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Communication requirements when providing mental health services

Under some Government programs there are documented referral and reporting obligations for each type of mental health professional, such as when providing services under Better Access (see Appendix A). These reporting obligations set the foundation for effective communication practices although best practice may necessitate more regular communication between health professionals. Where there are no Government requirements for communication, health professionals continue to have a professional obligation to their patients and to other health professionals who are working with the patient to follow communication practices that reflect best practice and that benefit their patients. Meeting best practice communication standards can sometimes be challenging for mental health professionals and referrers. This guide sets out best practice principles for effective communication between mental health professionals, provides examples of situations which may require additional communication to ensure patient needs are met, and offers guidance on how to overcome some of the barriers to effective communication.


Practice guide: Communication between medical and mental health professionals