Gippsland PHN in conjunction with commissioned partners, delivers a range of primary mental health care programs, aligned to the stepped model of mental health.


In 2014 the National Mental Health Commission undertook a review of Commonwealth programmes and services across the government, non-government and private sectors. The review was released in June 2015 and highlighted the existing complexity, inefficiency and fragmentation of the mental health system.

It recommended three components to improve the longer term sustainability of the mental health system.  These include:

  • Person-centred design principles
  • A new system architecture
  • Shifting funding to more efficient and effective upstream services and supports

The National Mental Health Commission’s Review outlined 25 recommendations across nine interconnected areas of reform. Two areas of reform specific to Primary Health Networks:

  1. Locally planned and commissioned mental health services through Primary Health Networks
  2. Refocusing primary mental healthcare programs and services to support a stepped care model (see below diagram)
mental health stepped care diagram

The aim of the Primary Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Stepped Care Program is to provide access to primary mental health and suicide prevention programs within a stepped care model to improve the overall health and wellbeing of people living in Gippsland.

Gippsland PHN has the flexibility to commission evidence-based treatment services to meet local need, catchment priorities and service gaps. The Program is commissioned within the overarching parameters of the Primary Health Network Grant Programme Guidelines and will contribute to the key program objectives of:

  • Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of primary mental health and suicide prevention services for people with or at risk of mental illness and/or suicide; and
  • Improve access to and integration of primary mental health care and suicide prevention services to ensure people with mental illness receive the right care in the right place at the right time
  • The intent of the Program is to complement existing Commonwealth and state/territory services and improve regional coordination, sector efficiency and duplication of existing initiatives.

Download the Mental Health and Stepped Care Program Guidelines

Primary Mental Health Care Services Directory

Download the current provider list.

Head to Health

The Head to Health website contains digital resources for those seeking online mental health support or for those who simply want to improve their mental wellbeing.

The site includes links to resources such as:

  • mental health websites created by trusted organisations
  • evidence based apps and online programs
  • dedicated forums and peer support services
  • phone, chat and email services

To find out more visit the Head to Health website.