Key concepts

Access to Allied Psychological Services

Key concept Description
Consumer A consumer is defined as a referral which takes place in the given referral year which results in at least one session. This is used as a proxy to define ATAPS consumers in the current analysis. Around one in fifteen (6.6%) referrals that resulted in sessions in 2015–16 were repeat referrals for an ATAPS consumer who previously received an ATAPS referral in 2015–16.
Diagnosis Diagnosis is based on ICD-10 primary care diagnostic categories. These categories represent the ICD-10 Chapter V Primary Care Version Brief Version (with amended categories). Multiple responses are permitted.
See ATAPS Minimum Dataset for further information.

Separate ATAPS sub-programs or service streams, including:

Tier 1 – General ATAPS (base funding)

Tier 2 (special purpose funding)

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention
  • Children
  • Homelessness
  • Perinatal depression
  • Rural and remote
  • Suicide prevention
  • Extreme climatic events

Each patient is eligible for up to 12 sessions from the first referral per calendar year, including 6 sessions with an option for a further 6 sessions following a mental health review. A new ATAPS referral can be issued under the following circumstances:

  • a new patient is referred for the first time for a presenting mental health condition;
  • an existing patient who has previously been referred to a mental health professional but has used up all 12 sessions within a 12 month period and, due to exceptional circumstances, requires the 6 additional ATAPS sessions;
  • an existing patient has presented with a new mental health condition and is being referred for treatment.

Allowable ATAPS referrers differ by ATAPS initiative. There are  22 allowable referrer types.

Session Sessions refer to ATAPS service sessions that took place in a given financial year. There is not a direct match between those patients who received referrals in a given financial year and those consumers who receive sessions in that year. For example, some consumers who receive an ATAPS referral late in a financial year will not receive sessions until the next financial year. Unless otherwise stated, sessions reported here do not include unattended sessions (i.e. where an ATAPS service session was booked but the consumer did not attend).