Mental Health Initial Assessment and Referral Project

In 2019, the Commonwealth Government released the National Primary Health Network Guidance: Initial Assessment and Referral for Mental healthcare. This document sets out the requirements that Primary Health Networks (PHNs) throughout Australia are expected to follow to support nationally consistent evidence-informed Initial Assessment and Referral (IAR ) service.

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is seeking to develop an IAR service across the Perth North, Perth South and Country WA PHNs which aims to improve the consistency and quality of the mental health IAR processes leading to better treatment outcomes for people experiencing mental health issues.

In order to develop such a service, WAPHA is undertaking an IAR project which is anticipated to run until mid 2022. This project will involve the designing and piloting of a viable service model and plan for the IAR’s wide scale implementation.


GP Advisory Group

WA Primary Health Alliance is establishing a GP Advisory Group to support the development and piloting of a standardised Initial Assessment and Referral process for people with mild to moderate mental illness.

Nominations are invited from GPs who have:

  • expertise and/or experience in primary mental health care
  • work with people experiencing significant disadvantage and barriers to accessing appropriate mental health care, and
  • are committed in improving these services irrespective of expertise and/or experience.

Take a look at the Commonwealth Primary Health Network Guidance for an overview of the purpose and considerations of the Initial Assessment and Referral project.

Nominations have now closed. Please check back for updates.

if you have any queries about the GP Advisory Group, please contact Claire Walton, Project Officer via claire.walton@wapha.org.au


In 2019, the Commonwealth Government released the National Primary Health Network Guidance: Initial Assessment and Referral for Mental healthcare. This document sets out the requirements that Primary Health Networks (PHNs) throughout Australia are expected to follow to support nationally consistent evidence-informed Initial Assessment and Referral (IAR ) service.

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is seeking to develop an IAR service across the Perth North, Perth South and Country WA PHNs which aims to improve the consistency and quality of the mental health IAR processes leading to better treatment outcomes for people experiencing mental health issues.

In order to develop such a service, WAPHA is undertaking an IAR project which is anticipated to run until mid 2022. This project will involve the designing and piloting of a viable service model and plan for the IAR’s wide scale implementation.


GP Advisory Group

WA Primary Health Alliance is establishing a GP Advisory Group to support the development and piloting of a standardised Initial Assessment and Referral process for people with mild to moderate mental illness.

Nominations are invited from GPs who have:

  • expertise and/or experience in primary mental health care
  • work with people experiencing significant disadvantage and barriers to accessing appropriate mental health care, and
  • are committed in improving these services irrespective of expertise and/or experience.

Take a look at the Commonwealth Primary Health Network Guidance for an overview of the purpose and considerations of the Initial Assessment and Referral project.

Nominations have now closed. Please check back for updates.

if you have any queries about the GP Advisory Group, please contact Claire Walton, Project Officer via claire.walton@wapha.org.au


  • Initial Assessment and Referral Service update

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    The Initial Assessment and Referral (IAR) project seeks to establish consistent assessment and referral processes for people presenting at their GP with mild to moderate mental health conditions. It will include referrals to treatment supports that aim to keep individuals from dropping out of treatment programs. WA Primary Health Alliance is:

    1. designing a state-wide service that will support GPs in referring individuals to the most appropriate treatment and treatment support services;
    2. providing essential best practice tools to GPs including a standardised assessment tool and a Care Atlas of treatment and treatment support service providers,
    3. testing the service model in three pilot sites to understand the regional variations and test the integrity of the model.


    Significant progress toward establishing a service has been made since June.


    The project team has consulted with GPs, peak bodies, potential IAR service providers and consumers to develop a high-level service model. This has been tested in workshops with these stakeholder groups, producing some clear ’road signs’ to follow.


    The key features of the journey have been identified and the final stages of drafting are underway.Currently the project team is finalising the assessment tool for testing with the GP Reference Group and determining how the IAR service will be branded. The next steps will be to develop an Operations Manual and proceed onto the procurement of the IAR pilot service provider.


    For further information contact Marissa Pidgeon.