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Initial Assessment and Referral - Decision Support Tool

New decision support tool to help you connect your patients with the right mental health support, quickly.

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GPs are often the first point of contact for people seeking mental health support. Patients often present with a range of interrelated factors that can make it challenging to determine the most appropriate level of care.

The Initial Assessment and Referral (IAR) is a decision support tool, to assist GPs (and other referrers) to find the most suitable level of care for patients, which can then be used to determine the appropriate service for the patient, at a local level. It provides a standardised, evidence-based and objective approach to assist with mental health care recommendations.

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TRAINING: Initial Assessment and Referral Decision Support Tool

Brisbane North PHN offers training sessions to help general practitioners and GP Registrars understand how to use the IAR decision support tool.

The training will provide you with all the information you need to use the tool in a way that suits your practice. Brisbane North PHN training will provide information about local referral pathways and service providers, and the RediCASE eReferral tool. IAR-DST training is not mandatory.

IAR-DST training

IAR-DST training will be delivered via a two hour online Zoom session. Please see dates below and click on the links to register.

Workshop dates and registration


Friday 12 July 12.00 pm - 2.00 pm
Register here

Wednesday 17 July 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm
Register here

Thursday 25 July 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm
Register here

Wednesday 31 July 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm
Register here


Friday 9 August 12.00 pm - 2.00 pm
Register here

Thursday 22 August 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm
Register here

Friday 30 August 12.00 pm - 2.00 pm
Register here

GPs and GP Registrars will receive

  • $300 incentive payment*
  • *payment is available to GPs and GP registrars. The one-off payment is not available to other medical staff, clinicians or GPs working with Adult Mental Health Centres or Aboriginal Medical Services already funded by the Government, unless the training is outside of normal employed hours.
  • CPD points 2023 (1 hour Reviewing Performance and 1 hour Educational Activities through RACGP and 2 hours CPD for ACRRM).
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Connect your patients with the right care as early as possible

The IAR guides clinicians to consider what information needs to be collected from patients, to conduct a patient-centred and holistic assessment.

Considerations include the availability of informal support (like family), life circumstances that may be impacting your patient, co-existing conditions, and the patient’s motivation to access supports. The information gathered is then used to recommend a service type and level of care (level of intensity) to help inform a referral decision made by the GP.

Your clinical judgement, combined with the IAR decision support tool, will ensure the person seeking support is directed to the most appropriate care – no matter where they sit along their recovery journey.

Why use the Initial Assessment and Referral tool

Improve your workflow and save time

Using this support tool will help improve the efficiency of the mental health consultation, by streamlining the collection of relevant information.

The IAR can also be found in the RediCASE eReferral form, which can be integrated with Best Practice and Medical Director software. The RediCASE eReferral form is also available as an e-link however it does not have the full integration functionality.

Consistency for patient experience

The IAR is being progressively introduced across federal and state mental health services. Widespread uptake of the IAR means there will be consistency in the approach to assessment, referrals and service provision across the sector.

Help you refer appropriately into local services

The IAR tool supports the stepped care approach to service delivery, which helps match people to the most appropriate services for their mental health needs.

The stepped care model comprises a continuum of interventions based on levels of resource intensity – from least to most intensive – matched to the individual’s needs. This approach also allows people to move easily between local services as their support needs change.

Contact us

Please contact Stephen Giles at iar@brisbanenorthphn.org.au or on 07 3490 3426 if you have any questions about the IAR-DST or the IAR-DST training.

Resources and links