S44: How embedding a clinical staging approach into a mental health stepped care model enables provision of more tailored, responsive and effective care.

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By September 5, 2019 No Comments

Authors: Joel Robins, Emma Newton

Year: 2019

Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference

Subject: How embedding a clinical staging approach into a mental health stepped care model enables provision of more tailored, responsive and effective care.

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers



Joel is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker has a background in managing community mental health and AOD services. Joel’s interests are in service redesign and innovation. Joel’s current role involves planning a commissioning mental health and AOD services for EMPHN.

Dr Emma Newton is a Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience in clinical service delivery. Her research background includes a focus on early childhood and adolescent development and mental health. Emma has been involved in service re-design of mental health services in acute and more recently primary health and community settings.

Eastern Melbourne PHN Stepped Care Model is an evidence-based, staged system of care, comprising a range of support options of varying intensity to match the complexity and level of need for any given consumer. Once an assessment is complete, the most appropriate, cost effective level of care is provided, and then continually re-calibrated to the consumer’s changing needs. The model provides clear pathways between these care options as individuals' needs change.

Utilising clinical staging, allows for more appropriate, responsive and effective care. The model offers a range of modalities or ‘suite of services’ suitable for each clinical stage to reflect the spectrum of services from lowest to highest intensity.

In addition to defining the clinical stage, concurrent interventions can then be targeting associated needs in relation to physical health, education and employment, alcohol and other drug harm reduction, family and social functioning and suicide and self-harm reduction, considering ‘whole-person care and facilitating a person to live a ‘meaningful and contributing life’.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objective 1: How mental health stepped care model can drive more tailored, flexible and responsive interventions using multi disciplinary clinical and peer workforce.

Learning Objective 2: Delivering mental health reform and person centered care.


Hickie, I., Scott, J., and McGorry, P.D., (2013) Clinical staging for mental disorders: a new development in diagnostic practice in mental health. Med J Aust 2013; 198 (9): 461-462

Cross SP1, Hermens DF1, Scott EM1, Ottavio A1, McGorry PD1, Hickie IB1. A clinical staging model for early intervention youth mental health services. Psychiatry Services. 2014 Jul;65(7):939-43

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