, we already fund a wide range of mental health services. These include:

  • Over 150 individual allied health practitioners;
  • A program providing focussed psychological strategies;
  • 5 organisations delivering specialist psychological interventions for priority groups;
  • 22 organisations facilitating access to credentialed mental health nurses who coordinate the clinical care of adults living with severe mental illness;
  • four organisations delivering Partners in Recovery to adults living with severe and enduring mental illness;
  • three headspace services delivering mental health support to young people; and
  • two services providing support around suicide, including early intervention and postvention support.

These can be mapped against the stepped care model above in the following way.


We will be evaluating these services and looking at service gaps as we make the transition to our stepped care model. We have convened a Mental Health Reference Group and continue to consult mental health consumers, providers and the community around what service gaps exist and how best to respond to them.

We also have a dedicated mental health focus to our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, seeking to better understand need and how to commission culturally safe and appropriate services.

For more information, please contact one of our specialist managers below.