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6 May 2019

Message from the Chair


PHN advisory panel reports

Last year, I contributed as a member of the Primary Health Network (PHN) advisory panel on mental Health, which convened to provide advice to the Minister for Health on the progress of mental health reform. Two reports were produced – the first is the Reform and system transformation: A five-year horizon for PHNs and the second is the Report of the PHN advisory panel on mental health. I encourage GPs and training providers to read the reports as they contain pertinent information on the supporting role of PHNs in ongoing mental health reform.

Mental Health Training Standards

The GPMHSC begun work towards the review of the Mental Health Training Standards for the 2020–22 triennium. We are currently in the process of reviewing the current Standards and developing a comprehensive framework that will assist GPs and accredited training providers in delivering high-quality mental health services and education. I would like to thank everyone who offered their feedback in October last year by completing the online evaluation surveys. Your feedback is helping ensure the continuing improvement and success of training and education opportunities for GPs in the provision of primary mental health services in Australia.

Close the Gap Day

On 21 March 2019, National Close the Gap Day was celebrated across Australia, helping raise awareness of the health inequalities experienced by Indigenous Australians. The Statement of commitment to reconciliation expresses the GPMHSC commitment to working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to help close the gap in social and emotional wellbeing outcomes. Research shows that GPs managed mental health issues for Indigenous Australians at 1.3 times the rate for other Australians. Despite this, there is no specific Council of Australian Governments target for mental health. While targets are in place and the gap is closing for physical health, the gap in mental health remains unacceptably large.


Lastly, as we head towards the end of the triennium, I would like to remind all current GP providers of Focussed Psychological Strategies (FPS) of their mandatory requirement to complete at least one FPS Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity before Tuesday 31 December 2019. This will ensure that you remain compliant and registered with Medicare Australia into the next triennium. You can find a number of FPS CPD activities available and accredited by the GPMHSC by visiting our website.

Assoc Prof Morton Rawlin


For GPs

New GP-to-patient Telehealth item numbers for mental health in drought-affected communities

The Department of Health has recently introduced six new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items to enable GPs and non-specialist practitioners to provide mental health and wellbeing support services.


New guide on stepped-care model in general practice now available

Stepped care through general practice: A GPMHSC guide provides information on the stepped-care model and helps explain its implementation with a general practice setting.


Maintaining your FPS eligibility – An important reminder

GP providers of FPS are reminded to schedule an FPS CPD activity before Tuesday 31 December 2019.


New small group learning resource for GP providers of FPS now available

GP providers of FPS may elect to fulfil their FPS CPD requirement by completing a small group learning (SGL) activity in FPS.


New clinical guideline on work-related mental health conditions in general practice

Monash University’s Department of General Practice has recently published a new clinical guideline endorsed by the RACGP and Australian College of Remote and Rural Medicine.


Custodial healthcare and mental health in Australia

Custodial healthcare and mental health in Australia Research shows that one in four people in prison receive mental health medication.


Trauma-informed care in general practice

The conference is RACGP accredited for 40 category 1 QI&CPD points and GPMHSC-accredited for FPS CPD.


For Training Providers

Quality assurance program – An update

Quality assurance reviews are an integral component in ensuring that accredited GPMHSC activities are aligned with quality benchmarks.


Medicare reporting requirements

Provider numbers must be provided to the GPMHSC to report GP completions of Mental Health Skills Training (MHST) to Medicare.


Consumer and carer training resources

A series of training resources that offer a practical guide for education providers.



What's coming up?

Eating disorder carers support

Biggs Street Meeting Room

More information

Australian & New Zealand Addiction Conference 2019

Monday to Wednesday 13–15 May 2019

Seaworld Drive, Main Beach QLD

More information

Psychoneuroimmunology and evidence-based relaxation therapy

Friday 17 May and Friday 24 May 2019

255 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW

More information

Advanced training in suicidal prevention

Saturday 15 June 2019

24 Gaskell Street, Eight Mile Plains QLD

More information

Mental health: Exploring the adolescent experience

Wednesday 17 July 2019

30 Royal Parade, Parkville VIC

More information


Spotlight on accredited training (until end of July)


Depression dilemmas

Saturday 1 June 2019 – Melbourne

Delivered by Black Dog Institute


Mental health assessment and management (GP MHST and CPD): How to develop a GP mental health plan, safety plan and review

Saturday and Sunday 15–16 June 2019 – North Parramatta

Delivered by Health Education and Training Institute (HETI)


Clinical course in hypnosis: Modules 1–6

Monday to Saturday 17–22 June 2019 – Melbourne

Delivered by the College of Medical Hypnosis


Clinical course in hypnosis: Modules 1–6

Monday July to Saturday 22–27 July 2019 – Brisbane

Delivered by the College of Medical Hypnosis


MHST with a focus on youth mental health

Delivered online until Tuesday 31 December 2019

Via gplearning


Mental Health CPD

Psychiatric emergency management: Unravelling diagnosis and complications

Tuesday 2 July 2019 – Katanning

Delivered by Rural Health West

Depression: Achieve remission, prevent relapse

Clinical audit Delivered online until Tuesday 31 December 2019

Delivered by National Prescribing Service



Interpersonal therapy in practice

Wednesday and Thursday 29–30 May 2019 – Brisbane

Delivered by Dr Cate Howell and colleagues

Clinical course in hypnosis: Modules 1–6

Monday to Saturday 17–22 June 2019 – Melbourne

Delivered by the College of Medical Hypnosis

Monday to Saturday 22–27 July 2019 – Brisbane

Delivered by the College of Medical Hypnosis



Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) Level A Training

Saturday and Sunday 11–12 May 2019 – Melbourne

Tuesday to Wednesday 14–15 May 2019 – Sydney

Friday to Saturday 17–18 May 2019 – Perth

Delivered by The University of Sydney – Discipline of Psychiatry at Westmead Clinical School

EMDR therapy: A comprehensive introduction for medical practitioners

Friday 31 May 2019 – Yarraville

Delivered by Australian Society for Psychological Medicine

Psychodynamic principles workshop – FPS for GPs and mental health practitioners (part 2)

Saturday 1 June 2019 – East Melbourne

Delivered by RACGP Victoria

Dealing with anxiety disorders

Saturday 22 June 2019 – Brisbane

Delivered by Black Dog Institute

Cognitive behavioural therapy skills for general practice

Delivered online until Tuesday 24 December 2019

By RACGP Rural

‘Let’s talk about children’

eLearning course

Delivered online until Tuesday 31 December 2019

By Emerging Minds

Keeping families and children in mind

Delivered online until Tuesday 31 December 2019

By Emerging Minds

Anxiety disorders course online: The treatments

Delivered online until Tuesday 31 December 2019

By The University of Sydney – Discipline of Psychiatry At Westmead Clinical School