Psychological Support Services (PSS)

1300 170 554 | mentalhealth@cesphn.com.au

Currently due to capacity of our PSS Mental Health Professionals we are not able to accept Suicide Prevention Service referrals under PSS

What is the Psychological Support Service (PSS) program?

Psychological Support Services (PSS) provides free short term face to face, or via telehealth, psychological therapy for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health concerns that live in the Central and Eastern Sydney region and are experiencing financial hardship and who may not be able to access support through Medicare subsidised psychological services.

This program also provides a suicide prevention support service.

Click here to see the PSS flyer.

Click here for the Referrers Guide.

Click here to access the registered PSS providers on the CESPHN Service Directory

Eligibility

Psychological Support Services is for people who

  • live, work or study in the Central and Eastern Sydney region
  • have a diagnosable mild to moderate mental health concern
  • may benefit from short term treatment
  • are unable to access other services including Better Access (Medicare subsidised psychological services) due to financial hardship (Individual income below $55,000 or family income below $130,000)

And fall within one of the following groups:

  1. Children (who are aged between 0-12 years who have not yet graduated from primary school) with, or who are at risk of developing a mild to moderate mental, emotional, or behavioural disorder
  2. Young people (12-25 years)
  3. Adult
  4. Individuals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer/Questioning (LGBTIQ)
  5. Individuals experiencing perinatal depression and their partners
  6. Individuals who identify as from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background
  7. Individuals who identify as from a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background
  8. Individuals who have attempted, or who are at risk of suicide, or self-harm
  9. Individuals experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness
  10. Individual with severe mental health concerns who may benefit from short term focused psychological intervention as part of their overall care.
  11. Individuals with mild Intellectual disability who may benefit from short term psychological intervention when co-occurring mental health concerns are diagnosed.
How to access the service?

All referrals must come through the CESPHN Mental Health Central Intake team via:

  1. Online Service Referral Form or
  2. Healthlink Referral form Healthlink ID: CESPHNMH
  • Referrals will not be accepted via email or fax
  • A GP mental health treatment plan is required for this service. The online referral form and Healthlink referral templates are compliant with the billing requirements for a GP MHTP. GPs DO NOT have to complete a separate MHTP in addition to the online/Healthlink referral form.
  • Non-medical practitioner can refer to PSS without a completed GP MHTP. However, they must provide a completed GP MHTP within the first three sessions to be eligible for the ongoing program.

Who can refer to the service?

Referrals to the PSS program can be made by:

  1. Medical Practitioner: GPs, Psychiatrists, Paediatricians, Obstetrician-Gynaecologist (peri-natal only)
  2. Non-medical Practitioners: Referrals can also be accepted from some non-medical professionals. This includes school counsellors, school principal/deputies, directors of early childhood services, headspace clinicians, maternal and child health nurses, allied health professionals, lactation consultants, midwifery and neo-natal nurses, Aboriginal health workers, Aboriginal Care coordinators and Outreach workers, Aboriginal youth health and well-being coordinators, managers of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS), multicultural community health liaison officers, Acute Mental Health Teams, and Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre.
Who will deliver the service?

Mental Health Professionals (MHPs) that are registered PSS providers can provide a service under the PSS program. These MHPs are registered with one of the consortium organisations listed below. Current registered PSS providers can be found in the CESPHN service directory.

Headspace PSS providers can be accessed here

Name of provider organisations Lilly Pilly Counselling APHMA Gender Centre Sydney Mind Health
Website https://lillypillycounselling.com.au https://apmha.com.au/clinical-mental-health-services/central-and-eastern-sydney-phn/ https://gendercentre.org.au/services/counselling-services https://www.sydneymindhealth.com.au/
Target Population All PSS target groups All PSS target groups Individuals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer/Questioning (LGBTIQ) 

Individuals from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse background

All PSS target groups

GP Referral Forms

Referral forms are required to access all PSS programs. 

Forms for GPs:

 Best PracticeMedical DirectorOnline
PSS Initial Referral and Mental Health Treatment Plan for adults and children Best Practice template download Medical Director template download 2019015 icons 22
PSS Review Referral and Mental Health Treatment Plan for adults and children Best Practice template download Medical Director template download 2019015 icons 22

pdf Click here (708 KB) to download the instruction manual to import BP forms.

pdf Click here (733 KB) to download the instruction manual to import MD forms.

The referral form includes a mental health treatment plan, K10+ and Risk Assessment which must always be signed by a GP. 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 be declined, the GPs will receive communication from the CESPHN mental health central Intake and Triage team.

For more information about Youth Mental Health Referral Options please pdf click here (186 KB)

What is an IAR?

The Commonwealth Department of Health has introduced the use of the Initial Assessment and Referral Guidance and Decision Support Tool across PHN's nationally.  The guidance material has been designed to support referrers in determining the best level of care for a person.

These 8 domians are for completion after you have completed an initial assessment of the patient/client's mental health needs. The assessment areas assist in rating an individual’s current situation, as well as a decision-support logic that determines the most appropriate level of care required within a stepped care approach. The full guidance is available here.

 

Forms For Non-medical Practitioner Referrers

Non-medical practitioners can refer individuals to PSS for an assessment (up to three sessions) with a PSS registered mental health professional prior to development of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan. For sessions to continue after the provisional session(s) have been completed, the clients will need to see their GP for a PSS referral and Mental Health Treatment Plan before further sessions can be approved.

 Provisional referrers includeOnline
Children (0 – 12 years and under)
  • School Counsellors
  • School Principal/Deputy
  • Directors of Early Childhood Services
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Adolescents (12 – 25 years)
  • headspace Youth Access Team
  • School Counsellors
  • School Principal/Deputy
  • School Head of Welfare
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Perinatal Depression
  • Maternal and Child Health Nurses and allied health professionals
  • Lactation Consultants
  • Midwifery and neo-natal nurse
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Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Aboriginal Health Workers/ Care coordinator/ Outreach worker
  • Youth health and well-being coordinators
  • Managers of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS)
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Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)
  • Multicultural Community Health Liaison Officers
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Suicide Prevention (non-acute)
  • Acute mental health teams
  • Psychiatric Emergency Care Centres
  • headspace Centres
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PSS Project 54

What is PSS Project 54?

PSS Project 54 is a pilot project aimed to reduce barriers to accessing psychological support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by providing an outreach service which is delivered through a culturally appropriate and sensitive model of care. It is a variant to the general PSS program (described above) which also services the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. This pilot project focuses on the La Perouse, Redfern, Sutherland shire and Glebe region and works with specific referral points (listed below).

This service is for people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who are experiencing mental health concerns. Through this service, people can access individual face to face psychological therapy with an experienced mental health professional.

Eligibility

This service is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who

  • live, work or study in the La Perouse Region or Glebe Region OR
  • attend Endeavour High School.

This includes (but is not limited to) those who are engaged with

  • the La Perouse Strengthening Our Mob Program,
  • Babana Yarning Circles Program
  • Tribal Warrior Clean Slate Without Prejudice Mentoring Program
  • Tribal Warrior Youth Health and Well-being Program.

How to access the service?

How to access the service?

Who can refer to the service?

  • School counsellors and Deputy Principals from Endeavour High school
  • Aboriginal health workers, Aboriginal Care coordinators and Outreach workers

Aligned with services located at La Perouse, Glebe and Redfern.

Who will deliver the service?

Name Lilly Pilly Counselling
Website https://lillypillycounselling.com.au
Email lillypillycounselling@hotmail.com
PSS GROUPS

PSS Group Therapy

These evidenced based groups are offered as part of the Psychological Support Services (PSS) program by adding group therapy programmes to the individual therapy sessions already provided under PSS. The aim is to provide support in a group format to individuals including in the CESPHN region, including children, parents and adults who are unable to receive serviced through other funded group programmes, including Medicare funded services, due to financial hardship.

PSS group information

Group dates, locations and times will be provided as these become available. All groups are free as per PSS eligibility criteria.

The following groups will be available:

Mindfulness online

6-week program, l.5 hours per week: targeting adults to increase mood and decrease stress levels and depression, incorporating mindfulness skills. 

Proposed Timeframe:  TBC

Mindfulness Outdoors

10-Week program, 1.5 hours per week structured as a 30-minute discussion followed by a 1 hour of walking using mindfulness: targeting young people aged 16-to-25-years to improve management and insight of mental health and improve social and community engagement through use of mindfulness-based therapy.

Proposed Timeframe:  TBC

 Circle of Security (CoS)

 8-week program, 2.5 hours per week: targeting parents with children 0 to 6 years of age to develop secure attachment and parenting skills. The group will be providing access to parents from LGBTQ and CALD communities. 

Proposed Timeframe:  16 August to 4 Oct 2022 

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Cantonese or Mandarin speaking individuals

 6-week program, 2 hours per week; targeting Cantonese or Mandarin speaking adults to improve and manage moods associated with depression. 

Proposed Timeframe:  TBC

Peaceful Kids in Schools

8-week program, 1 hour per week: targeting primary school children in school setting by providing a mindfulness and positive psychology-based program to lessen anxiety and stress and increase resilience in children

Proposed Timeframe:  TBC

Peaceful Kids in the Shire

8-week program, 1 hour per week: targeting primary school children, providing Cognitive Based Therapy and mindfulness-based anxiety and stress management/self-regulation group program based in the Shire.  

Proposed Timeframe:  TBC

Meaning Centred Group Psychotherapy

 6-week program, 1.5 hours per week: targeting adults with chronic and life limiting illness by providing a structured psychotherapeutic intervention focus on diminishing feelings of depression and despair. 

Proposed Timeframe:  22 July to 25 August 2022

Mothers in post-natal period up to 12 months following birth

10-week on-line program, 1.5 hours per week: targeting mothers in the postnatal period up to 12months after birth who have been impacted by the pandemic.  The therapeutic group aim is to provide an opportunity to engage and support the transition and adjustment to motherhood for those at risk of developing postnatal depression and anxiety.   

Proposed Timeframe:  13 July to 24 August 2022

 

To make a PSS group referral click here for the online form   

Ensure Group Referral is selected as Program Service Type and the name of PSS group is entered.

 

For more information about PSS groups click here

Contact the PSS funded provider organisation Lilly Pilly Counselling:

Karen Doherty (Mon-Wed) M: 0407 952 350

Karen Duncan (Wed-Fri) M: 0407 952 350

DBT group therapy

Due to the current stay at home order in place in Greater Sydney, DBT Group therapy is currently delivered via an online meeting format 

CESPHN has partnered with Sydney Clinical Psychology and DBT Sydney to provide Dialectical Behavioural Therapy groups for people with severe mental health issues, such as complex trauma, drug and alcohol problems, suicidality, self-harm, personality disorders, and severe depression and anxiety. Individuals who live within the CESPHN catchment area, are between 18-65 years of age and meet the admission criteria can attend groups in Newtown and Sutherland at no cost.

DBT Skills Groups

DBT Skills groups run for twenty weeks and are aimed at people with emotional regulation difficulties that manifest as problems of under-control and impulsivity. Participants learn mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness skills. The DBT model involves concurrent individual and group therapy and so participants are encouraged to engage in one-on-one DBT therapy while attending.

Anyone who has made a referral will be contacted to be advised of status of the referral. Once a group is full further referrals will be placed on the DBT waitlist 

RODBT Groups

Radically Open DBT is a new variant of DBT aimed at people with emotional problems that manifest as excessive over-control and inhibition, such as avoidant personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality, and chronic depression. The groups also run for twenty weeks and are based on the DBT model but involve learning a different set of skills aimed at reducing excessive self-control. A group is scheduled to commence in early 2022 in Sutherland.

Family and Friends Groups

Family and Friends is a twelve-week group for people who have a significant other with severe mental health problems. The groups are based on the DBT model and so benefit people whose loved ones would also benefit from DBT. Participants learn core skills of self-care and self-compassion, together with skills to help interact with their loved ones more effectively, such as validation, communication, and acceptance skills. Please contact DBTintake@sydneyclinicalpsychology.com.au   for more information or to make a referral.

If you would like to simply make a referral to the programme, you’ll also find the online referral form here.

For more information about DBT, please see the DBT Sydney website, or contact them at DBTintake@sydneyclinicalpsychology.com.au

 

Psychological Support Services for Individuals in the Perinatal Period

This service is for individuals and their partners in the perinatal period who are experiencing mild to moderate mental health concerns. Psychological services are provided face to face in a group format.

What is Tresillian?

Tresillian is a not-for-profit organisation that assists families in the Central and Eastern Sydney region by providing early parenting support, day programmes and residential care leading to improved health and wellbeing of families with young children and resilient family relationships. CESPHN funds Tresillian to provide the following group therapy programs:

  • Post-Natal Depression and Circle of Security
  • Circle of Security for Dads
  • Circle of Security for LGBTIQ+
  • PND Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

Eligibility

Individuals in the perinatal period (time of conception to one year after birth) who are experiencing or at risk of non-acute, mild to moderate mental health concerns and have been identified to likely benefit from short-term, focused psychological strategies in a group setting.

Fathers or partners of the individuals experiencing perinatal depression are also eligible to participate in the Circle of Security groups.

The individuals must:

  • live, work or study in the Central and Eastern Sydney region
  • have a diagnosable mild to moderate mental health concern
  • may benefit from short term treatment in a group setting
  • are unable to access other services including Better Access (Medicare subsidised psychological services) due to financial hardship (Individual income below $55,000 or family income below $130,000)

How to access the service?

  • All referrals and reviews must come through CESPHN Mental Health Central Intake team via:
  • Referrals will not be accepted via email due to privacy concerns,
  • A GP mental health treatment plan is required for this service. If the referral comes from a non-medical practitioner, this must be provided by the individual’s GP to the central intake team in the first three sessions.

Who can refer to the service?

Referrals to the PSS program can be made by:

  • Medical Practitioner: GPs, Psychiatrist, Paediatricians, Obstetrician-Gynaecologist (perinatal only)
  • Non-medical Practitioners: Referrals can also be accepted from some non-medical professionals. This includes school counsellors, school principal/deputies, directors of early childhood services, headspace Clinicians, maternal and child health nurses, allied health professionals, lactation consultants, midwifery and neo-natal nurses, Aboriginal health workers, Aboriginal Care coordinators and Outreach workers.

Who will deliver the service?

Name Tresillian
Phone 1300 272 738
Website https://www.tresillian.org.au/courses/for-parents/?location=canterbury
FAQs

FAQs

1. How many sessions are clients eligible for?

Clients are eligible for 12 individual sessions. GP review required should further support be needed after session 12 to access sessions 13-18.

2. How long will the referral process take?

On average, the referral will take 7 working days to be processed and allocated. The Mental Health Practitioner will contact the client after the allocation has occurred to set an appointment.

This may vary during peak referral periods.

3. Are clients able to change Mental Health Practitioner?

Yes, the client or the referring GP may request to change their PSS clinician.

4. What Medicare item numbers should I bill for this consultation?

The Medicare item numbers you could claim for this consultation are listed on the PSS Referral form once you confirm you are a Medical Practitioner. For further information please visit the Department of Health website and MBS online

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

No, however, clients need to meet PSS criteria and will need to obtain a Mental health Treatment Plan from a GP or medical practitioner

6. How do I provide feedback?

The feedback about the service/program can be provided via CESPHN website here and/or contact the program Clinical Lead mentalhealth@cesphn.com.au

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

Children can present with several behavioural and emotional concerns. We recommend that GPs use MBS item 36 or 44 to make a referral to PSS under a child treatment plan, unless a mental health diagnosis has already been confirmed. These item numbers allow a GP to claim for a long consultation as with a regular MHTP but do not trigger the specific mental health item number.

8. Who are the provider organisations?

The provider organisations are the consortium organisations funded by CESPHN that deliver the services. Each Mental Health Practitioner is part of a provider organisation. Only individuals who are registered with one of the provider organisations can provide services under PSS.

9. How does a MHP become a PSS provider?

Please click here to contact the PSS provider organisations to enquire about becoming a PSS MHP.