How to Seek Help for Mental Health
It’s normal for everyone to feel sad, frustrated, stressed or anxious. But have you recognised that a mood or behavioural change has become more than a temporary thing and requires finding a psychologist? Where do you start, and what does that process look like?
The best place to start is a trusted GP or General Practitioner. It is recommended that you book a longer appointment for your consultation. It is common for people to book a standard 15-minute appointment without knowing that the standard mental health treatment consultation is 30-minutes.
Search for a doctor in your location.
What questions will my doctor ask me?
For the best support, your doctor will ask a few background questions. They may ask questions about your lifestyle choices, physical health, medications, family history of mental illness, and recent emotional experiences, as a few examples.
Your GP will be able to assess whether a Mental Health Treatment Plan is right for you and find the right psychologist for your needs.
What is a Mental Health Treatment Plan?
A Mental Health Treatment Plan (previously known as a ‘mental health care plan’) is a plan for people with a mental health disorder.
The plan identifies what type of health care you need and spells out what you and your doctor have agreed you are aiming to achieve. It may also refer you to local mental health services. It is also good to tell your doctor if you have any preferences for your treatment. This may entail a particular service or psychologist you would like to be referred to.
Who is eligible for a Mental Health Treatment Plan?
A Mental Health Treatment Plan is available to you if you have been diagnosed by a doctor with a mental health disorder. All Australians are eligible to access this support if it is required.
What does a Mental Health Treatment Plan cover?
If you have a Mental Health Treatment Plan, you will be entitled to Medicare rebates for up to 20 individual psychological appointments per calendar year. This gives you access to subsidised treatment by Medicare for better access to psychiatrists, psychologists and general practitioners.
The rebates are differing amounts depending on the practitioner and the type of treatment you are receiving. Please be clear about the prices and rebates before moving forward with treatment.
Is there anything else I should know?
Although you are eligible to access up to 20 sessions per calendar year, your Mental Health Treatment Plan will usually begin with six sessions. After the initial six sessions, you will need to revisit your GP for a standard consultation for a review. From here, your GP will assess whether further treatment sessions are required.
Find a Psychologist Today.
We can match you with one of our psychologists at MeHelp.com.au or call 1300 323 411. If you already have a referral, you can send it directly to email@example.com
Is this an Emergency?
If you or someone you know is in an immediate crisis and needs help now, call triple zero (000).
Other mental health services
If you have concerns about your mental health, you can also contact one of the free counselling services such as:
Lifeline (for anyone having a personal crisis) — call 13 11 14 or chat online
Beyond Blue (for support and information about mental health) — call 1300 22 4636 or chat online.
Kids Helpline (24/7 phone and online chat for young people aged 5-25 years) — call 1800 55 1800
Suicide Call Back Service (anyone thinking about suicide) — call 1300 659 467