The Better Outcomes in Mental Health Care (BOiMHC) program supports General Practitioners (GPs) in improving the quality of care provided through general practice to Australians with a mental health illness by providing mental health education and training for GPs and more support for them from allied health professionals and psychiatrists.
The BOiMHC program aims to improve the quality of care provided through general practice to Australians with a mental illness. The program comprises two components.
- Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) – enables GPs to refer their patients to allied health professionals who deliver focused psychological strategies; and
- GP Psych Support Service – provides general practitioners with access to patient management advice from psychiatrists.
The BOiMHC program began in 2001 with funding of $120.4 million from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA). Early successes lead to further funding of $142.7 in July 2006 to continue the program to June 2009. The government has recently announced that this program will be ongoing beyond June 2009.
The program has undergone many changes along its life, with the most recent being the numerous expansions to the ATAPS component of the program. In general, the ATAPS component provides funding to secure services from allied health professionals to support the delivery of primary mental health care.
Divisions of general practice are allocated an annual budget, through a funding agreement with DoHA, to broker allied mental health services for patients who would not otherwise be in a position to access these services. Divisions are able to adopt a model that best suits their local arrangements and as a result a number of service delivery models are being used across the country.
The ATAPS program was expanded in 2008 to include specialised program areas including:
- ATAPS – General
- ATAPS – Suicide Prevention
- ATAPS – Telephone Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- ATAPS – Perinatal Depression
|ATAPS – General||All Queensland divisions|
|ATAPS – Suicide Prevention||Sunshine Coast DGP
|ATAPS – Telephone Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)||GP Connections
North & West Queenlans PHC
Mackay Healthcare Connect
|ATAPS – Perinatal Depression||All Queensland divisions|
The government have released a number of Circulars communicating the changes to the ATAPS Programs – these are all available in the resources section below.
The second component to the BOiMHC program is the GP Psych Support Service, which is delivered by the Royal Australian College of General Practice (RACGP). This service provides GPs with free phone, fax and internet/email access to patient management advice from a psychiatrist within 24 hours of their request. The service provides advice in the following areas of psychiatry:
- General adult psychiatry
- Child & adolescent psychiatry
- Old age psychiatry
- Drug and alcohol psychiatry
Accessing GP Psych Support is easy:
- Free Phone – 1800 200 588. You will be asked some brief questions concerning your enquiry and a psychiatrist will call you back within 24 hours.
- Free Fax – 1800 012 422. Using the faxback form provide details regarding the issue for discussion. A psychiatrist will then fax or phone you to discuss case details.
- Email – www.psychsupport.com.au is a secure and password protected website. Log in and submit your questions online, and your response will be emailed. For your username and password, call 1800 200 588
- AGPN Primary Mental Health Care Website
- ATAPS Circular No. 1 – Trial of Video Conferencing (3 March 2008)
- ATAPS Circular No. 2 – Trial of Telephone CBT (17 April 2008)
- ATAPS Circular No. 3 – Additional Support for Patients at Risk of Suicide and Self Harm (17 April 2008)
- ATAPS Circular No. 4 – Additional Support for Patients at Risk of Suicide and Self Harm (10 July 2008)
- ATAPS Circular No. 5 – Trial of Telephone CBT (10 July 2008)
- ATAPS Circular No. 6 – Additional Support for Patients at Risk of Suicide and Self Harm (27 August 2008)
- ATAPS Circular No. 7 – National Perinatal Depression Initiative (19 August 2008)
- ATAPS Circular No. 8 – Trial of Telephone CBT (5 September 2008)
- ATAPS Circular No. 9 – Additional Support for Patients at Risk of Suicide and Self Harm (10 October 2008)
- ATAPS Circular No. 10 – Engagement of Provisional/Intern Psychologists (October 2008)
- ATAPS Evaluation Support
- ATAPS Information Sheet for Consumers – Telephone CBT
- ATAPS Information Sheet for GPs – Telephone CBT
- ATAPS Interim Evaluation Reports
- BOiMHC – useful for any ATAPS and Minimum Dataset Information
- BOiMHC – DoHA website
- GP Psych Support Service
Please contact: Lindy Fentiman, Team Leader - Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.