Stepped mental health care model leading Australia astray

Sebastian Rosenberg, Luis Salvador-Carulla, Ian Hickie, John Mendoza

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

5 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


Australia is facing a major transformation of its mental health system. Like any highly complex reform, selecting an appropriate change framework is critical.1

The Australian Government chose the ‘stepped care’ framework to guide mental health planning, promising people ‘varying levels of primary care treatment and support depending on their level of need as determined by a health professional, whether that be ‘at risk’, mild, moderate or severe/complex’ [].

There is evidence this framework may not be appropriate, even for common disorders.2 Stepped care is typically applied to specific therapies, like the UK’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). There, the model was implemented with coordinated tiers of care, from guided self-help, to low, then higher intensity and professional face-to-face care.3 Patient progress was systematically monitored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-597
Number of pages1
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


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