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The Northern Queensland Primary Health Network does not provide mental health services directly, but administers funding that is provided to a range of primary health services, general practices and community-managed organisations who deliver the programs below.

ATAPS Referral System

In order to access a psychologist or other health professional through ATAPS, it is necessary obtain a referral from your GP or Health Centre.

Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNiP)

The Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP) funds community general practices (GP’s), so they can employ mental health nurses to help provide coordinated clinical care for people who experience mental illness involving longer-term care. Mental health nurses work with psychiatrists and GPs to provide services like managing their medication, supporting personal recovery and improving links to other professionals and clinical service providers.

MHiP nurses are currently located in general practices in Smithfield and North Cairns (Cairns), Cardwell, Ingham, Thuringowa, Townsville, Ayr, Slade Point and Mackay.

For more details on the MHNIP Program, contact the Mental Health Program Coordinators at the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network:

Alanah O’Brien | 0499 886 539 |

Alison Fairleigh | 0488 767 587 |

Sandi Winner  | 0448 202 516 |

In an emergency call triple zero (000)

If someone has attempted, or is at immediate risk of attempting to harm themselves or someone else, call triple zero (000) immediately.
The North Queensland PHN does NOT directly provide mental health services or clinical advice.

For a concise guide to mental health emergency, acute and crisis numbers that can offer advice or support, please view the document:
View the emergency and mental health crisis numbers here.


Aged between 12-25 years?

headspace can help if you:

–     Are feeling down, stressed or can’t stop worrying

–       Don’t feel like yourself anymore

–       Can’t deal with school/uni/ work or are finding it difficult to concentrate

–       Are feeling sick or worried about your health

–       Have questions about, or want to cut down on alcohol or other drug use

–       Want to talk about sexuality, gender identity or relationships

–       Are having difficulties with your family or friends

–       Have sexual health issues or want information about contraception

–       Are being bullied, hurt or harassed

–       Are worried about work or study or if you’re having money trouble

–     Need someone to talk to

headspace centres

headspace centres help you to access the type of health worker you need. This could be a GP, psychologist, social worker, alcohol and drug worker, counsellor, vocational worker or youth worker. A number of centres also have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers, welfare workers and family therapists.

You can visit a headspace centre no matter how big or small your problem may seem.

Cairns headspace details:

Townsville headspace details:

Mackay headspace details:


Suicide Prevention Programs

The NQPHN is reviewing Suicide Prevention services in northern Queensland based on the national suicide prevention strategies and is working with Suicide Prevention Networks and Hospital and Health Services in North Queensland to develop an agreed regional strategy to reduce the incidence and the impact of suicide in our communities.
If you have self- harm or suicide concerns for yourself or someone you know please contact your GP or call:

Lifeline: 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back: 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
Mensline Australia on 1300 789 978
13HEALTH on 13 432 584

Visit this link for more information:

On-line Mental Health Programs

If you do not require professional consultations with a psychologist or allied health professional, but would prefer some on-line guidance on mental health issues that you can work on in your own environment, there may be other options available.

A number of on-line programs are available through the Mind Health Connect website. Close to 50 different programs are available.

View a list of these programs.

A list of mental health and health apps is available on the Mind Health Connect website, which may be useful for personal support if you do not require a professional consultation.

View a list of these Apps:

Operation Compass

Operation Compass is the operational name given to the ex-ADF and Families Suicide Prevention Project launched in Townsville in 2017. The project is due to run until June 2019.

The project, supported by NQPHN, focuses on ex-serving members and their families to help prevent suicide and suicidal behaviour. The vision is to reduce the rates of suicide within our ex-ADF community and their families, through transition, connection, and adapting to life in Townsville.

The project’s steering committee and advisory groups include ex-ADF members, families, carers, and service providers and have a commitment to work closely with the local community.

Operation Compass brings together the best evidence-based strategies and models and will trial innovative approaches to better target people at risk of suicide and ensure a more integrated regionally-based approach to suicide prevention. Operation Compass is utilising the Black Dog Institute Lifespan Model to target the needs of the ex-ADF community.

Operation Compass has developed an Operation Plan with six campaigns. The six campaigns include:

Clinical Support

  • GP and alternate mental health pathways to those currently provided by DVA.
  • GP and alternate mental health support external to current DVA contracts.
  • After hours response to people with emergent MH/AOD needs.

Enduring Connections

  • Volunteering.
  • Advocacy Development Training Program (ADTP) and Establishing Communities of Practice (CofP) to provide holistic case management.
  • Transition.


  • A better understanding of the ex-ADF and families community in Townsville in order to focus efforts to provide better and enduring health outcomes.
  • A better understanding of local suicide trends to ensure that local suicide services and activities are informed as to what is actually happening in the community.

Innovative Programs

  • Codesign a program between ex-ADF members, families, and clinicians to support those effect by Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). This includes people who believe they are suffering long term side effects as a result of anti-Malarial treatment.
  • A wide range of programs or activities that will support ex-ADF members and their families through transition, assist connection in, and adapting to life in the community.
  • Things we haven’t even envisioned yet.

Community Response

  • Reduce the gaps between services, by increasing community service provider awareness of the availability and eligibility for defence specific community support services.
  • Enhancing the skill set of community members to respond to at risk or vulnerable individuals/families.
  • Early engagement in help seeking behaviour through enhanced awareness.

Evidence Based Programs

  •  Will include a number of proven Suicide Prevention Programs including:
    • QPR-Question Persuade, Refer
    • Mindframe Plus Training
    • YAM-Youth Aware of Mental Health
    • Roses in the Ocean
    • Suicide Prevention Training-ASIST-Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.