Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN) knows that the mental health needs of people in the Gold Coast region are diverse, and a flexible and responsive system is essential to support the health and well-being of the community. GCPHN works to ensure there are a range of mental health services available with different levels of intensity, and that we have the right service mix and optimum service utilisation in the region.
Stepped care is an evidence-based approach that aims to match people to the right level of support to meet their current need. In a stepped care system, the care and supports around a person ‘expand’ as their needs increase. As a person recovers and their needs change, the level of care and supports can be decreased. Throughout a person’s recovery journey, there are different supports available to compliment support from their General Practitioner.
Within a stepped care approach, a person does not need to start at the lowest level of care to begin accessing supports. Additionally, the person is not restricted to a specific set of interventions; there are core supports and services that can be beneficial for all levels of need.
Stepped care provides guidance to Primary Health Networks in our role in planning, commissioning and coordinating primary mental health care services. GCPHN uses a stepped care approach to guide healthcare investment and ensure a range of services exist in the region to meet the different levels of need.