In 2014, the Queensland Mental Health Commission procured a study to map service integration and referrals to support people with mental health difficulties and problematic substance use in regional Queensland areas. The study found that one of the most concerning barriers to service integration was the reluctance of individuals to access services based on referrals.

ISSR was engaged by the Commission to research how service integration and referrals are experienced by people living with mental health difficulties and problematic substance use. Our researchers worked together with stakeholders and research participants to develop a nuanced understanding of the complex interactions between health systems and consumer perceptions and behaviours. Drawing on qualitative case studies supported by documentary evidence, we will develope actionable insights for the Queensland Mental Health Commission based on the barriers and facilitators for successful service referrals.


  • Identify the factors that support or act as barriers to service users taking up referrals between services
  • Determine the characteristics of good integration and referral processes from a consumer perspective

Project team

  • Professor Rosa Alati - Project leader
  • Dr Fairlie McIlwraith

Project details

Duration: December 2016 - January 2018

Partners: Queensland Mental Health Commission

Funding: Queensland Mental Health Commission

Contact: Professor Rosa Alati (

ISSR ref ISSR181569