ATAPS Child Mental Health Service

The Child Mental Health Service provides children with assistance for mental health disorders that would benefit from short-term treatment. If the needs of the child are more complex a longer term program to meet his/her needs may be required. 

Eligibility for Child Mental Health Service

  • Children and primary carers residing within the local government area of Wyndham and Hobsons Bay and who meet the ATAPS General Component  criteria
  • Children up to the age of 11 years
  • Children who have been assessed as having definite or substantial signs and symptoms of an emerging mild to moderate mental disorder, where this causes significant dysfunction in everyday life
  • Children at risk of developing a mental disorder, where the child show one or more signs or symptoms (social – emotional – behavioural) of developing a mental disorder and/ or where the child’s development pathway is considered to be disrupted by their mental health condition


  • If the child’s difficulty can be competently treated by GPs, Paediatricians, Maternal and Child Health Nurses and/or Mental Health Nurses and these services are available
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Chronic & Acute Psychotic Disorders 

What is provided?

Clients are initially eligible for up six time-limited sessions, with an option for up to a further six sessions following a mental health review by their GP. While the focus of the treatment is on the child, sessions can involve family members.  The GP may consider that in exceptional circumstances  the client may require up to an additional six sessions above those already provided (up to a maximum total of 18 sessions per client per calendar year).

Exceptional circumstances are defined as a significant change in the child’s clinical condition or care circumstances which make it appropriate and necessary to increase the maximum number of sessions. It is up to the GP to review the client and determine that the client meets these requirements. In these cases a GP review is required and the exceptional circumstances noted in the request.

Referral Process

Infants and children can be referred by their GP, Paediatrician or Psychiatrist by completing an ATAPS referral form and a mental health treatment plan.

Parents/Guardians must give consent and receive the Client Rights & Responsibilities and Privacy Information brochures.

Please fax the completed ATAPS referral form and mental health treatment plan with parent/guardian consent to SWMML on 8742 4457.

A provisional referral can be made by an alternative professional who is approved by ATAPS and SWMML including Maternal Child Health Nurses, Preschool Field Officers, Directors of Kindergartens, Primary School Nurses and School Psychologists and Social Workers by completing the Child Mental Health Provisional Referral Form.  

Please fax the completed Child Mental Health Provisional Referral Form with parent/guardian consent to SWMML on 8742 4457.

As a provisional referral does not require a mental health treatment plan, the client must visit their GP, preferably within two weeks of the first ATAPS session for a mental health treatment plan

Please contact Sheryl Tunnecliff for more information ph.: 8731 6501

Information sheets and forms

Child Mental Health Service Information Sheet

ATAPS Eligibility Criteria

ATAPS Child Mental Health Service Operational Guidelines

For GPs:

ATAPS GP Referral Process

ATAPS Referral Form, Mental Health Treatment Plan

ATAPS Review Referral Form

For Provisional Referrers:

Provisional Referral Process

Child Mental Health Provisional Referral Form

Provisional Referrer Letter to GP