Every year, more than a million adults receive treatment from a GP for depression. It is becoming increasingly clear that some depression is too complicated for a GP to manage alone, but not so complex that the person needs in-patient care or support from a community mental health team. The Depression Clinic is for this “missing middle”.
About the project
The Care Navigation model of care was co-designed with people with a lived experience of depression, working with clinicians and researchers, and may help people living with more complex depression to benefit from comprehensive, coordinated support. The Clinic for Depression will offer Care Navigation which includes:
- A shared treatment plan including an integrated range of therapies, such as medication, psychological therapy and exercise physiology.
- Review sessions by a psychiatrist, working in collaboration with a person’s GP.
- Regular follow-up calls by a non-clinician Patient Care Navigator, to assist people with putting into practice their treatment plan and navigating the mental health system.
A pilot trial in the Depression Clinic aims to evaluate how acceptable and feasible the Care Navigation program is, whether any changes are required, and whether the model leads to improvements in mental health. If it is found to benefit patients, researchers could investigate whether Care Navigation represents value for money and should be made available more widely through the healthcare system. Because it can be delivered via telehealth, Care Navigation could also be used in rural, regional and remote areas.
- Commonwealth grant funding awarded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care