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Mental health services

First Step’s mental health services include flexible support for people with moderate to severe mental distress, and can include mental health nursing, psychological counselling, care coordination and psychiatry.

Mental Health Integrated Complex Care (MHICC) services offer flexible support for people with severe mental distress and complex needs who require coordination of their care over an extended period of time (6 – 12 months).

MHICC services are highly flexible to match people’s individual needs and can include:

• Clinical mental health nursing
• Family support
• Care coordination
• Improved access to psychiatric and psychological care

A Mental Health Nurse is qualified to help with:

• Psychiatric medicines – which drug, the dosing schedule and minimising side-effects
• Replacement pharmacotherapy – how best to make this work for the client
• Specialised assessment tools – help us deliver a complete, holistic approach to our client’s treatment

A Psychologist can help with:

• Emotional support and care
• Management of anxiety, depression, stress, anger, grief
• Replacing addiction with healthier coping strategies
• Improving relationships and communication skills
• Healing painful memories and gaining personal insights
• Creating a better future by developing new goals and healthy behaviours

Who are mental health services for?

First Step MHICC and Mental Health Nursing services are for people who:

• Live or work in the City of Port Phillip, and
• Have a health care card or can’t afford/access similar services, and
• Are not eligible for NDIS psychological supports

To be eligible for MHICC services, people need to have the following:

• A diagnosis of mental illness that significantly impacts their life, have complex needs, and be at risk of hospitalisation
• A current GP Mental Health Treatment plan, or equivalent.

To be eligible for psychology, clients need to have a Mental Health Treatment Plan

Who is a Mental Health Treatment Plan for?

The Mental Health Treatment Plan is part of the Federal Government’s Better Access initiative that gives Medicare rebates to eligible people, so they can access the mental health services they need.

It aims to encourage people to seek support for their mental health and works to improve treatment and management for people who have mild to moderate mental health conditions.

Eligible people can receive up to 10 individual and 10 group allied mental health services each year.

A Mental Health Treatment Plan:

• Enables the client to see a First Step psychologist who specialises in addiction
• Assists in setting and achieving positive goals
• Enables the client to be more involved in their own immediate and long term care
• Ensures continuity of care and encourages a team approach to the client’s plan
• Focuses on improving and maintaining health rather than waiting for illness

A First Step doctor or independent GP can assess a client’s eligibility and whether they would benefit from a Mental Health Treatment Plan.

How to access a Mental Health Treatment Plan?

If the client’s doctor assess that they would benefit from a Mental Health Treatment Plan, they will develop the Plan together which will identify the health care needed and outline the goals they want to achieve.

As part of a Mental Health Treatment Plan the doctor may refer the client to one of First Step’s Psychologists or Mental Health Nurses. These services may also be available to their partner or family members.

More services may be available to those that live or work in the City of Port Phillip.

To access MHICC services, referrals can be made by GPs, primary health providers, social services, other organisations or self-referral on 1800 862 363 or via the SEMPHN website.