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Details of MHST

Within the context of general practice, MHST provides GPs with:

•    the skills to recognise and assess mental illnesses* in order to prepare evidence-based GPMHTPs
•    the skills to monitor and review the patient’s progress
•    insight into the perspective of people who have experienced mental illness
•    insight into the perspective of non-professional carers caring for people living with mental illness.

When GPs achieve MHST accreditation, they are eligible to provide services using following MBS item numbers: 2715 and 2717. See Appendix 1 for further details about these item numbers.

The two MHST pathways

In order to cater for GPs’ diversity of skills, experience and interest, there are two options for completing MHST: the MHST Primary Pathway; and the MHST Modular Pathway.

The MHST Primary Pathway

This is the most common pathway GPs take to become accredited with MHST, and is designed for:

•    general practice registrars and other doctors entering Australian general practice
•    GPs who need a refresher on core mental health skills as part of their CPD.

Required education

To satisfy the requirements of the MHST Primary Pathway, GPs must complete:

•    a six-hour (at minimum) MHST Primary Pathway activity that is accredited by the GPMHSC (this can be via e-learning or face-to-face structured interactive learning activity)
•    the relevant predisposing activities
•    the relevant reinforcing activities.

Learning outcomes – MHST Primary Pathway

After completing the MHST Primary Pathway, GPs will be able to:

1.    identify and manage treatment for mental health issues experienced by patients
2.    develop evidence-based and needs-based GPMHTPs in consultation with patients and carers, and incorporate the perspectives and needs of the patient, their carers and others in the patient’s network so that subsequent care providers consider these perspectives and needs
3.    review GPMHTPs in consultation with patients and carers
4.    use practice systems to identify local services and resources that safeguard patient safety and help to provide holistic mental healthcare to patients
5.    use relevant MBS item numbers relating to the provision of mental healthcare by a GP who has completed MHST.

The MHST Modular Pathway

Developed in response to the increasingly complex mental health issues that patients present with, this pathway is designed for more experienced GPs who have a particular interest in mental health.
To satisfy the requirements of the MHST Modular Pathway, GPs must complete one Core Module (CM) (three hours) plus one Clinical Enhancement Module (CEM) (four hours).

*According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental illness describes a range of clinically diagnosable disorders that significantly interfere with an individual’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities.3