Integrated Mental Health Pathway - Stepped Approach

Initiative Type
Model of Care
11 September 2017
Last updated
10 September 2019


The project supports the development and implementation of the South West Integrated Mental Healthcare (SWMHP) plan over the next two years. The SWMHP aims to transform the existing National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Stepped Care Model into the Stepped Pathway Program of mental health care. This will result in a more sustainable model for long term staff development, client general practice (GP) management, staff recruitment and retention and ensuring clients are transitioned on the best care pathway.

The SWHHS will work in partnership with the Western Queensland Primary Health Network (WQPHN) to ensure the General Practice’s (GPs) are on board with the project and have their support in getting the Stepped Pathway implemented across the SWHHS and region. WQPHN regional mental health planning and commissioning of services will be founded upon a stepped care approach.

This project provides an innovative integrated mindset to mental health care and subsequently chronic disease management and multi organisation care coordination in the South West.

Key dates
Jan 2016
Jan 2018
Implementation sites
South West Hospital and Health Service
Healthcare Improvement Unit, Western PHN


Transform existing mental health services to a NICE Stepped Care approach


  • Increased training (and subsequent use of)  nurse graduates in mental health
  • Development of an early intervention program and framework for children with behavioural and psychological needs
  • Increased training / education of GPs in mental health
  • Shared information IT solution


The ICIF provides financial support to innovative projects that deliver better integration of care, address fragmentation in services and provide high-value healthcare. Funded projects also demonstrate a willingness to embrace and encourage the uptake of new technology alongside the benefits of integrating care and improving communication between health care sectors.

Solutions Implemented

  • Mental Health Pharmaceutical Education to clinical staff in the SWHHS and Non-Government employed clinicians.
  • Developed a Stepped-care pathway Model for Hospital, and Multipurpose Health Services on Mental-Health presentations.
  • Implemented a Nurse Graduate Program for Community based Mental Health in the SWHHS. Building our own staff.
  • Dual Diagnosis Education Modules available to staff of the SWHHS through Leaning on Line application and provided knowledge base to external clinicians for accesses Dual Diagnosis focused modules form outside SWHHS.
  • Delivery of Mental Health Risk Assessment knowledge to build capacity in the Emergency Department and provide external clinicians knowledge on how consumers are assessed in our organisation.
  • Delivery of Mental-Health first aide to communities across the region and support for other community based mental health information and training sessions.
  • Delivered Paediatric Early intervention program across all schools across the region who expressed an interest to participate.
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Key contact

Danielle Walton
Project Officer – Integrated Mental Healthcare
South West Hospital and Health Service
(07) 4505 1547