The new online Mid and North Coast Mental Health Practitioner Directory was launched this week.
The directory will be a useful resource for GPs, specialists and allied health workers seeking localised referral pathways for patients with mental health support needs.
The directory will also be invaluable to local councils, community organisations and the broader health workforce – as well as members of the public.
Covering an area from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie, the directory already features about 150 mental health service providers, with more joining daily.
Joining the directory is easy. If you are a psychologist, psychiatrist, mental health social worker, mental health occupational therapist or credentialled mental health nurse in private practice, you are invited to jump online and list your services.
Dr Basia Radlinska, Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Supervisor at headspace in Coffs Harbour is a mental health provider who is already listed in the directory. She couldn’t be more delighted to see its rollout.
‘Our healthcare system tends to be quite “siloed”, with healthcare and mental health care practitioners in their own practice and specialty areas, and perhaps not as aware as they would like to be of available local services,’ Dr Radlinska said.
‘The new mental health directory offers a great mechanism for doctors to be able to find the right connections with locally accessible mental health care providers for their clients.
‘Not only is that information embedded in the directory by the mental health care providers themselves, but they can also update their information in real time. This includes being able to include information about their specialties and their appointment waiting times, which can be updated at any time by the provider.’
Healthy North Coast CEO Julie Sturgess said the launch of the of the Mid and North Coast Mental Health Practitioner Directory was a significant milestone for the region.
‘We have desperately needed this resource and I commend all those who have contributed to making this dream a reality,’ Ms Sturgess said.
‘Displaying waiting times for appointments is one of the most important aspects of the new directory. GPs can now quickly see which mental health specialists are taking new clients and what their wait times for appointments are.
‘This provides GPs with the opportunity to find an alternative practitioner who may have shorter wait times if an appointment is required more urgently.’
HealthPathways Clinical Editor Dr Hilton Koppe welcomed the new directory, saying it would make it much easier for GPs to access up-to-date information when referring patients to mental health practitioners.
‘I have been keen for something like this for many years,’ Dr Koppe said. ‘It’s great to see it come to fruition.’
If you have any further questions about the Mid and North Coast Mental Health Practitioner Directory, please contact Hamza Vayani: