Essential features of psychological therapy services for underserviced groups are that they:
- provide evidence-based, short-term psychological intervention to people with a diagnosable mild, moderate, or in some cases severe mental illness, or to people who have attempted, or are at risk of, suicide or self-harm where access to other services is not appropriate
- provide a level of service commensurate with the clinical needs of the individual;
- provide services to complement the role of the MBS that are delivered as part of a team approach to primary mental health care service provision, which may involve GPs, psychiatrists, paediatricians, psychologists and appropriately trained and qualified allied health professionals;
- require a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, or a referral from a psychiatrist or paediatrician with some flexibility for PHNs and their commissioned service providers to allow provisional referrals to enable service provision to commence while arrangements are made for the client to see a GP. This is in recognition of barriers to timely access to medical practitioners in some regions and by some population groups;
- are delivered by appropriately trained and qualified mental health professionals within their scope of practice;
- offer more flexibility than MBS-based psychological therapy services where needed;
- are consistent with standards articulated in the National Standards for Mental Health Services 2010 and all other relevant standards and legislative/regulatory requirements;
- promote recovery from mental illness, in line with the National Framework for Recovery Oriented Mental Health Services 2013; and
- provide links to other services within a stepped care approach to ensure people are matched to a service commensurate with their mental health need.
Psychological Therapy Services in the Northern Territory
The NT PHN will continue to identify underserviced population groups through local needs analysis and determine an eligibility process in order to address this key objective.
NT PHN currently contract a number of providers to deliver psychological therapy services through:
- Access to Allied Psychology Services (ATAPS)
- Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Areas program (MHRSSA)
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