North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) is funded to provide Mental Health Nursing Services (MHNS) throughout the North Coast. These services were formerly known as the mental health nurse incentive program (MHNIP).
The MHNS program engages community-based general practices, private psychiatric practices and mental health nurses to assist in the provision of coordinated clinical care for people with severe mental health disorders.
MHNS target clients with severe mental disorders during periods of significant disability with services maintained until the client’s disorder is no longer significantly impacting their social, personal and work life. Mental Health Nurses work with psychiatrists and general practitioners to deliver a range of services and support, for example, monitoring a client’s mental health, managing their medication and improving linkages with health professionals and clinical service providers. These services are provided in a variety of settings tailored to meet the individual needs of the client.
Mental Health Nurses engaged in the MHNS program are nationally credentialed by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and demonstrate established professional nursing practice standards through education, practice experience, professional development and professional integrity.
MHNS client eligibility and referral is determined by GPs and psychiatrists and must meet the below criteria:
- Diagnosed with a mental illness disorder
- The disorder is significantly impacting the client’s social, personal and work life
- The client has been hospitalised at least once for treatment for their disorder, or at risk of hospitalisation if appropriate treatment and care is not provided
- The client’s GP or psychiatrist has primary responsibility for the client’s clinical mental health care
- The client has consented to receive services and/or support from a mental health nurse
Together with the mental health nurse, a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan is developed by GPs or an equivalent plan developed by psychiatrists. These plans include specific reference to the roles and responsibilities of both the mental health nurse and the treating GP. Services and support are provided according to the plan with GPs and psychiatrists regularly reviewing plans with the mental health nurse.
For further information regarding the MHNS program contact:
This is one of several key programs adopted on the North Coast to improve the access to and quality of mental health services in our region.