Services and Treatment for Enduring and Persistent Mental Illness

Services and Treatment for Enduring and Persistent Mental Illness (STEPMI) are available for people with severe and complex mental illness to improve coordination of their clinical care.

How STEPMI works

STEPMI prioritises people most in need of coordinated care and ongoing treatment who do not have other appropriate service choices within the existing service system. It was designed in consultation with local stakeholders and replaced the previous Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program.

Accredited mental health professionals deliver the program. These providers include mental health nurses, registered and clinical psychologists, mental health social workers and AHPRA-registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners.

STEPMI offers:

  • Clinical care coordination (including multidisciplinary teamwork coordination and follow up)
  • Family inclusion and support
  • Regular review of progress towards personal goals
  • Periodical monitoring of physical and mental state
  • Optimised medication planning
  • Psychosocial interventions aligned to treatment needs
  • Risk monitoring.

STEPMI service eligibility

To be eligible for the program, a patient must:

  • Reside within the Western Victoria PHN catchment
  • Be referred by a general practitioner, paediatrician or private psychiatrist, who certifies that the consumer is under their ongoing care and meets the clinical criteria.
  • Have an enduring and persistent mental illness
  • Have a documented plan for the clinical management of their mental health
  • Is unable to access similar services through other funding sources
  • Will require clinical care coordination for at least 12 months
  • Has been admitted to or been an outpatient of acute mental health services within the past 12 months, OR are at risk of requiring inpatient admission without STEPMI intervention
  • Has not received case-management from acute mental health services.

Consumers cease to be eligible when they no longer meet the residential or clinical criteria.

STEPMI service providers

Within each sub-region in western Victoria, a lead provider delivers STEPMI. These providers manage the end-to-end experience for each patient, from the point of receiving a referral through to completion of treatment.

Contact the lead service provider in your region.

Ballarat Goldfields and Wimmera Grampians

Uniting (Vic Tas) Limited

Geelong Otway

Neami National

Great South Coast

South West Healthcare

  • Email:

More information

Contact WVPHN Mental Health Team

Last modified: 31 January, 2022