Queensland ML doubles GP mental health services referrals

Metro North Brisbane ML (MNBML) has responded to a recent spike in its ATAPS funding by easing its “demand management strategies” and boosting the number of mental health referrals GPs can make from 12 to 24.

“Since becoming a Medicare Local we have an increased amount of money to spend, so we have been able to support far more clients and will continue to support far more clients under ATAPS than we have in previous years,” MNBML mental health services manager Tonita Taylor said.

Demand for mental health services had risen quickly with a “significant increase” in referrals in the final six months of 2012, she said.

The recent murder-suicide of a father and his two-year-old son, after plunging from the nearby Story Bridge, had put the importance of access to mental health services “in people’s faces” said Ms Taylor.

GP groups have complained that significant cuts to mental health