The ACT Primary Health Network (ACT PHN) have adapted and implemented the UK’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) stepped care model to the Australian context. Capital Health Network have named this program Next Step.

The Next Step program encompasses ACT PHNs programs and services that have been commissioned to meet a number of the Australian Government, Department of Health priority areas. The following programs fall under the banner of the Next Step Program:

Next Step Low intensity

The Low intensity program provides interventions for people over 16 years of age with mild to moderate mental health concerns. This could include concerns such as depression, anxiety, phobias (excluding agoraphobia), and situational life stress. The low intensity service is aimed at people over the age of 16 years who live, work or Study in the ACT. For further information please visit the Low Intensity Page. The Low Intensity program is provided at no cost to the participant.

To download a brochure about the Low Intensity Service please click here.

Next Step High intensity

The High Intensity program provides interventions for people with moderate to severe mental health presentations. This could include presentations such as major depression, severe anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

The High Intensity program replaces the ATAPS program in the ACT.

There are some limitations on certain areas of presentation within the High Intensity program.

Next Step High Intensity does not replace the Better Access program (Medicare pathway), however it aims to provide a mental health service which provides options for people with financial barriers to gaining access to psychological treatment or who are unable to gain the treatment they need through the Better Access program.

Within the High Intensity service are areas of specialised focus:

  • Children (under 12) 
  • Youth with or at risk of, severe mental illness (12 – 25)
  • Adults
  • People with complex needs

Next Step Information Sessions

If you would like to arrange an information for your workplace or community group, please download and submit a Request for Information Session form. A member of the Next Step Team will be in contact to arrange an Information Session.

Health Professional Education Sessions

If you would like a member of the CHN Mental Health team to visit your Practice or would like to find out more information about Next Step, please either complete a Request for Information Session form or contact us on (02)6287 8090 or via email nextstep [at]

Please note: Next Step is not a crisis service. If you need emergency assistance or feel at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000. To talk to someone now, please call the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team (CATT) (ACT Only) on 1800 629 354 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.