Making a Referral

Making a Referral to Spectrum.

From 2015 Spectrum will continue to receive referrals for clients between the age of 16 to 64  for direct clinical treatment from Area Mental Health Service Clinicians, a limited range of services can now be accessed by a GP’s or Private Psychiatrists in Victoria. Please see the relevant section below.

1. Information for Clinical Mental Health Service Clinicians (AMHS & CAMHS)

Clinicians from Clinical Mental Health Services (AMHS & CAMHS) in Victoria are welcome to make direct referrals to Spectrum for consultation or treatment.
Other statewide specialist mental health services in Victoria such as Forensicare, Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (Mental Health Program) and Victorian Dual Disability Service may refer to Spectrum for assessments & secondary consultations. From 2015, the majority of Secondary consultation work will be provided by Telephone or Video Link.

Who to refer

A client would typically have a BPD diagnosis, suspected BPD or another personality disorder that is severely effecting their functioning. 
Spectrum clinicians can provide assistance with:

  • Clarifying diagnostic issues
  • Assessment of a client
  • Treatment planning in the client's locality
  • Accessing Spectrum's direct treatment programs (outpatient, day program  or residential)
  • Collaborative treatment review to support  further clinical progress.

A referral can be made at any time, however it will assist Spectrum staff if the following has occurred prior to contacting Spectrum:

  • The client is actively working with a clinical mental health service (AMHS or CAMHS)
  • An initial assessment of the client has been made
  • An initial treatment plan and basic formulation has been completed (detailing your understanding of the client's presentation)
  • You and/or your team have questions relating to the client's care and treatment

How to make a referral

All referrals, requests for professional development and enquiries can be made by contacting the Spectrum Intake Clinician on (03) 8833 3050. Spectrum will request current treatment assessments, treatment plans and other data to support the referral.

Please click here for information prior to making a referral for Treatment.

2. Information for GP's, Private Sector Psychiatrists, Mental Health Practitioners and Non-Clinical Mental Health Services (Mental Health Community Support Services and Community Health Centres)

** Please note: Due to the large volume of GP referrals under medicare, we now have a wait list of several months from the time of the referral for these assessments.**

From 2015, Spectrum is developing treatment pathways for clients who are not case managed in Clinical Mental Health Services in Victoria. This is a limited resource and severity criteria must still be met for acceptance to Spectrum treatment.  Typically these clients may, for one reason or another, do not meet local requirements for case management. Further notes regarding Spectrum’s requirements for treatment can be found in the Referral details page here.

Note: If the client/patient is under the care of a Clinical Mental Health Service (AMHS or CAMHS) in Victoria, please discuss their needs with the AMHS/CAMHS clinician in the first instance. You may request that they make a referral to Spectrum. Spectrum will not accept referrals from GP’s if there is an existing AMHS or CAMHS case manager involved.

How to Refer

The first step is for the GP or private psychiatrist to request Spectrum provide an initial assessment and opinion under the appropriate Medicare item (291 for GPs, or 296 for private Psychiatrists). The outcome of this assessment may include recommendations for Spectrum treatment and if this is the case, further information will be provided to the referrer about the next steps.

Referral letter needs to request an assessment under the relevant Medicare item number, attention to "Spectrum Consultant Psychiatrist, C/O Spectrum Assessment Clinic, Fitzroy" and faxed to Spectrum. 

Ongoing Care Requirements for non- case managed Clients

For Spectrum to provide treatment under a GP or private psychiatrist referral, the following ongoing care arrangements will also need to be in place:

a/ Mental Health Community Support Service Care Coordination with GP involvement, or

b/ GP Mental Health Plan with active primary sector Allied Health or Mental Health Nurse support

Information for People with Personality Disorder, their Families and Friends

If you have Borderline Personality Disorder or are seeking some support for someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, it is usually best to speak to a GP (local doctor) about your concerns in the first instance. GPs can make a referral the local Area Mental Health Service or directly to Spectrum if appropriate. You could also speak directly to a clinician at your local Area Mental Health Service. A list of these Victorian Area Mental Health Services can be found at

Please refer to the Resources section for more ideas about support services.