Mental Health Treatment Plans

Mental health treatment plans

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Mental Health
Treatment Plans
A guide for health professionals
working in general or private practice
How to Prepare a Mental Health
Treatment Plan
Patients with a mental health condition, Plan
including those with a chronic or
non-chronic diagnosis, benefit from Preparing a Mental Health Treatment Plan must
structured management of their treatment include:
needs and referral to appropriate services. • discussing the assessment with the patient,
including the diagnosis and recording of this
A Mental Health Treatment Plan (also known as diagnosis in the Plan
a Mental Health Care Plan) must be completed • identifying and discussing referral and treatment
when referring a patient to a psychiatrist, options with the patient, including appropriate
psychologist, eligible social workers or support services
occupational therapists (providing focused • developing goals with the patient – what should
psychological strategies) through the Medicare be achieved by the treatment - and any actions the
patient will take
Benefits Schedule (MBS)

• provision of psycho-education – see page 4 for
Referrals made under the Better Access initiative more information
or the Access to Allied Psychological Services • a plan for crisis intervention and/or for relapse
(ATAPS) program both requires a Mental Health prevention (if required)
Treatment Plan. (For more information about • making arrangements for required referrals,
these programs go to page 4). treatment, appropriate support services, review and
This guide provides useful information on how • documenting the assessment and plan in the
to complete the Mental Health Treatment Plan. patient’s Mental Health Treatment Plan – see page 5
for more information
Assess, Plan, Refer
Preparing a Mental Health Treatment Depending on your patients’ needs you can make
Plan for your patients will involve both a referral direct to a psychologist, psychiatrist,
assessing the patient and preparing the counselling service or occupational therapist -
through the Better Access Program, or through the
Mental Health Treatment Plan document. Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS)
CAREinMINDTM program

An assessment of a patient must include:
• recording the patient’s consent for the Mental
Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS)
Health Treatment Plan Medicare items for Mental Health Treatment Plans,
Reviews and Consultations are available for patients
• taking relevant history (biological, psychological, living in the community (or privately funded
social) including the presenting complaint residents of aged care facilities)

• conducting a mental state examination (MSE) – MBS items 2700, 2701, 2715 or 2717 can be claimed

see page 3 for more information MBS item 2712 is used when reviewing the GP
• assessing associated risks and any co-morbidity Mental Health Treatment Plan

• making a diagnosis Please note: The assessment can be part of the
same consultation in which the Mental Health
• administering an outcome measurement tool - Treatment Plan is developed, or they can be
see page 3 for more information undertaken in different visits

For more information about the MBS items go to
Appendix 1

Mental Health Treatment Plan
Does your patient already have a To find out if your patient has had a MHTP
Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP) ? in the past 12 months call Medicare
Australia on 132 150
If no, complete a new Exceptional Circumstances
Mental Health Treatment Plan A new MHTP may be required within a
Use MBS items: 2700, 2701, 2715, 2717 12 month period if your patient has had a:
• Significant change to their mental
Assess the Patient • Change of clinical service and you are
unable to obtain a copy of the MHTP

• Record consent
• (Use MBS items: 2700, 2701, 2715, 2717 +
• Take relevant history ‘exceptional circumstances’)
• Conduct mental state examination • More information:
• Assess the associated risk and any comorbidity
• Make diagnosis or formualtion
• Administer outcome measurement tool
Access to Allied Psychological Services
• Discuss assessment with the patient • Referrals to centralised intake system at
• Identify and discuss referral and treatment North Western Melbourne PHN
options with the patient • Eligible patients: health care card, low
• Agree on goals with the patient income

• Document the above steps in the MHTP • Free service
• GP and patient sign and date the plan
Better Access
• Referral direct to a psychologist,
psychiatrist, counselling service or
Referral occupational therapist

Refer patient to an appropriate service/clinician as • Medicare rebates available
agreed with the patient. Include:
• Referral Data Form (if referring to ATAPS)
• MHTP Further information:
• number of sessions required. • North Western Melbourne PHN: or 9347 1188
• Medicare (claims and item enquiries):
(Use MBS item 2712)
After the initial course of treatment (usually 6
sessions) a review of the patient’s progress against
the goals outlined in the MHTP is required

• Discuss progress with the patient
• Assess need for further treatment
• Re-administer the outcome measurement tool
• Offer a copy of the reviewed plan to the patient
- Add to patient’s records
- Send a copy of the reviewed plan to service
Mental Health Treatment Plan-
step by step
Review Mental State Examination (MSE)
After the initial course of treatment (usually 6 It is recommended that all components of the MSE
sessions) a formal review (MBS item 2712) of the should be considered at each assessment:
patient’s progress against their Mental Health
• Appearance
Treatment Plan and their need for further treatment
is required. The mental health service provider will • Behaviour
usually make a request for a review at this time. • Speech
• Content of speech
Please note: You do not have to complete another
• Mood and affect
Mental Health Treatment Plan

• Thought
The review must be completed in person with the • Perception
patient and include: • Cognition
• recording the patient’s agreement for the service • Insight
• review of the patient’s progress against the goals
outlined in the Mental Health Treatment Plan For more detail about conducting the MSE go to
• modifying the Plan (if required) appendix 2

• checking, reinforcing and expanding education
• a plan for crisis intervention and/or for relapse Outcome Measurement Tools
prevention, if appropriate and if not previously
provided Outcome Measurement Tools include:
• re-administration of the outcome measurement • Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS21)
tool used in the assessment stage
• Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10)
A copy of the reviewed Plan must be offered to the • Short Form Health Survey (SF12)
patient (or carer, if appropriate) and a copy of the • Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS)
reviewed Plan added to the patient’s records

It is at the discretion of the practitioner as to which
outcome tool is used

A copy of the review must be sent to the
CAREinMIND team at NWMPHN if the patient
is accessing ATAPS. Sessions 7-12 will continue If you are not familiar with the Outcome
after the review has been received and Measurement Tools or would like more information,
processed by NWMPHN. training and education is available through
the General Practice Mental Health Standards
Department of Health and Human Services, 2016, GP Mental

Health Treatment Medicare Items,
Psycho-education Better Access and ATAPS
Psycho-education occurs in a range of To determine whether Better Access or ATAPS is the
contexts and may be conducted by a variety of most appropriate referral option for your patient,
professionals, each with a different emphasis. In refer to appendix 4

general, however, four broad goals direct most
psycho-education efforts: ATAPS CAREinMIND
1. Information transfer (as when clients/patients Access to ATAPS is a free, short term service
and their families and carers learn about symptoms, assisting people to a range of mental health issues
causes, and treatment concepts). including:
• anxiety (e.g. sleep difficulties, panic attacks and
2. Emotional discharge (a goal served as the
general stress)
patient/client or family ventilates frustrations during
the sessions, or exchanges with similar others their • depression (e.g. low mood, poor motivation,
experiences of the problem). low self-esteem)
• perinatal depression
3. Support of a medication or other treatment,
as cooperation grows between professional and • drug and/or alcohol misuse
client/patient and adherence and compliance
• relationship and family difficulties
issues diminish

(e.g. conflict, separation, parenting difficulties)
4. Assistance toward self-help (that is, training • life transition, and
in aspects such as prompt recognition of crisis
• bereavement

situations and knowledge of steps to be taken)

Specialist services are also available to support
Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, 2014,
children and young people, and people at risk of
Psychoeducation: Definition, Goals and Methods,

suicide or self-harm

Referring to ATAPS CAREinMIND
Mental Health Treatment Plan -
Templates Referring GPs must provide both a completed
referral data form and mental health treatment plan
To ensure all relevant information is provided and when referring to ATAPS CAREinMIND™ (NB: An
to support the most appropriate referral for your exception is the ATAPS Suicide Prevention Service,
patient it is recommended to use a Mental Health which does not require a mental health treatment
Treatment Plan template. Templates are available plan)

Referral forms and the mental health treatment plan
• North Western Melbourne PHN: www.nwmphn. template are available on our website:
• The Royal Australian College of General
Practitioners (RACGP): For further information about referring to ATAPS
education/gpmhsc/gps/gp-mental-health- CAREinMIND
treatment-plan-templates/ Contact: ATAPS CAREinMIND Coordinator
Please note: It is not mandatory to use any Phone: (03) 9088 4277
particular form when preparing and claiming for a Secure Fax: (03) 9348 0750
Mental Health Treatment Plan, but it is mandatory
to document all of the Medicare requirements (as Email: [email protected]
outlined in Appendix 3)

Mental Health Treatment Plan
Below is a good example of a patients Mental Health Treatment Plan. It includes
all of the Medicare requirements to ensure the patient receives the best possible
treatment for their mental health condition

Case Study Example
Provided below is a case study of a patient
presenting with a mental health disorder

The case study demonstrates a good
example of the presenting issue, patient
history, risks and co-morbidities and the
patient plan (requirements of the Mental
Health Treatment Plan)

Case study - Jack
Presenting problem: Risk:
Jack is a 55 year old male presenting with Jack reports ongoing suicidal thoughts with no plan
depression and anxiety. Jack lost his job two years or intent. He said he couldn’t do that to his children

ago following his position being made redundant He has not made any attempts in the past

and reports worsening of symptoms since this time

Jack reports frequent alcohol consumption, 2-3
Jack lives on his own. He has two adult children. drinks per day. He said he enjoys drinking in the
evening as he finds it relaxing

He identifies one good friend who he has known
Jack reports experiencing depression and since he was a teenager that is a good support for
anxiety for most of his adult life. He has been him

on antidepressants in the past (many years ago)
however ceased them due to unwanted side effects Jack wants help however reluctant to commence
of nausea. Jack accessed counselling around the antidepressants. He is keen to commence
time he separated from his wife (5 years ago). He counselling

reports that he found it helpful

Jack reports no family history of mental illness, • Commence antidepressant
however said that his brother has had issues with
illicit substance use in the past. • Refer to ATAPS
• Review in a weeks’ time
• Provide patient with phone numbers to Psych
Triage and Lifeline
GP Mental Health Treatment
Better Access to Mental Health initiative
Patients with a mental health condition, including those with chronic or non-chronic diagnosis, benefit from structured management
of their treatment needs and referral to appropriate services. Medicare items for GP Mental Health Treatment Plans (GPMHTP),
Reviews and consultations are available for patients living in the community (or privately funded residents of aged care facilities)

[Dementia, delirium, tobacco use and mental retardation are not included in criteria for these services.]
Fee Service description Frequency
item training requirement
2700 * $71.70 no at least 20 mins †
Not within 12 months of a claim
Preparation of a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan * for 2700. 2701, 2715 or 2717 (a
2701 * $105.55 no at least 40 mins Involves: an assessment (agreement, history, examination, risks, diagnosis, new plan should not be prepared
2715 measurement tool) and preparation of a plan (discuss the assessment and referral unless clinically required)

$91.05 yes at least 20 mins options, agree goals, provide psycho-education, plan prevention, make support †
* Not within 3 months of a claim
2717 arrangements). Document the assessment, plan and review date

$134.10 yes at least 40 mins for item 2712

Review of GP Mental Health Treatment Plan or Psychiatrist Assessment and Review 1-6 months from
Management Plan * preparing the GPMHTP

2712 $71.70 - - Involves: recording patient agreement, reviewing progress against goals, modifying Further review 3 months after
plan as required, reinforcing education, developing a relapse prevention strategy and †
first, if required

re-administration of the measurement tool (unless clinically inappropriate)

GP consultation in relation to a mental disorder **
Involves: taking relevant history, identifying presenting problem(s), providing treatment
2713 ** $71.70 - at least 20 mins No restriction

and advice, providing referral for other services or treatments and documenting the
outcomes of the consultation

 To use these items recognised GP mental health skills training is required. It is strongly recommended that GPs preparing mental health treatment plans have appropriate training. Contact
Appendix 1 – MBS Item Numbers
GPMHSC re training options: Tel 03 8699 0554 or email [email protected]
* Service not associated with a service to which item 2713 or 735 to 758 applies

** Service not associated with a service to which item 2700, 2701, 2715, 2717 or 2712 applies

† Except where there has been a significant change in the patient's clinical or care circumstances that requires the preparation of a new GPMHTP / Review

• Treatment options include psychiatrist, psychologist, trained GP or allied mental health professional; pharmacological and/or community services

• Referral: patients with GPMHTP prepared within last 12 months eligible for up to ten Medicare services per calendar year, from clinical psychologists,
trained social workers or occupational therapists providing focused psychological strategies. Maximum of six visits in any one referral. Following
feedback from the service, make a further referral if indicated (up to the total of 10 per calendar year). Additionally, up to ten group sessions can be

• Before making a claim read the item descriptors & explanatory notes at:
• For fact sheets, Q&A, and templates see:
• See also ATAPS CAREinMINDTM information:
P (03) 9347 1188 | F (03) 9347 7433 | Level 1, 369 Royal Parade | PO Box 139 Parkville VIC 3052 |
Appendix 2 – Mental State
Examination (MSE)
All components of the MSE (listed below) • The form of speech may indicate a disorder of
should be considered when assessing the thought form. In persons who have a neurological
or specific speech disorder (e.g. stuttering) this may
patient. not be the case

Content of speech
• All aspects of the person’s appearance including
• The overarching and characteristic themes of
facial appearance, clothing, grooming and self-care
the person’s conversation, including the positivity
are observed

or negativity of these themes, the normality of
content and any evident preoccupations should be
noted here

• The attitude of the person to the examination,
Mood and affect
and any counter transference experienced by the
examiner (e.g. a sense of threat or discomfort) can
• Mood is a person’s prevailing emotional
also be noted at this point

state, and affect is the observed responsiveness
of their emotional state. A person may have a
predominantly elevated mood and a highly
reactive and labile affect, veering rapidly from
• The person’s posture and level of activity are
enthusiasm to anxiety to irritability to laughter

important and may give clues about their mood, for
instance psychomotor retardation in depression

• If the person’s mood appears depressed,
questions probing suicidal ideation should be asked

• Some disorders and side effects are also
associated with particular movement disorders,
e.g. tremor and bradykinesia (abnormally slow
movement) with Parkinson’s disease or the
• Thought is not directly observable, it is inferred
extrapyramidal side-effects of antipsychotic
from observing speech and behaviour. The

quantity of thought should be noted: poverty of
thought may occur in depression, dementia or
• Specific movement patterns such as echopraxia
schizophrenia. The rate of thought is affected in a
(involuntary imitation of the movements of others)
similar manner to the rate of speech for the most
may indicate catatonia

part: many people with mania have pressure of
thought and some people with depression have
• The person’s composure and distractibility
bradyphrenia (slowed thought stream)

during the interview should be noted

• The form of thought may indicate specific
problems. Several types of thought disorder,
such as tangentiality, derailment and neologisms
• The spontaneity of speech is important. Some
may indicate psychosis. Clanging or punning
people with depression or the negative symptoms
associations are often indicative of mania and
of schizophrenia display little or no spontaneity,
thought blocking and echolalia (automatic
and a lack may also be observable in catatonia

repetition of another’s words) may indicate the
presence of catatonia. Thought disorder may be so
• The volume of voice and rate of speech may be
severe that no sense can be made of the person’s
raised in anxiety, mania or anger, and lowered in
conversation (‘word salad’)

depression. Similarly, these conditions may affect
the quantity of speech

• The content of thought may include delusional
thinking: a fixed false belief that is not normal for the
• The flow and interruptibility of speech may also
person’s background. The nature of the delusion
be affected, for instance in mania the speech may
and the degree of conviction with which it is held
be pressured and it may be impossible to redirect
may be very important in determining risk

the person from their topic of choice

Appendix 2 – Mental State
Examination (MSE) continued
Suicidal and homicidal ideas, and the presence and
nature of any obsessions, are also considered in
thought content

Perception Cognition
• Hallucinations (a perception in the absence of • This involves assessing the person’s orientation
sensory stimulus) may affect any sense (auditory, in time, place and person

tactile, olfactory, visual and gustatory)

• If this appears in any way impaired, then a
• The most common type of hallucination in subtest called the Mini Mental State Examination
mental illness is auditory. (MMSE) may be performed. MMSE may reveal
underlying cognitive impairment for further
• It is particularly important to enquire about investigation and diagnostic clarification

command hallucinations, where individuals hear
and sometimes obey voices that command them Insight
to perform certain acts - especially if that may
influence them to engage in behaviour that is • A complex and highly individualised concept

dangerous to themselves or others. It includes an account of the person’s perception
of the nature of the problem, the cause of the
• Illusions are similar to hallucinations, but involve problem, why it continues to be a problem and
misperception of a real stimulus. what might be done to help resolve the problem

• Depersonalisation and derealisation are odd Mental Health Professional Online Development (MHPOD),
experiences where the person feels as though 2004, Mental State Examination (MSE),
either they themselves or the world around them assets/sample_topics/combined/Mental_health_histories_and_
are unreal. Both are often associated with anxiety. MSE/3MHHM_objective2/index.html
Appendix 3 - Mental Health
Treatment Plan – Medicare
• Patient’s name
• Date of birth
• Address
• Phone
• Carer details and/or emergency contact(s)
• GP name/practice
• Other care plan e.g. GPMP/TCA (yes/no)
• AHP or nurse currently involved in patient care
• Medical records no

• Presenting issue(s) - what are the patient’s
current mental health issues
• Patient history - record relevant biological,
psychological and social history including any
family history of mental disorders and any relevant
substance abuse or physical health problems
• Medications (attach information if required)
• Allergies
• Any other relevant information
• Results of mental state examination - record after
patient has been examined
• Risks and co-morbidities - note any associated
risks and co-morbidities including risks of self-harm
and/or harm to others
• Outcome tool used and results
• Diagnosis
Department of Health and Human Services, 2016, GP mental
health treatment plan sample template - Better Access program,

Templates To ensure all relevant information is provided and to support the most appropriate referral for your patient it is recommended to use a Mental Health Treatment Plan template. Templates are available from: • North Western Melbourne PHN: www.nwmphn. • The Royal Australian College of General

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to write a treatment plan therapy?

  • Name of client and diagnosis.
  • Long term goal (such as client stating, "I want to heal my depression.")
  • Short terms goals or objectives (Client will reduce depression severity from 8/10 to 5/10 within six months). ...
  • Clinical interventions/Type of services (individual, group therapy, Cognitive-behavioral therapy, etc)

More items...

How do you create a treatment plan?

  • A treatment plan should include direct input from the client. The counselor and client decide, together, what goals should be included in the treatment plan and the strategies that will ...
  • Ask the client what he would like to work on in treatment. ...
  • Try using a form found online for creating goals. ...

How can a therapeutic treatment plan help you?

Treatment plans can help smooth any potential bumps in treatment, especially if a client requires a kind of treatment the primary therapist cannot provide (e.g., a certain type of intervention or a prescription for medication) or must see a new therapist for some other reason (e.g., if the client or therapist has moved, or the therapist is on ...

How do you write a counseling treatment plan?

  • Defining the problem or ailment
  • Describing the treatment prescribed by the health/ mental health professional
  • Setting a timeline for treatment progress (whether it’s a vague timeline or includes specific milestones)
  • Identifying the major treatment goals
  • Noting important milestones and objectives