Skip links and keyboard navigation

Older Persons Mental Health Service homepage

Who are we? |  What do we do? |  Who do we see? |  Who can refer to us? |  Where do we work? |  What does it cost? |  How can we be reached? |  Who else can help?

Older Persons Mental Health Service

Who are we?

The Older Persons Mental Health Service is a component of the Cairns and Hinterland Mental Health and ATOD Service and operates within the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service.

Our team is comprised of experienced Mental Health Clinicians and a Consultant Psychiatrist.

We provide a community mental health service for older adults.

What do we do?

We provide:
  • Consultation-Liaison services (to General Practitioners and Aged Care Facilities) regarding:
  • clinical assessment and diagnostic opinion
  • recommendations for ongoing treatment
  • ongoing liaison and staff support

(General Practitioners continue to provide prescriptions  and ongoing monitoring e.g. blood tests, etc.)

  • Short term clinical review
  • Brief psychosocial interventions
  • Education

Patients and carers (both family and professional carers)

  • Disease related – symptoms, relapse prevention, prognostic issues
  • Treatment related – modalities, adverse effects, accessibility

Health Care Professionals (e.g. GPs, Hospital staff, Facility carers, undergraduate and postgraduate students)

  • Clinical assessment and management issues
  • Care plan development
  • Medication and psychosocial matters
  • Private Practice Clinic
  • Patients who would be suitable for referral to Older Persons Mental Health Services but wish to see a Psychiatrist in a private capacity can be referred by their General Practitioner to the Option A clinic

(the referral should specify that the person is being referred for Older Persons Mental Health Service)

  • Medicare bulk billed – so no direct cost to the patient

Go to Toptop of page

Who do we see?

  • Older adults (over 50yrs for Indigenous & 65yrs for Non-Indigenous persons) who have:
  • a first presentation of severe forms of certain mental disorders e.g. Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Major Depressive Episode or Bipolar Disorder


  • dementia complicated by severe and persisting behavioural disorder or severe mental disorders such as depression or psychosis


  • a mental disorder complicated by the onset of severe cognitive impairment, complex medical illness or frailty
  • We can only see people who have agreed to be seen by us unless authorised to do so by the Mental Health or Guardianship Acts
  • ΓΌIf you are unsure if someone is appropriate for referral to us please feel free to call us to discuss the case

Emergency Contacts

  • Acute Care Team - +61 7 4226 3100 BH or +61 7 4226 6000 AH
  • Your local Mental Health Service
  • Local Hospital’s Emergency Department

Go to Toptop of page

Who can refer to us?

  • Medical Practitioners
  • Aged Care Assessment Teams
  • Mental Health Services
  • Families – via General Practitioners
  • Other agencies (e.g. Aged Care Facilities, Aged Care Services,  NGOs) - must have General Practitioner involvement

Click on the relvant link below to access our Older Persons Mental Health Service Referral Form in MS Word or PDF Form:

Go to Toptop of page

Where do we work?

  • The OPMHS team is based in Cairns, and provides clinical services in client homes, Residential Aged Care Facilities and CHHHS Hospitals
  • We provide a service to the Cairns Metropolitan Area, Atherton Tablelands, Innisfail/Tully and Mossman/Port Douglas
  • We are also available for telephonic support to other areas within the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service and the Cape York and Torres Strait Hospital and Health Service

Go to Toptop of page

What does it cost?

  • The OPMHS is a QLD Health public service and there is no financial cost to clients or carers
  • Option A clients: bulk billed under the Medicare scheme

Go to Toptop of page

How can we be reached?

Cairns DistrictPO Box 902, Cairns, 4870Ph:  +61 7 422 63837
Fax: +61 7 422 63780

Go to Toptop of page

Who else can help?

Mental Health Services

The Cairns and Hinterland Mental Health and ATOD Service provide comprehensive mental health services across Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service.

Cairns:     +61 7 4226 3100

Mareeba: +61 7 4092 5930

Atherton:  +61 7 4091 0213

Innisfail:    +61 7 4061 5444

Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)

This team is for the frail Aged with multiple or complex care needs. It is the access point for the Commonwealth programs of Aged Care including:

  • Residential Care
  • Residential Respite
  • Community Aged Care Packages
  • Extended Aged Care at Home Packages
  • Transition Care

Office Hours: 0830 – 1630
Ph:  +61 7 4226 4595
Fax: +61 7 4226 4598

Cairns HACC Assessment Team

For eligibility and access to Home and Community Care Services in the Cairns region

Office Hours: 08:00 – 17:00
Ph:  +61 7 4046 8533
Fax: +61 7 4051 3816

Commonwealth Care Link

Provides information on all services
Ph: 1800 052 222

Commonwealth Carer Respite

Information and access to support services for carers
Ph: 1800 059 059

Go to Toptop of page

Last updated: 29 August 2016