The Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program provides coordinated clinical care for people with serious or persistent mental illness. Mental Health Nurses employed by Gippsland PHN work closely with Psychiatrists and/or General Practitioners to assist with assessment and care planning, monitoring mental state, managing medication and improving links to other health professionals.

What does a Mental Health Nurse do?

Establishes a therapeutic relationship with the patient.
Provides assessment.
Completes evidence based outcome tools and risk assessments.
Contributes to the planning and care management of patients.
Administers, monitors and ensures compliance by patients with their medication.
Regularly reviews the patient’s mental state.
Liaises closely with family and/or carers as deemed appropriate.
Provides psychoeducation and supportive counselling for patient, family and/or carers.
Facilitates linkages and coordinates services for the patient.
Maintains links and if required case conferencing with GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists and other service providers.

Who is eligible?

GPs and psychiatrists will determine eligibility for the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program. To be eligible, all of the following criteria must be met:

diagnosed with a mental illness according to the criteria defined in the World Health Organisation Diagnostic and Management Guidelines for Mental Health Disorders in Primary Care: ICD 10 Chapter V Primary Care Version or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – IV edition DSM V,
significant impact to social, personal and work life
been to hospital at least once for treatment of their mental illness, or are at risk of needing hospitalization in the future if appropriate treatment and care is not provided
requires continuing treatment and management of their mental illness over the next two years
the GP or psychiatrist is principally responsible for the patient’s clinical mental health care
consents to treatment from the Mental Health Nurse


There is no cost to the practice or patient

More information

For more information about this program, please contact Sandy Cavnar, Vulnerable Communities Program Officer on 0428 091 517 or