Skip to main content
Table of contents


The release of the Mental health training standards 2023–25: A guide for training providers  represents the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration’s (GPMHSC’s) renewed commitment to continually improve Australia’s primary mental health system.

For most Australians, general practice is the first port of call when they access Australia’s healthcare system, and their general practitioner (GP) is usually the first person they consult about their mental health care. Based on findings from the National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing, in 2020–21, almost 13% of Australians aged 16–85 saw a GP for their mental health.1

The high prevalence and burden of disease associated with mental illness means that GPs need to be able to detect and treat mental illness and must play a central role in providing evidence-based, patient-centred care to people living with a mental illness.

In addition, given current rates of suicide in Australia, it is critical that GPs have the skills needed to detect and respond to patients at risk of suicide.

For two decades, the work undertaken by the GPMHSC has increased GPs’ skills and knowledge in detecting, diagnosing and managing mental illnesses within the context of general practice. By upholding the standards of high-quality general practice training, the GPMHSC will continue to improve the quality of mental health care in Australia.

These mental health training standards complement the standards of education and training of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) curriculum for Australian general practice, by focusing on GPs’ post-vocational training and continuing professional development (CPD).

I sincerely thank all those who contributed to the consultation and evaluation process that was undertaken to develop these standards. The GPMHSC sought input and advice from professionals who actively provide mental health services in Australia, from organisations with a mental health focus and, importantly, from consumers and carers. The feedback we received gave us a greater understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of our previous work and helped us to improve the GPMHSC approach for the next three years.

On behalf of the GPMHSC, I encourage all training providers to refer to this document when planning, developing and submitting courses that they want accredited by the GPMHSC, and when delivering and reviewing their accredited courses.

Lastly, I would like to thank all past and present members of the GPMHSC Committee. At the time of publication, the current members are Dr James Antoniadis, Dr Zena Burgess, Dr Eleanor Chew, Dr Michael Eaton, Ms Margaret Lewry, Professor Graham Meadows, Ms Heather Nowak, Dr Molly Shorthouse and Associate Professor Louise Stone.

Associate Professor Morton Rawlin
Chair, General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration