Getting the most out of our new mental health service referral form – for you, and your at-risk patients

Mental health referral and access sketch group image
  5 December 2023  NWMPHN   

North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network’s new mental health service referral form makes it faster and easier to find help for patients who cannot access Medicare-funded or private mental health services.

The form replaces all previous variants, meaning every referrer, and every eligible patient, can tread the same, simple pathway to support. Since its release in mid-2023, it has been incorporated into Best Practice and MedicalDirector medical software, as well as being available in printable PDF and Word formats.

Every form submitted is assessed by NWMPHN’s mental health referral and access team. Our clinicians review referrals and allocate them to the most clinically appropriate service.

Referrals are primarily for people who cannot access Medicare-funded or private mental health services. However, we can help anyone find the most appropriate service for them.

Having clear and uniform information means the team can work more rapidly and efficiently, meaning that patients receive the right help in the right timeframe.

Referrals are made to all relevant mental heath services, regardless of how they are funded or who provides them.

The form has been designed to help you, the referrer, quickly summarise and optimise the key information needed to ensure effective service navigation.

In it, you will find fields in which you can easily record all the critical factors you want to report about your patient. You will find space for:

  • a short description of the patient’s mental health issue or symptoms
  • background information such as family history, childhood experiences or personality traits
  • recent events such as trauma or significant life changes
  • contributing factors such as unhealthy coping mechanisms, social isolation, or substance use
  • any mitigating strengths, such as a strong support network, coping skills, or personal interests.

The form also has space for a score derived from the Initial Assessment and Referral Decision Support Tool (lAR -DST), if you are using it. The tool complements your clinical judgement, and further helps align your referral with the most appropriate level of care.

The form meets the minimum requirements for billing a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP), therefore GPs are not required to attach a separate MHTP.

Any questions? This page contains more information, but please don’t hesitate to contact the referral and access team directly by calling (03) 9088 4277, between 9am and 5pm on business days.

Please note: use of this form requires clinical decision making. If you are not a health professional but are seeking mental health support for yourself or a client, family member, friend, colleague or other person, please call Head to Health Victoria on 1800 595 212.