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Working alongside Head to Health services

Head to Health services include the national Head to Health Phone Service, Head to Health centres and Pop Up clinics. These services provide a safe and welcoming place for people who may be in distress or need help finding the right mental health support, and their loved ones.

Head to Health services can support people from all backgrounds with:

  • new or existing mental health concerns, and 
  • issues that affect their mental health and wellbeing, such as drug and alcohol use, or social and legal issues.

Head to Health services are available in each state and territory, with centres continuing to be rolled out nationally.

Read more about Head to Health services and their available locations.

How can Head to Health services support my patients?

Head to Health services are intended to complement, not replace, or duplicate, mental health services you already provide, or that are available in your local area.

Head to Health services use an ‘open door’ approach.

They provide: 

  • navigation and connection to the most appropriate service
  • free, immediate mental health support for people in distress or crisis
  • short to medium-term mental health care, and 
  • help connecting people to appropriate services if long-term care is needed. 

Services are staffed by multidisciplinary teams of trained professionals. This may include psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers, alcohol and drug workers and peer workers. These teams will collaborate with GPs to support their patients onsite or through telehealth services. 

When someone calls or visits a Head to Health service, a team member will work with them to best meet their individual needs. This may include:

  • support to access low-intensity services 
  • care provided at Head to Health sites, or at other community-based services 
  • warm referral into specialist or acute mental health services, including emergency care or community-based and in-patient mental health services. 

Head to Health also works closely with other mental health services within the local community.

Head to Health services are not designed to provide long term, ongoing mental health care.  

Head to Health services do not provide:

  • services for people who cannot be managed safely within the Head to Health service environment 
  • pathology, radiology, or pharmacy services 
  • ongoing, long-term psychosocial support or recreational services 
  • direct financial support 
  • residential or bed-based services, including short-stay services 
  • child and youth-specific services which could be provided more appropriately by headspace or similar organisations 
  • disability support services provided through the NDIS 
  • other services which are provided by other agencies in the area.

Anyone can access support provided through Head to Health services, with or without a referral or a mental health treatment plan. Head to Health will listen to your patient to understand their concerns, and work with them to determine the most appropriate care options to achieve their goals. In this case, you will be contacted to arrange shared care planning with your patient’s consent. 

Your patient may need a mental health treatment plan (MHTP) to access other Medicare-subsidised services. If this is required, a Head to Health team member will contact you.

Although referrals are not required, you are welcome to directly contact Head to Health on 1800 595 212 for information about Head to Health services and how they can best support your patient.

Yes, as long as your patient provides their consent. The use of shared care plans through a patient’s mental health journey is encouraged.

Head to Health is not a crisis service, so services are not available 24/7. Opening hours vary from site to site, but generally open for extended hours including weekends. Your patients will be able to use the Head to Health website to request a call back from a Head to Health site.