ATAPS Suicide Prevention GP

The ATAPS Suicide Prevention Priority Support Program provides immediate and short term support for people at increased suicide risk.
The program is currently available in Tamworth, Armidale and Gunnedah.

Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) Suicide Prevention Service:

“Priority Support” – Information for GPs
Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) Suicide Prevention Service, known as Priority Support, provides treatment and support to people who are at mild to moderate risk of suicide or self harm. Eligible clients may only be referred to the program by a GP provided they are not at acute or immediate risk of suicide or self-harm.

Once the patient is identified to be at mild to moderate risk the following process applies:

  • The GP is to send a referral to the HealthWISE with ‘PRIORITY SUPPORT’ written clearly at the top. A Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP) is not required but referral must contain the patient’s personal details, emergency contact person and identified risks (Risk assessment form may be included).
  • The allocated Mental Health Clinician will contact the patient within 24hrs of receipt of referral.
  • If contact within 24hrs is not possible (e.g. referral received late Friday) then the patient is to be referred to ATAPS Suicide Support Line by the referring GP.
  • The patient is to be seen by the clinician within 72hrs of receipt of referral.
  • The clinician will send information to HealthWISE which details when the referral was received, the clinician allocated and date of first appointment.
  • The patient then has unlimited sessions for the first 2 months.
  • The clinician will send weekly/fortnightly updates to the GP about the patient.
  • Once 2 months has passed:
  • If patient is no longer at risk they can be supported through a regular program with preference for continuity of clinician.
  • If they are still considered to be at risk they can be reassessed for either continuation in the Priority Support Program or referral to another service.

Please note: that although a MHTP is not needed for a referral to the program, it maybe helpful to provide us with a MHTP after the initial referral to fast track the referral process to regular programs once the patient has been discharged from Priority Support.
Should the patient become acute or at immediate risk of suicide or self-harm whilst engaged in the program, please contact the Local Emergency Department or NSW Mental Health Line.
Important phone numbers connected to this program:

ATAPS Suicide Support Line – 1800 859 585
NSW Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511
HealthWISE– 02 6766 2822