Commissioning Psychological Support Services

Transition to Psychological Support Services

The Central and Eastern Sydney PHN Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program is transitioning to become Psychological Support Services (PSS) from 1 December 2016. PSS will deliver services to underserviced and/or hard to reach groups in our region.

Our approach to commissioning these services has been shaped by our comprehensive needs assessment, a co-design process held in July and guidance from the Department of Health.

PSS will ensure:

  • Provision of evidence based, short term psychological intervention to people with a diagnosable mild or moderate mental illness, or to people who have attempted, or are at risk of, suicide or self-harm where access to other services is not appropriate
  • Requirement for a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, or a referral from a psychiatrist or paediatrician, with some flexibility for provisional referrals to enable service provision to commence while arrangements are made for the client to see a GP. This response is in recognition of the barriers to timely access to medical practitioners in some regions and by some population groups
  • Service delivery by appropriately trained and qualified mental health professionals within their scope of practice;
  • Services delivered as part of a team approach to primary mental health care service provision, led by the client and involving GPs, psychiatrists, paediatricians, local health district services, community managed organisations, and other relevant agencies.

Client eligibility

PSS will be available for the following identified underserviced individuals and/ or hard to reach groups in our region:

  • children and young people
  • women experiencing perinatal depression
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • people who have attempted, or are at risk of suicide, or self-harm
  • other underserviced groups, including:
  • adults who are unable to access the MBS due to financial or other constraints
  • adults who are, or are at risk of becoming homeless
  • adults living within the following areas in our region which have been identified as experiencing high levels of psychological distress and/or low access to psychological services: Botany Bay, Hurstville, Rockdale, Canterbury, Strathfield, Lord Howe island and Norfolk Island.

Entities eligible to apply to commission

We will consider applications to commission services from entities below. All applications will be considered subject to meeting the requirements of the PHN Grant Programme Guidelines. 

  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and Aboriginal Medical Services
  • Individual providers and/or organisations working in consortia or partnerships, with one lead agency working as the legal entity
  • Non-government organisations, including charities and not-for-profit organisations
  • Private hospitals
  • State and territory government services

Forming a consortium

If you are a private provider we strongly encourage you to consider your options to form a consortium, join one or link in with community or non-government organisations. Remember you can still do this during the tender process and after contracts have been awarded.

The reason we are moving away from awarding contracts to individual providers, is to support our responsibility to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of how medical services are delivered to our community. Through greater economies of scale we will be better equipped to streamline the tendering process and to allocate funding to meet patient needs.

Request for Proposal

The Request for Proposal (RFP) for Psychological Support Services has been released today, 1 September 2016. Potential applicants can register to receive notification or apply through our eProcurement Portal, TenderLink.

For more information on the RFP process for the PSS, pdf please see the invitation (281 KB) to attend our upcoming information evenings to be held on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 September.

For more information

Please contact our Mental Health Team on 9330 9999 or email if you have any further enquiries.