Access to psychology services improves in the Goulburn Valley  

GV Health is leading the provision of local specialist psychological services under the Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program, which is expected to improve access to and quality of mental health care locally for people with common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Psychology services will now be available in a variety of locations throughout the region, including onsite at GP clinics and psychology clinics in Shepparton, Cobram, Euroa, Numurkah and Yarrawonga. Services will be provided at no cost, following the development of a mental healthcare plan in collaboration with a General Practitioner.

The Primary Mental Health ATAPS Program will be led by Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Raju Lakshmana, who will be available to assist clinicians, as well as see ATAPS patients at no cost. The mental health clinicians who will provide the services are all experienced senior clinicians from a variety of backgrounds, including psychologists, mental health nurses and mental health social workers.

Having mental health clinicians co-located with GPs, as well as available at psychology clinics in the Murray Primary Health Network, means that people will be able to choose the easiest, best access option for them. Currently, GPs can refer clients to a small number of private mental health clinicians or to the mental health triage service.

The new service will enable more clients to access psychology services more easily than previously and focuses on meeting individual needs.

As patient needs change, care can be easily transferred into other GV Health program areas, with minimal disruption to their care.

Patients can obtain referrals to the Primary Mental Health ATAPS program by discussing their needs with a General Practitioner.