SEMPHN co-ordinates mental health care across the region and commissions services to address the mental health needs of our community.
In line with the Government’s response to the National Mental Health Commission’s review of programs and services, primary mental health throughout Australia is undergoing reform. This is designed to ensure a greater emphasis is placed on meeting the needs of the local community, addressing service gaps and achieving better local health outcomes.
Individuals with mental illness will be able to access a broader range of treatment and support services as part of an Australian Government initiative to offer more flexible care options.
SEMPHN will commission low-cost, low-intensity services to support people with mild mental illness, and develop innovative approaches for treating those with severe illness and complex needs. These services will range from new screening tools and brief intervention to individual packages of care. These new services form part of a new 'stepped' treatment approach with care tailored to individual needs and the severity of their illness.
Mental Health Stepped Care Model
SEMPHN consulted with a range of stakeholders over the past 12 months to develop a Stepped Care Model.
- Mental Health Roundtable and Consumer/Carer forums in early 2016.
- An evidence-based Mental Health Needs Assessment.
- Further interviews and feedback from consumers and carers
- Peer review to review the development of an outcomes framework to support a high quality stepped care model.
- Stakeholder forum in late November 2016 that included providers, advocates, consumers and carers.
Further feedback from the stakeholder forum held late in 2016 has been incorporated into the stepped care model.
What happens to existing services?
The Australian Government estimates 168,000 people living in south eastern Melbourne will need treatment for mental illness in 2016-17. This compares with just 50,580 treatments funded by Medicare in 2013-14.
With funding for local mental health services unlikely to increase, expanding access to care will mean changing our approach - introducing new programs, expanding some existing services and closing others. These changes will be implemented in stages to minimise disruption for consumers and clinicians, and communicated in advance. The Australian Government has confirmed funding for the below services, which will inform SEMPHN’s commissioning decisions:
- Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS): Referrals can continue to be made as needed, via intake number: 1300 292 971. Fax referrals are not accepted. More information about ATAPS
- Headspace funding is extended to June 2018, during which time services will be better integrated with other mental health programs.
- headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program (hYEPP): SEMPHN will re-contract the current provider of hYEPP services – Alfred Health – for the FY16/17 period. SEMPHN is reviewing the model to identify opportunities for better integration with other youth mental health and general mental health services in the region and how this model integrates with a stepped model of care.
- Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program funding is extended to 31 December 2017, during which time services will be better integrated with other mental health programs.
- Partners in Recovery funding is extended to 2019 by which time services will have transferred to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
See more information about mental health for general practice and health professionals.
Information sessions for current ATAPS and MHNIP Providers
Sessions were held on 23 March, 29 March and 6 April 2017 in different parts of the SEMPHN catchment.
The information sessions covered changes to the ATAPS and MHNIP programs, and a broad picture of the way primary mental health services will be delivered in our catchment, in line with SEMPHN’s Stepped Care Model.
- A recording of the ATAPS provider session in Dandenong on 6 April can be viewed here. The slides can be viewed here.
- A recording of the MHNIP provider session in Dandenong on 6 April can be viewed here. The slides can be viewed here.
A question and answer document containing collated responses from the three sessions can be found here. Questions are now closed.
Tender information session for Accessible Psychological Interventions (API) services
The information session held on 11 May, 2017 was an opportunity for potential tenderers to understand service requirements for Accessible Psychological Interventions (API) services.
- A recording of the session covering the context/background, SEMPHN’s Stepped Care Model, data, funding and reporting can be viewed here.
- A recording of the session covering API service specifications, the tender process, the response process, next steps and the Q&A can be viewed here.
- The slides can be viewed here.
Tender information session for Mental Health Integrated Complex Care (MHICC) services
The information session held on 20 June, 2017 was an opportunity for potential tenderers to understand service requirements for Mental Health Integrated Complex Care (MHICC) services.
- A recording of the session covering the context/background, SEMPHN’s Stepped Care Model, funding and data reporting can be viewed here.
- A recording of the session covering MHICC service specifications, the tender process, the response process, next steps and the Q&A can be viewed here.
- The slides can be viewed here.
Current and upcoming commissioning opportunities
Tenders to deliver services are announced via our SEMaphore newsletter and on this website as they are released. Tenders will be announced throughout the two year implementation phase.
Click here to receive tender announcements and updates by email. You can unsubscribe at any time.
SEMPHN uses Tenderlink to manage the procurement process. If you think you might be interested in applying for SEMPHN tenders, register your interest on SEMPHN's Tenderlink page. Select the registration tab to register. Once you register, you’ll receive information about the tender as it’s released.Any questions relating to the tender need to be submitted via Tenderlink once the tender goes live.
- CEO Presentation to Better Mental Health Care Forum on 15 December 2015
- CEO Presentation to Better Mental Health Care Forum on 18 February 2016
- Australian Government Response to Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities - Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services
- Mental Health Reform Implementation Circular 1/2016 - Questions and Answers for Primary Health Networks January 2016.
Commissioning opportunities awarded
Accessible Psychological Interventions (API) Services
Five organisations will deliver new Accessible Psychological Interventions (API) services in eight of ten South Eastern Melbourne PHN local government areas:
- EACH (Casey, Greater Dandenong)
- Life Works (Glen Eira, Frankston)
- FMC Mediation and Counselling Victoria (Kingston)
- Mentis Assist (Mornington Peninsula)
- Star Health (Port Phillip, Stonnington).
Developed in line with mental health reform across Australia and SEMPHN’s Mental Health Stepped Care Model, APIs:
- are flexible services to support people with mild to moderate mental illness
- include a range of short term psychological interventions
- are for people who have a health care card or can’t afford/access similar services
- are especially designed for people from hard-to-reach population groups
- can be delivered in individual, family or group formats.
API services will start from 1 November 2017 and are funded until mid-2019, with referrals received via SEMPHN's new Mental Health Intake.
The Commissioning Process
An open tender process was used for the commissioning of Accessible Psychological Interventions (API) services. Applicants registered via Tenderlink were invited to apply by responding to a series of questions, which were assessed against a set evaluation criteria by an evaluation panel. Following assessment, the panel reached consensus in relation to the preferred provider.
Low Intensity Mental Health Services
Beyondblue was successful in receiving funding to deliver low intensity mental health interventions in Dandenong – an area of high mental health need.
Beyondblue will deliver a multifaceted service offering peer support to people with, or at risk of, experiencing mild mental illness. This will be done via a pilot of the following initiatives from March 2017 to June 2018:
- A telephone and email based support helpline
- Peer training, education and support sessions
- A peer online forum
- A website portal with access to digital resources
The Commissioning Process
An open tender process was used for the commissioning of Low Intensity Mental Health Services funding. Applicants registered via Tenderlink were invited to apply by responding to a series of questions, which were assessed against a set evaluation criteria by an evaluation panel. Following assessment, the panel reached consensus in relation to the preferred provider.
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We acknowledge the Kulin Nation who are the traditional custodians of the land our catchment covers. We pay our respects to them, their culture and their Elders past, present and future, and uphold their relationship to this land.
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.