Towards Wellbeing


Western Victoria PHN has commissioned APMHA HealthCare Ltd. to deliver Mental Health Services that align with the National Mental Health Reform. These services will be available in the local government areas listed below and focus on a stepped, needs-based primary mental health care approach, also known as a Stepped Model of Care.

For further resources, please view the Western Victoria PHN website.

Services available

1. Psychological Therapy Services (PTS)

PTS provides free short term face-to-face psychological services to eligible clients who have been identified as underserviced and/or hard to reach. 

This service offers support in the following three categories:

Category A: General Evidence-based, short-term psychological interventions (up to 10 sessions) for individuals with a diagnosable mild to moderate, mental illness.

Category B: Children Evidence-based, short-term psychological interventions (up to 10 sessions) for children (up to 12 years of age) with or at risk of, developing a mental illness.

Category C: Suicide Prevention Evidence-based, short-term psychological interventions for people who have attempted, or who are at risk of suicide or self-harm. No formal diagnosis is required. Individuals are entitled to up to 10 sessions over 2 months and are then moved to the most appropriate service stream. Service streams would be considered on a case by case basis and options include Category A, STEPMI Program or Better Access.

Download the doucments below to learn more about this program:

PTS Fact Sheet for GPs

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fact Sheet

Referral Process Flowchart

Here you can also access a List of PTS registered mental health professionals available under PTS.

2. Services and Treatment for Enduring and Persistent Mental Illness (STEPMI)

STEPMI provides free therapeutic interventions and coordination of clinical services for eligible clients with severe and persistent mental illness.

This service targets consumers that meet following clinical criteria;

  • Has an enduring and persistent mental illness
  • Has a documented plan for the clinical management of their mental health
  • Is unable to access similar services through other funding sources
  • Will require clinical care coordination for at least 12 months
  • Has been admitted to or been an outpatient of acute mental health services within the past 12
  • months, OR are at risk of requiring inpatient admission without STEPMI intervention
  • Has not receivied case-management from acute mental health services

Consumers cease to be eligible when they no longer meet the residential or clinical criteria.

3. Residential Aged Care Service: Older Minds Mental Health Program

The Older Minds Mental Health Program is a regional pilot that has commenced in Warrnambool, Geelong, Stawell and Ballarat. APMHA HealthCare has been commissioned to extend PTS to support the mental health needs of people living in residential aged care facilities (RACFs). This service allows residents of registered RACFs to access mental health services available to those in the community. Delivered by Psychologists, Mental Health Social Workers, Mental Health Nurses and Mental Health Occupational Therapists.

Areas of service

PTS is available in all Western Victoria PHN regions under APMHA HealthCare.

STEPMI is available under APMHA HealthCare in:

Great South Coast: City of Warrnambool, Corangamite Shire, Glenelg Shire, Southern Grampians and Moyne Shire.

Wimmera Grampians: City of Horsham, Hindmarsh Shire, Northern Grampians Shire, Rural City of Ararat, West Wimmera Shire and Yarriambiack Shire.


Patients who are considered low income, unable to access Medicare, living in rural locations, CALD (new settlers), Aboriginal &/or Torres Strait, homeless or those at risk of homelessness are eligible to receive services. Children, Adolescents, individuals who have attempted, or are at risk of suicide or self-harm are also eligible to receive services.

How do I refer?

Referral pathway for PTS

1. Combined referrals and mental health treatment plans (including K10+) are to be completed with the patient and faxed;

Referral Point

P: 1300 221 493 E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fax referrals to 1300 260 814

2. Referrals are triaged, allocated to an appropriate PTS registered mental health professionals and GPs are advised of the outcome via email.

3. Patient is contacted by allocated mental health professional and sessions can commence.

Please note: Should a referral be declined GPs will receive communication from the Central Intake and Triage Team with a reason as to why the referral is not appropriate for PSS an alternate referral pathways will be recommended.

Referral pathway for STEPMI

1. Complete the newly updated GP mental health treatment plan.

2. Phone the APMHA HealthCare Central Intake line on 1300 514 811 whilst the patient is still with you. Here we will confirm eligibility:

  • If the patient is eligible, we will gather some quick information to ascertain which step the patient is best suited, any anticipated waiting time and recommendation / treatment options available for your patient.
  • We will give you a referral ID number which will need to be noted on the GP mental health treatment plan.
  • We will provide both you and the patient with relevant information to ensure their referral is streamlined, supported and seamless.
  • For the treating GP, you will have confidence that the patient is connected into the right service, and advice for ongoing support and any follow up you will need to implement as a result.
  • This is where we establish our team approach with you.
  • If the patient is not eligible, we will provide you with referral options that are best suited for your patient.

3. Fax the GPMHTP and consent form to the APMHA HealthCare Central Intake line on 03 9376 0317

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Phone: 1300 514 811

Fax: 03 9376 0317


Head office: Flemington VICTORIA

ABN. 73 632 047 575