Initial Assessment and Referral (IAR) Tool
People seeking mental health support may present with a range of interrelated factors that can make it challenging to determine the most appropriate level of stepped care. The IAR provides a standardised, evidence-based and objective approach to assist with mental health care recommendations.
The IAR is a tool to assist general practitioners and clinicians to recommend the most appropriate level of care for a person seeking mental health support. The IAR is an initiative of the Australian Department of Health and brings together information from a range of sources including Australian and international evidence and advice from a range of leading experts.
The IAR is designed to assist the various parties involved in the assessment and referral process, including:
General Practitioners (GP) and other clinicians seeking to determine the most appropriate care type and intensity for individuals.
Commissioned providers, intake teams and PHNs responsible for undertaking initial assessments which may involve making recommendations on the level of care required.
The WQPHN is currently in the process of integrating the IAR tool within refeRHEALTH, in the meantime you can access this tool through the below link;
The following files will provide a background to the development of the tool along with guidelines for the use of the tool and a quick reference guide.
Further information from the DoH around how this tool integrates in to the National Stepped Care Approach to mental health service delivery can be located at