Psychological Support Services (PSS)

Mental Health Central Intake
1300 170 554 | mentalhealth@cesphn.com.au

What is PSS and who can use it?

PSS (formerly known as ATAPS) provides FREE short-term face to face psychological services for underserviced groups. Services are delivered by appropriately trained and qualified mental health professionals including: Psychologists (general and clinical), mental health nurses, mental health accredited social workers, mental health accredited occupational therapists and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health workers.

Eligibility

PSS is for people who live, work or go to school in the Central and Eastern Sydney region with a diagnosable mild to moderate mental health concerns, who may benefit from short term treatment, are unable to access other available services including Better Access (Medicare subsidised psychological services) and who fit into one of the below underserviced and/or hard to reach populations:

  1. Children (0-12 years and under) with, or who are at risk of developing a mild to moderate, mental, emotional or behavioural disorder
  2. Young people (12-25 years)
  3. Women experiencing perinatal depression
  4. People who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  5. People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds
  6. People who have attempted, or who are at risk of suicide, or self-harm
  7. Other underserviced groups, including:
  • Adults who are unable to access other available services, including Better Access
  • Adults who are, or are at risk of becoming homeless
  • Adults living within the follow Local Government Areas that have been identified as experiencing high levels of psychological distress and/or low access to psychological services: Bayside, Georges River, Canterbury City and Strathfield

People with severe mental health concerns who may benefit from short term focused psychological intervention as part of their overall care and people with Intellectual disability who may benefit from short term psychological intervention when co-occurring mental health concerns are diagnosed, may also be eligible for PSS.

Please view the pdf PSS Brochure (576 KB) for more information.

GP Referral Forms

Referral forms are required to access all PSS programs. The referral form includes a mental health treatment plan, K10+ and Risk Assessment which must always be signed by a GP. This form should then be sent via fax to CESPHN Intake and Triage team on 1300 112 489. The referral will then be allocated to an appropriate mental health professional and the GP will be notified of the outcome via email. Should a referral get declined, the GPs will receive communication from CESPHN Intake and Triage team.

Download a list of the registered PSS mental health providers pdf here (429 KB) .

Download a list of provider organisations pdf here (54 KB) .

GP referrals for adults and young people (over 12 years)
 PDFWordBest PracticeMedical Director 
PSS Initial Referral and Mental Health Treatment Plan document pdf text Microsoft Word document download Best Practice template download Medical Director template download
PSS Review Referral and Mental Health Treatment Plan document pdf text Microsoft Word document download Best Practice template download Medical Director template download
GP referrals for children (12 years and under)
 PDFWordBest PracticeMedical Director 
Psychological Support Services – GP Initial Referral and Child Treatment Plan PDF document download Microsoft Word document download Best Practice template download Medical Director template download
Psychological Support Services – GP Review Referral and Child Treatment Plan PDF document download Microsoft Word document download Best Practice template download Medical Director template download

 

Provisional referrals

A provisional referral allows for a certain number of sessions to be approved (depending on the referral type, see below) for an assessment with a PSS registered mental health professional prior to development of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan. Should sessions continue after the provisional session(s) have been completed, the client will need to see their GP for an initial PSS referral and Mental Health Treatment Plan before further sessions can be approved.

Download a list of the registered PSS mental health providers.

Download a list of provider organisations.

 Provisional referrers includeProvisional sessions allowedPDFWord
Children (0 – 12 years and under)
  • School Counsellors
  • School Principal/Deputy
  • Directors of Early Childhood Services
  • Managers in NGOs
3 PDF document download Microsoft Word document download
Adolescents (12 – 25 years)
  • School Counsellors
  • School Principal/Deputy 
2 PDF document download Microsoft Word document download
Perinatal Depression Maternal and Child Health Nurses 2 PDF document download Microsoft Word document download
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Aboriginal Health Workers
  • House Parents of Kirinari Hostel (Sylvania)
  • School Counsellors
  • School Principal/Deputy
  • Managers in NGOs 
2 PDF document download Microsoft Word document download
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)
  • Multicultural Community Health Liaison Officers
  • Managers in NGOs
2 PDF document download Microsoft Word document download
Suicide Prevention (non-acute)  Acute mental health teams Unlimited sessions for 2 months (approximately 12 sessions) PDF document download Microsoft Word document download

 

Better Access and PSS

Department of Health guidance re Better Access and PSS

In the instance where a patient has received the 10 psychological therapy services available under Better Access through the Medicare Benefits Schedule initiative and considered to clinically benefit from additional services, the person may be eligible for PHN funded Psychological Therapies if they meet the relevant eligibility criteria.

Further information from the MBS is available here (Item number 2712).

To access these additional services, the following applies for the CESPHN region:

  • Client must be eligible for PSS
  • Sessions can only be delivered by PSS registered mental health professionals sub contracted/employed by one of the CESPHN commissioned providers
  • Referral to accompany the original Mental Health Treatment Plan used to access Better Access with a review from the GP for exceptional circumstances (Item number 2712)
  • CESPHN Central Intake will triage eligibility and will notify the GP of the outcome of the referral
  • Only valid for 12 months from the date on the initial Mental Health Treatment Plan

Please note: Gap payment cannot be charged for these services.

Frequently Asked Questions
What are the changes from ATAPS to PSS?

Under PSS, the providers no longer are directly employed by CESPHN. A consortium model has been created so that each provider is allocated to a provider organisation. Only these providers are able to deliver PSS services. A new referral form compliant with Department of Health guidelines including a K10+, Risk Assessment and other Minimum Data Set (MDS) must be submitted to access the service.

How many sessions will they be eligible for?

Clients are eligible for 12 individual sessions and up to 18 sessions in exceptional circumstances as well as 12 group sessions per calendar year. The number of sessions may vary for Suicide Prevention referrals.

How long will the referral process take?

On average, the referral will take 5 working days. The provider will be in contact with the client after the allocation has occurred to set an appointment.

Will clients be able to change providers?

Yes, the clients or the referring GP may request a transfer of PSS provider.

What item numbers should I use?

The item numbers are on top of the PSS Referral forms. For further information please visit the Department of Health page.

Do I need a Medicare or Healthcare card to access PSS?

No, however, clients need to meet PSS criteria.

How do I provide feedback?

Via the website and/or contacting the mental health manager.

What is the difference between a child treatment plan and a mental health treatment plan?

The child treatment plan does not include a K10+ with additional Risk Assessment tools. It allows for the GP to claim for a long consult as with a regular MHTP but does not trigger the item number.

Who are the provider organisations?

The provider organisations are the consortium organisations that deliver the services. Each provider is part of a provider organisation. Click here for provider organisations.

Stay current with news in your region by subscribing to Sydney Health Weekly

Enter your email