The Black Dog Institute’s StepCare Service is an evidence-informed, mental health service.
It is designed to integrate easily into a general practice’s workflow and assist GPs to provide timely, cost-efficient, early intervention and treatment for Australians with anxiety and depression.
The Institute aims to have mental health viewed and managed in the same way that physical health is, through regular screening, referrals, and monitoring of patients.
The StepCare Service is informed by evidence, stakeholder consultations and international guidelines, and is designed to:
- Identify adults with anxiety, depression or risky drinking.
- Recommend evidence-based, stepped care treatment.
- Monitor patient symptoms to provide feedback.
The Institute says early detection and intervention can prevent the development of anxiety and depression. It can also reduce the severity, duration, and impact of symptoms.
In Australia, one in five people aged 16-85 experience a mental health illness every year. Almost half of the population will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. The most common mental health illnesses are depression, anxiety and substance use disorder.
Of people experiencing a mental health illness, 65 per cent do not seek access to any treatment. Further, the proportion of people with mental illness who access treatment is half that of people with physical disorders.