Most Victorians with mental health issues access mental health services through their general practitioner or primary care provider, but people who are seriously affected by their illness can be referred to the specialist mental health service system.
Generally the impact or severity of the condition, rather than a specific diagnosis, triggers access to specialist mental health services. Specialist mental health services in Victoria are divided into two service delivery types: clinical and non-clinical.
Clinical services focus on assessment and treatment of people with a mental illness. These services are called area mental health services and are managed by general health facilities, such as hospitals.
Non-clinical services are called Mental Health Community Support Services (MHCSS). These focus on activities and programs that help people manage their own recovery and maximise their participation in community life.Both clinical and non-clinical services operate within geographically defined catchment areas.
Mental health services provide acute, subacute, specialist, residential, community inpatient and support services.
Statewide and specialist mental health services
Specialist mental health services in Victoria provide care for people of all ages.
Support and intervention services
Support and intervention services provide immediate help and support to people with a mental illness.
Mental Health Community Support Services
Mental Health Community Support Services are distinct from clinical mental health services.
Transport for people in mental health services
Transport for people with a mental illness should be appropriate to the person and their circumstances.
Language services – when to use them
Clients and carers have the right to access interpreters and to get information they can understand.
Reviewed 25 February 2022