Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care

Is the Far West Mental Health Integration Project Making a Difference? The General Practitioner Perspective

David Perkins and David Lyle

Australian Journal of Primary Health 11(3) 32 - 37
Published: 2005


This paper reports on the evaluation of an Australian Government and NSW State funded Mental Health Integration Project in remote far western NSW. The project was part of the Mental Health Integration Program, developed from the Second National Mental Health Plan. The project implemented a model of community-based mental health services and used innovative financing arrangements to allow the provision of community-based specialist mental health teams to remote communities and to recruit visiting psychiatrists to support the local primary care providers. The evaluation strategy included a survey of general practitioners (GPs) in the Upper Western Sector and Broken Hill, designed to investigate their level and type of contact with psychiatrists and community-based specialist mental health care teams, their perceptions about the impact of the new services, and their interest in further professional development in mental health care.The project has shown that visiting specialists can be deployed in a primary care setting with a focus on meeting the needs of local GPs, primary health care staff and their patients.

© La Trobe University 2005

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