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Mental Health

Mental health services funded by Central and Eastern Sydney PHN

All services funded by CESPHN are free to clients.

Services are categorised by individual’s choice and the level of their mental health needs applying a

The community guide (429 KB) represents current funded services at CESPHN ranging from early to high needs services, applying a Stepped Care Model. Find a service and make a referral:

Early to low needs services

Best suited for people who are experiencing everyday life pressures who can benefit from support to get back on track. The early to low needs services offer a mix of resources based on need including self-help strategies, digital mental health resources, telephone and/or face-to-face services.

CESPHN website

Your Coach Plus 

Psychological Support Services (PSS)


Medium needs services

Best suited to people who are experiencing moderate to severe mental health conditions. A severe mental health condition is likely to be enduring/persistent and limit everyday functioning e.g. ability to maintain self-care. A person with severe mental illness may also experience complex psychosocial issues. people with complex needs are likely to benefit from wrap-around coordinated care. Face to face clinical care using a combination of GP care, Psychiatrists, Mental Health Nurses, Psychologists and Allied Health Coordinated, multiagency services.

CESPHN website

NewAccess Coaching

Psychological Support Services (PSS)


High needs services

Best suited to people who are experiencing moderate to high level of distress and life challenges which are limiting everyday functioning. High needs services may offer coordinated care including clinical and non-clinical supports. This could include face-to-face clinical care using a combination of GP care, allied health, mental health nurses, with support from psychiatrists. It may also include face-to-face non-clinical support using peer workers and community social workers with access to social, vocational and cultural supports.

CESPHN website

Partners in Recovery

Mental Health Shared Care Program

Primary Integrated Care Supports (PICS) Program


1 March 2021

Resources and Links

CESPHN Mental Health Services Guide
Co-occurring Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Issues
Mental Health Assessment Tools
  • K10 assessment form
    K10 is widely recommended as a simple measure of psychological distress and as a measure of outcomes following treatment for common mental health disorders.
  • National Guidance Initial and Assessment Referral for mental healthcare
    This Guidance has been developed by the Australian Department of Health to provide advice to Primary Health Networks (PHNs) on establishing effective systems for the initial assessment and referral of individuals presenting with mental health conditions in primary health care settings.
  • Suicide prevention – Safety Plan
    Assists health professionals or support person and individuals to work together in planning out safety procedures during tough times.
  • YES Survey
    Designed to gather information from consumers about their experiences of care.
Inclusive Language Guides
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Language Guide
    The purpose of this resource is to provide workers with guidelines on how to use language to empower clients and reinforce a person-centred approach.
  • Recovery-Oriented Language Guide
    This Mental Health Recovery Oriented Language Guide aims primarily to align with trauma-informed care and practice language approaches, introduce age-related language use and promote the use of supported decision-making language.
  • Talking about Suicide: A Guide To Language
    Suicide Prevention Australia Guide to promote a positive shift in the terminology used to discuss suicide
  • Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion Language Guide
    The guide explains key terms and offers examples of language that can help us build safer, more inclusive environments for trans and gender diverse communities.
  • Demonstrating Inclusive and respective language guide
    Given the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and identities across Australia, you should always seek advice from your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders regarding preferences and protocols around terminology. Please consider these guidelines, alongside guidance from your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders.
Other Mental Health Websites
Youth Mental Health
While You Wait GP resource pack

What can you do for your client’s wellbeing while they are waiting for their first specialist mental health appointment?

What can you do actively to manage their wellbeing and help them prepare for their first appointment? 

The “While You Wait” suite of resources has been co-designed to help GPs actively manage their client’s wellbeing while they wait for their first specialist mental health appointment.

The resource suite includes:

While You Wait (473 KB)

A conversation guide for GPs

A conversation guide for GP to help them unpack their clients needs and start developing a plan.

 Making Your Time Count (830 KB)

A patient handout

An electronic or printed pdf. document that an individual can complete to develop a plan for while they wait for their first specialist mental health appointment.

Helping you to support them (235 KB)

Additional Resources for GPs

Additional resources for GPs including information on how to access CESPHN services to support GPs.

active waitlist management guide

This best practice guide has been developed to ensure that primary mental health services have the tools and information to effectively respond to demand.
This guide aims to:

  1.  Provide service providers with practical and implementable strategies for responding to demand and best practice management of waitlists.
  2. Improve access to timely and appropriate care and support for individuals seeking mental health services.
  3. Promote and support improved use of resources available across the Central and Eastern Sydney mental health sector.

Use the guide at your workplace now:

1 March 2021

Training and Support

Black Dog StepCare Service

What is the Black Dog StepCare Service?

The Black Dog Institute has developed an integrated adult online mental health screening tool for GP practices. The StepCare tool is a self-screening tool that identifies adults with anxiety, depression, and/or high levels of alcohol consumption. The results of the screening are provided in real time to the GP thus providing timely, cost-efficient early intervention and treatment for patients.


GP practices in the CESPHN region.

How to access the service?

Fill in the expression of interest formsion of interest form.

Who will deliver the service?


Black Dog Institute


Psychiatry Support Line for GPs

What is the GP Psychiatry Support Line?

The GP Psychiatry Support Line is a free service for GPs to help manage the care of mental health consumers, providing advice on diagnosis, investigation, medication and safety plan.

The Psychiatry Support Line for GPs has been established in response to GPs indicating they would like timely access to psychiatry expertise.

The service is about keeping consumers whose conditions are able to be treated within primary care under the care of their GP.

For an overview video about the program, visit


This service is for GPs who practice within the Central and Eastern Sydney PHN region.

The service is free, and is available Monday to Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. You can use it as many times as you wish. The service will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

This is NOT a triage or referral service, nor an emergency service. In case of emergency or crisisency or crisis, please ring 000.

How to access the service?

To access this service, you will first need to register. To complete the registration, you will need your AHPRA Registration Number, and practice details. There are options to use Secure Messaging once you are registered. GPs can register for the service by visiting by calling 1800 16 17 18.

Who will deliver the service?


ProCare Mental Health Services


1800 16 17 18 – (02) 4967 5203


Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) Mental Health education program

What is the Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) mental health education program?

The program provides mental health education to the staff in the Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) in the CESPHN region. CESPHN has commissioned Dementia Australia and St Vincent Hospital Network to provide a free virtual classroom to all staff working in your facility.

Attending the virtual classroom “How to support the emotional and mental health of older persons living in residential care” gives knowledge in:

  • what is mental health, including different types of mental health conditions
  • prevalence of mental health conditions in residential aged care including those associated with cognitive impairment and dementia
  • what can impact on a person’s emotional and mental health
  • identifying signs and symptoms of mental health conditions
  • strategies for supporting a person’s positive mental health
  • helpful resources and services.

Which RACFs are eligible for the program?

The RACFs under the St. Vincent Hospital can access the program with St Vincent’s Hospital Network (SVHN) and the RACFs in the Sydney LHD and South Eastern Sydney LHD can access the program with Dementia Australia. The RACFs under this program falls under the Sydney LGA and Woollahra LGA.

Who will deliver the program?

Please see below for the mental health education provider as per the region.

Name RACFs region Contact Team name

Contact Team name

St Vincent Area

St Vincent Older people Mental Health Team

Ph: Ph +61 2 8382 1540

Dementia Australia

South Eastern Sydney LHD region and Sydney LHD region

Customer Relations Consultant, Rebecca Rogers–


Mental Health and Suicide Prevention – Training and Professional Development Resource

This resource has been developed through implementation of the  Central and Eastern Sydney Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (1.68 MB) . It supports a number of actions in the Regional Plan and aims to facilitate access to relevant professional development. It is a summary of organisations who deliver training relevant to people working in mental health and suicide prevention. The organisations are categorised by the priority population groups identified in the Regional Plan.

Please click here for further details on the Training and Professional Development Opportunities resource

External Training Resources for GPs

The Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) provides professional development opportunities for health professionals working across a range of settings and organisations across NSW.

HETI has recently announced that their Short Units (each 50 hours duration) are now available to support skill development in working with clients with mental health issues across the lifespan.

There are three types of Short Units Available:

Type of Short Unit Associated Cost Method of Delivery


$500 Per Unit

  • Work at your own pace.


$500 Per Unit

  • Defined start and end date over five weeks.
  • Involves working with others online and in discussions.
  • May require virtual attendance at tutorials or practical sessions.


$885 Per Unit

  • Defined start and end date over five weeks.
  • Involves working with others online and in discussions.
  • May require virtual attendance at tutorials or practical sessions.

1 March 2021

Mental Health Services funded by CESPHN

PHNs fund (commission) services to meet the identified needs of their local communities. For more information on this process see our CESPHN commissioning framework (1.07 MB) . Services commissioned by CESPHN match the individual’s choice and the level of their mental health needs, applying a stepped care approach. For more information view the Levels of Stepped Care

Below are the commissioned services currently funded by CESPHN including those accessible through health professional referral and self-referral. Find out details about each service, eligibility, how to access and who can refer below. All services funded by CESPHN are free of charge to access.

Other Mental Health Services
  • eMHPrac
    This directory provides a useful overview of various Australian online and teleweb programs
  • Head To Health
    Provided by the Australian Department of Health, Head to Health brings together apps, online programs, online forums, and phone services, as well as a range of digital information resources.
  • Headstart
    Find local mental health services using the Headstart website commissioned by CESPHN. Click here to find services for multicultural communities.

1 March 2021

Mental health

A large percentage of Central and Eastern Sydney PHN’s (CESPHN) funding is directed towards initiating programs to support the needs of people dealing with mental health issues in the region. These activities are undertaken in partnership and consultation with the communities, local government, Local Hospital Networks (or their equivalent), consumers, general practitioners and other health professionals, service providers, community workers, academics, elected representatives, local councils and other community members interested in improving the mental health issues in the region.

CESPHN decides which services to commission based on the mental health priority needs of the population in our region. As a result, local evidence-based solutions are implemented to improve the mental health of the region’s population. We work with stakeholders and health service providers to ensure that what is needed can be delivered. All the commissioned services are monitored and evaluated yearly to test the effectiveness of the services.

This approach to commissioning mental health services results in:

  • a better understanding of the needs of local populations, through health data analysis
  • a greater focus on health outcomes that matter to communities
  • communities being at the centre of care, with services organised and delivered in response to their needs
  • better relationships with stakeholders, providers and patients, which influences the design, funding and delivery of services
  • better value for money through the use of open and transparent procurement processes
  • the best outcomes from limited mental health resources.

CESPHN funds a range of mental health services that are offered online, face to face and in groups. We believe that GPs are the key to effective coordination of care for people dealing with Mental Health Issues. GP Mental Health Treatment Plans (GP MHTPs) provide a structured framework for GPs to undertake an assessment, early intervention and management of patients with a mental illness.

The Australian Department of Health initiated the development of the National Initial Assessment and Referral (IAR) Guidance for mental health care and this Guidance (insert link) is available to GPs and other referrers to help determine the best service for their patient or client, based on the level of care that is required. The IAR provides a standardised, evidence-informed and objective approach to assist with mental health care recommendations. CESPHN has commenced the implementation of the IAR within the context of our commissioned mental health services and will expand implementation in the near future. More information about the IAR guidance and training opportunities for GPs will be available in the near future.

A detailed guide to the IAR can be found here 

IAR checklist document can be found here

Decision Support Tool can be found here 

‘Head to Health’ Pop Up mental health clinics

Head to Health Pop Up mental health clinics are now open to assist those whose mental health may be suffering as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic in NSW

The following services have been created: 

  • ‘Head to Health’ Pop Up mental health support clinics
  • An intake and referral line – call 1800 595 212  Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5:00pm (except public holidays).

NSW Primary Health Networks (PHNs) have established the clinics and referral line in collaboration with the Department of Health (DoH) to assist the community in receiving the right care, at the right time, for mental health concerns they may be experiencing.

This initiative is an expansion of DoHs Head to Health and will create a central hub for our community and health care professionals to access to services determined by a trained mental health professional.

Click here to learn more about the services. 

Acknowledgement of Lived Experience

CESPHN wishes to acknowledge people, families and carers with living experience of mental health issues and a lived experience of suicide, and recognise the valuable contributions of all community members in helping shape the support systems in our region.


How do I access CESPHN mental health services in my region?

The commissioned services page shows services currently funded by CESPHN including those accessible through a health professional referral and self-referral. Find a service that is suitable to your needs and self-refer or ask your GP for a referral. All services funded by CESPHN are free of charge to access.

You can find these and other services in our region by clicking here.Headstart is a service navigation tool to help you find mental health services that meet your needs.

What is a GP mental health treatment plan?

Some services require a GP mental health treatment plan to access the service. A mental health treatment plan is a tool used by your doctor to work with you in getting the right mental health service.
The doctor’s assessment will include taking relevant history, including your present experience of distress, assess any risk, prepare a crisis plan and complete a form known as outcome measuring tool which is a series of questions on how you are feeling. Your needs, goals and actions are then documented with your consent and a referral is made to the appropriate mental health support services. A follow-up appointment is made to discuss the progress of your treatment with you.

What is telehealth counselling and how do I use it?

The mental health services that are commissioned by CESPHN are offered face to face or via telehealth. Telehealth can be delivered over the phone or via videoconferencing depending on the service you are accessing, the preference of the provider and needs of the individual.

19 June 2019

Psychosocial NDIS Access Project

Central and Eastern Sydney PHN (CESPHN) have established the Psychosocial NDIS Access Project, in response to a confirmed need for support for persons experiencing severe mental health issues to test eligibility for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  

 The Psychosocial NDIS Access Project will assist individuals with a psychosocial disability to navigate the NDIS access and planning process and to test their eligibility for supports under the NDIS.  

The Psychosocial NDIS Access Project will run until 30 June 2021, during which an evaluation will be undertaken to determine the ongoing need. 

Please note that intake for this project will cease on 28 February 2021.

This project is being delivered by Mission Australia. 

What can the program offer?

▪ Obtain and collate clinical and non-clinical supporting evidence from formal and informal supports
▪ Support to connect to clinicians, coordinate, and collate supporting evidence,
▪ Coordinate and navigate the application process including requesting an Access Request Form (ARF)
▪ Act as a key contact person for the NDIA
▪ Actively follow-up with the NDIA on the status of the application
▪ Assistance to request a review or re-test eligibility, should an ineligible decision be received
▪ The Psychosocial NDIS Access Project will not provide clinical care coordination or psychosocial support but will refer to external organisations if additional support is required.

The Psychosocial NDIS Access Project is available for individuals who: 

  • Reside in the Central and Eastern Sydney PHN region  
  • Have a primary diagnosis of psychosocial disability with associated significant functional impairment
  • Are likely to be eligible for psychosocial support under the NDIS 
  • Are not a current client of the following programs: Partners in Recovery (PIR), Day to Day Living (D2DL) and Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) programs, which are now known as the Psychosocial Support Transition

How to access the service:

Anyone can make a referral to the Psychosocial NDIS Access Project via our online referral form. 

Please click here to make a referral. 

Please note: Intake for this program will close on 28 February 2021. Please submit all referrals by this date.

For more information about the Psychosocial NDIS Access Project please call 0477 725 929.

  1. Emergency or crisis?
  2. Mental health referral templates
  3. Referral templates and resources