Mental Health

Image of a woman looking out of frame with jigsaw puzzle pieces flowing out of her hear (mental health image)South Western Sydney PHN has commissioned newly-developed services to accommodate the primary mental healthcare needs of groups in the region who are unlikely to access mental health services through Medicare’s Better Access initiative.

The services, listed below, aim to meet the mental health needs of many key priority groups under a stepped model of care.

They were developed by extensive consumer, carer, health professional and other stakeholder consultation and engagement.

Referral forms for these services can be found under Health Professionals > Practice Support > Forms and Templates

GPs can access the services through the Mental Health Central Intake number, and fax.


South Western Sydney PHN Mental Health Central Intake:

Enquiries: 1300 797 746 (1300 SWS PHN)

All referrals fax to: 4623 1796

e-Mental Health Toolkit

Mental Health Services

Mental Health Services Brochure - Information for GPs and Health Providers

                                                                                                        Connector Hub


South Western Sydney PHN's Mental Health team:

Chris JonesMental Health Manager
Education: Dual Major in Health Management and Health Promotion, Post Graduate Diploma in Health Promotion, Masters in Health Services Management, Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management, Certificate IV in Mental Health, Certificate IV in Assessment and Training, Master Mental Health First Aid instructor.
Role: Leading SWSPHN's primary mental health reform to ensure that tailored, accessible and meaningful programs are commissioned consistent with a stepped care approach.
Contact details: Email or phone 4632 3066, or 0434 318 087.

Rhonda Simpson, Mental Health Program Advisor
Education: Bachelor of Social Work with Distinction, University of Western Sydney
Role: Central intake, Underserviced Groups and Regional Suicide Prevention
Contact details: Email, or phone 4632 3004, or 0499 055 231

Jade WeidnerMental Health Program Advisor
Education: Bachelor of Health Science (Health Services Management and Health Promotion)
Role/Portfolio Focus: Child, Youth, Low Intensity and Aboriginal Mental Health. Development and management of Recovery Point App
Contact: Email or phone 4632 3081, or 0427 325 607.

Pritika Desai, Mental Health Program Advisor
Education: BSc Zoology (Hons.), GradCert Development Administration
Role: Complex Care Initiatives. No Wrong Door Initiative coordination
Contact: Email or phone 4632 3085, or 0434 313 994.

David DonatiniMental Health Program Support Officer/Intake Officer
Education: Cert IV Disability, Cert IV in Training & Assessment
Role: Provide general support for Mental Health team. Central intake for SWSPHN commissioned mental health services
Contact: Email or phone 4632 3077 or 0427 378 225.



Stepped care is a model of evidence based mental healthcare delivery where the service intensity is matched to individual need/severity of the mental illness, ensuring that the right service is delivered at the right place, at the right time. The ideal intervention is the least intensive and least intrusive. Importantly, the decision is driven by person centred approach as oppose to one-size-fits-all. The continuum of care is self-correcting requiring monitoring of patient outcomes so that step-up or step-down may be implemented as appropriate.

Stepped Care is underpinned by ten comprehensive key principals for effective and inclusive service provision. These principals aim to provide flexible service delivery and referral pathways to a range of accessible integrated services which match individual need. Mental Health supports (including psychological therapies) are evidenced based and clinically governed. Crisis pathways are made available to those with urgent needs and services within the stepped care model are also designed to target underserviced groups who are at risk and adaptive to the needs of the local community. All services provided should include a recovery oriented approach, which aims to equip consumers with the options and tools required to reach their goals. 

Following findings from the mental health reforms a renewed focus for low intensity and early intervention services has been introduced in SWS including clinical and non-clinical services to capture a larger percentage of the population in our region. Low intensity services are designed to support individuals to manage day-to-day pressures and to limit potential mental health decline by supporting individuals to work towards practical goals for change whilst building resilience.

SWSPHN has adopted the stepped care model into their collaboratively designed suite of mental health programs to accommodate treatment for all levels of mental illness severity in the local community. Our approved referrers and central intake team will work with the client to determine the most appropriate service, supporting them to transition up and down as required.






GP resources

A Manual of Mental Health Care in General Practice

Mental Health Services Brochure - Information for GPs and Health Providers - 2019