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17 February 2020

Message from the Chair

Hello from the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration (GPMHSC), and welcome to the summer edition of our e-newsletter.

As we enter the 2020–22 triennium, I would like to take this opportunity to express our renewed commitment to continually improving Australia’s primary mental health system.

The GPMHSC looks forward to working with stakeholders during the next three years, advocating on behalf of GPs who have a vested interest in primary mental healthcare. Key to this commitment is the response to the recommendations from the Productivity Commission Draft Report on Mental Health, submitted in late January this year.

The GPMHSC would like to acknowledge the resilient communities and people impacted by the current bushfire emergency. Bushfires affect more than the physical environment and can have a serious impact on the mental health and wellbeing of people and their communities. It is also important for GPs to look after their own health and wellbeing, and learn to identify how to cope when overwhelmed by the traumatic experiences of others. More information on self-care for GPs during disasters is available in this e-newsletter.

I would also like to remind all training providers that the 2020 GPMHSC Committee meeting dates are now available. This is an excellent opportunity to develop new mental health training activities for the next three years. The inclusion of lived experience from both mental health consumers and carers is an integral component of GPMHSC-accredited training. Additional resources on how to incorporate consumer and carer representatives into mental health training is available in this e-newsletter.

Assoc Prof Morton Rawlin


For GPs

Preparing a GP eating disorder treatment and management plan

An eating disorder treatment and management plan (EDP) is required for eligible patients under the new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) for eating disorders. GPs are required to develop the EDP with their patients following a comprehensive physical and mental assessment.


GP providers of FPS and eating disorder treatments

As part of the new EDPs, GP providers of Focussed Psychological Strategies (FPS) can provide psychological services for eligible patients, as indicated with MBS item numbers 90271, 90272, 90273 and 90274, and via telehealth 90279 and 90280.


Self-care for GPs during the bushfire emergency

GPs are in a unique position to provide patients and their families with high-level care and support during natural disasters and emergencies. General practices may experience a high volume in patient numbers during the current bushfire emergency, especially in areas directly impacted by the fires.


Providing psychological treatment following the bushfire emergencies

GP providers of FPS now have access to provide psychological therapies following the release of the Bushfire Recovery Access Initiative – Mental Health Services Attracting Medicare Rebates.


Invitation to share your insights and experiences in treating mental health in general practice

The GPMHSC is seeking Medicare-registered GP providers of FPS to share their experiences and insights on treating mental health conditions in the general practice setting.


A carer’s perspective on grief and mental illness

By sharing personal experiences and interactive conversations with carers and consumers, GPs have a unique opportunity to consider ways that could improve the mental healthcare they deliver.


PageAssist now available on the GPMHSC website

The GPMHSC website has a new tool that allows online users to better isolate and see menu items for better navigation. PageAssist allows website visitors the opportunity to modify the way they access online content to make it a more user-friendly experience.


Participate in online Ballint groups

Mental Health Professionals’ Network (MHPN) is seeking members to participate in monthly online multidisciplinary Ballint groups. Ballint groups seek to understand the meaning of a patient’s behaviour and symptoms through case presentations and can assist GPs with skills in reflective learning and professional development.


New FAQs on mental health training and education

GPs can access answers to commonly asked questions by viewing the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section available on the GPMHSC website.


For Training Providers

New Mental health training standards 2020–22

The GPMHSC has officially released the Mental health training standards 2020–22: A guide for training providers. The new standards provide training providers with knowledge around the specific requirements of accredited mental health training and CPD in mental health.


Re-accreditation of skill training activities for the 2020–22 triennium

Accredited training providers now have the opportunity to reaccredit their skills training activities for the 2020–22 CPD triennium.


New accreditation logos for skills training and CPD activities

The GPMHSC has designed new accreditation logos for training providers to include advertising material for the 2020–22 CPD triennium. The new logos will help GPs identify the type of accreditation when seeking mental health training and education courses to complete.


The GPMHSC quality assurance program

The GPMHSC has recently reviewed its quality assurance assessment (QAA) process and would like to encourage all training providers to access the updated information by visiting the GPMHSC website.


Sourcing carer and consumer representatives in mental health

Mental Health Australia (MHA) may be able to assist training providers with finding consumer and carer representatives in mental health. The MHA website provides representative profiles for current register members according to their home state and territory.



What's coming up?

International conference on mental health wellness and positive mental health
Thursday to Friday 27–28 February 2020
Metro Aspire Hotel, Sydney
383–389 Bulwara Road Ultimo, Sydney NSW 2007
More information
Mental Health across the Lifespan Conference 2020
Tuesday to Wednesday 17–18 March 2020
Pullman Melbourne Albert Park
65 Queens Road, Albert Park VIC 3004
More information
2020 Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference
Monday to Tuesday 30–31 March 2020
Mantra Legends Surfers Paradise
25 Laycock Street, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217
More information
Community Mental Health Australia – Third National NDIS and Mental Health Conference
Monday to Tuesday 30–31 March 2020
Adelaide Convention Centre
North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
More information


Accredited mental health education and training

Visit the GPMHSC website for available dates and course details.

Mental health CPD
Visit the GPMHSC website for available dates and course details.

Visit the GPMHSC website for available dates and course details.

Visit the GPMHSC website for available dates and course details.