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Appendix 3

What are the benefits of developing a GPMHTP?

Developing a GPMHTP:

  • provides continuity and a ‘cycle of care’ for a patient with a mental illness
  • gives you a structured way to make an early intervention, as well as assess and manage a patient with mental illness
  • helps you to coordinate the patient’s care and provide appropriate referrals to clinical psychologists and allied mental health service providers
  • ensures that the patient and, where possible, their carers, are actively involved in their treatment.

Preparing a GPMHTP

1. Assess the patient • Record the patient’s agreement for the GPMHTP.

  • Record the patient’s relevant history (biological, psychological, social), including the presenting complaint.
  • Conduct a mental health examination.
  • Assess any associated risk and any comorbidity.
  • Make a diagnosis and/or formulation.
  • Administer an outcome measurement tool, unless you consider it clinically inappropriate

2. Prepare a GPMHTP

  • Discuss the assessment with the patient, including the diagnosis and/or formulation.
  • Identify, and discuss with the patient, referral and treatment options and appropriate support services.
  • Agree with the patient on goals, including what should be achieved by treatment and what actions the patient will take.
  • Provide psycho-education.
  • Develop a plan to prevent relapses.
  • Develop a plan, if appropriate, for crisis intervention.
  • Make arrangements for referrals, treatment support services, reviews and follow-ups.
  • Document all of the above in the plan.

3. Review a patient’s GPMHTP

Reviewing a patient’s progress is an important part of mental healthcare.
When doing so, you need to:

  • record the patient’s agreement to the Better Access service (development of a GPMHTP and subsequent referral for FPS or evidence-based psychological interventions)
  • reapply the same outcome measurement tool used during the assessment, unless you consider it clinically inappropriate
  • review the patient’s progress towards the goals specified in the treatment plan, as reported by the patient
  • modify the GPMHTP, if required, including the plan for crisis intervention and the plan to prevent relapses, if appropriate.

Renewing a patient’s GPMHTP<

GPMHTPs do not expire at the end of a calendar year, so the patient does not need a new plan to continue their GPMHTP into the next calendar year unless the referring practitioner considers that it is clinically required. Generally, this should not be within 12 months of the previous plan.

This means that a patient can continue to be eligible for rebated allied mental health services in the next calendar year under their existing plan if the referring GP assesses that the patient continues to need these services.


Mental health training standards-A guide for GPs