About the service

The High Intensity service (replacing ATAPS) is a confidential service that provides intensive psychological interventions to people with moderate to severe mental health presentations. The term High Intensity refers to the mode of service delivery rather than the severity of the presentation.

Clients participating in this program will receive up to 18 sessions of evidence based psychological therapy with a mental health professional. This is provided at no cost to the participant.

Session basis are offered on weekly to fortnightly - dependent on the individual needs. Within the High intensity service, additional services have been implemented with a focus on young people who are experiencing or at risk of developing a severe mental illness; children under 12 years, and service navigation for people with more complex presentations.


The High Intensity service is delivered by trained mental health professionals. Clinicians who provide the High Intensity service may come from a variety of clinical backgrounds including Psychologists, Credentialed Mental Health Nurses, Occupational Therapists or Social Workers with a Mental Health specialisation. Clinicians who work in the Next Step High Intensity Program are required to be registered to work as a health practitioner within Australian through the appropriate agency for their profession.

Delivery mode

Next Step High Intensity sessions are delivered face to face (Locations: Watson, Red Hill, Woden, Belconnen, Headspace). 

It is anticipated that clients will attend sessions at regular intervals (weekly where possible) throughout the course of treatment.


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 may not benefit from or who have barriers to accessing Better Access.

To be eligible for services, potential clients must:

  • live/work/study in the ACT 
  • not be able to receive the support they require through Better Access or headspace (youth), 
  • not currently accessing psychological interventions through other services


Referral into the high intensity service requires a referral from either a GP, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician.

General Practitioners should include a Mental Health Treatment Plan, any other relevant history and a Next Step Referral Form. This can be faxed to Next Step intake (02) 6100 9961.

Psychiatrists and Paediatricians should include a Next Step Referral Form and a detailed referral letter providing a client history. When referring a client to Next Step it is advisable that you request the patient attends their GP to obtain a Mental Health Treatment Plan to accompany this referral. Referral paperwork can be faxed to Next Step intake (02) 6100 9961.

The level of triage completed will be determined by the level and detail of information provided on the referral.

Contracted Service Provider

CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn

Participant Information

To speak to someone about Next Step High Intensity Phone: (02) 6287 8090. If you wish to make a change to your appointment time, please see instructions below under the Missed Appointment Policy.

Fax: (02) 6100 9961
Email: nextstep [at] chnact.org.au

Centralised Intake is open during business hours - Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm.

Location Information

If your appointment is at Braddon: CatholicCare, Favier House, 51 Cooyong St, Braddon, ACT, 2612

If your appointment is at Red Hill: CatholicCare Red Hill, 57 Hicks St, Red Hill, ACT 2603

Missed Appointment Policy

The Next Step program operates a missed appointment policy. 

If you are unable to attend your first appointment and wish to reschedule please phone Centralised Intake during business hours to arrange for a new appointment time. Centralised Intake Phone: (02) 6287 8090.

Once you have commenced treatment, if you wish to reschedule an appointment please phone 1800 068 698 or 6163 7600 to speak with a receptionist at Catholic Care.

Click here to view the missed appointment policy.

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.