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2 May 2017

GPMHSC eNewsletter – Autumn 2017

Message from the Chair

Greetings from the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration (GPMHSC) and welcome to the autumn edition e-newsletter.

The GPMHSC has been busy working with training providers on reaccreditation of their activities ensuring the continuing high standards of mental health training for general practitioners (GPs). Please let the secretariat know if you have any questions or queries about the accreditation of programs for this triennium. Contact the GPMHSC via email or call 03 8699 0556.

The GPMHSC have also been working with Focussed Psychological Strategies (FPS) providers to ensure they retain their provider status in this triennium. I am happy to report that there has been a good response from GPs in renewing their FPS compliance, so that they continue to play an important role in mental health therapy for their communities. Undertaking FPS skills training can enable GPs to deliver a range of therapies themselves when treating patients with mental health issues rather than referring them to a new provider. If you are interested, you can read about undertaking FPS skills training.

I have also recently met with key Department of Health officials as they welcome the new Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, who has admirably placed mental health at the top of his agenda. The GPMHSC look forward to important announcements in the coming months, including the revised Fifth Mental National Health Plan.   

As we head towards the busy time of the year, remember that there are a number of excellent mental health and FPS Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities available and accredited by the GPMHSC. Check our website for details.

Assoc Prof Morton Rawlin

For GPs

Medicare reporting requirements

If you have recently completed Mental Health Skills Training and are wishing to be reported to Medicare to claim the higher MBS item numbers, please contact the GPMHSC and advise us of your Medicare provider number. Without this detail, you cannot be reported. Contact GPMHSC via email or call 03 8699 0556. 

World Health Day

On 7 April, the World Health Organization (WHO) marked World Health Day. This year, the WHO are focusing on depression. Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. The campaign Let’s Talk will run up until World Mental Health Day in October and the global initiative have a range of promotions that everyone can use. See more information on the WHO website

headspace – Promoting good youth mental health

Youth mental health organisation headspace have released a new resource aimed at young girls. Working in conjunction with the Supré Foundation, the pocket-sized booklet Bullying. So not OK aims to help young people stand up to bullying behaviour. For more information, see the headspace website.

headspace also recently celebrated one year since launching the online anti-bullying platform, Reword. The platform works to identify cruel or intimidating language in real time, prompting users to reconsider their messages or social media posts.

National LGBTI Health Alliance

Earlier in the year, the national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) Health Alliance released a Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Strategy to respond to factors that contribute to over-representation of LGBTI people in mental health and suicide statistics. Visit the website for strategy outlines key goals and actions. 

Diabetes and emotional health

The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) has developed evidence-based resources to support health professionals identify, address and communicate about emotional health problems during consultations with adults living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes

Register for a free electronic copy of a handbook and accompanying toolkit. 

For training providers

Medicare reporting requirements for GPs

Be aware that in order for the GPMHSC to report GP completions of MHST to Medicare, a provider number must be included. Please advise GPs attending your activities to contact the GPMHSC and advise of their Medicare provider number. Without this detail, GPs cannot be reported to enable eligibility to claim the higher MBS item numbers. Contact GPMHSC via email or call 03 8699 0556. 

Opportunities to develop clinical enhancement modules

The GPMHSC is encouraging training providers to develop activities tailored to specific at-risk populations, such as:

If you would like further information, contact the GPMHSC secretariat via email or call 03 8699 0556.

Applying for course reaccreditation

The GPMHSC have been busy approving activities for reaccreditation for the 2017–19 triennium. If you have not yet done so, please take some time to review the details on our website, including the new standards, application forms and meeting dates.

Ensure that you have completed the reaccreditation process for the Education Activity Representatives (EARs) for the 2017–19 triennium QI&CPD Program. If you are unsure whether you have completed the entire training process, please contact your local QI&CPD office.

All applicants for the 2017–19 reaccreditation will need to respond to the content requirements in Section 6 of the form.

Also, you will need to provide:

  • a cover letter outlining any changes from the original application that have been incorporated into the activity for which you are now seeking accreditation
  • relevant attachments reflecting these changes (eg updated program outline, case studies used, participant activities, changes to predisposing and reinforcing activities)
  • a copy of an evaluation from report containing aggregated data from the activities conducted in the previous triennium. The report can be identical to the evaluation report submitted to the RACGP and/or ACRRM.

If you have significant changes to your program, you may need to consider a new application (using the same form). Please be aware that new applications will need to be considered by the Committee. 

Upcoming GP mental health training activities

Training activities

Look out for new activities available over the coming months. Access the list of available training opportunities.


Events of interest

Happiness & its causes
22 and 23 June 2017
International Convention Centre Sydney
More information

National Suicide Prevention Conference 2017
Sofitel Brisbane Central
26 to 29 July 2017
More information

18th International Mental Health Conference
21 to 23 August 2017
Conference Centre, Sea World Resort Qld
More information

7th International Carers Conference 2017
4 to 6 October 2017
Adelaide Convention Centre
More information

9th Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium
Impacts & Outcomes, Putting People First
11 to 13 October 2017
Commercial Club, Albury, NSW
Abstracts close 7 July 2017

19 to 21 October 2017
More information

26 to 28 October 2017
ICC Sydney
More information

In the media

News of interest

Tafe and university students at risk

Changing the statistics on depression

How ethnic and racial harassment damages mental health

Improving continuity of care through general practice

Parenting with a mental illness

Online psychological therapy can assist in reducing depression

New Government mental health advisory panel

Julia Gillard takes the reins of beyondblue

Lifeline turns to heavy industry for mental health message