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Mental Health Care Plan

At LETSS, we frequently hear that people are seeking additional mental health support in the form of seeing a psychologist. However, they often do not know how to start this process and would like some additional information. Therefore, this article will discuss the steps involved in finding and getting a referral to a psychologist.

The first step in finding a psychologist that is right for you is doing some research. Many psychologists specialise in certain areas. For instance, some clients will specifically work with clients who have experienced trauma or clients who wish to undergo a particular therapy type. Therefore, for some people they find it helpful to do some research online and find a psychologist that could potentially be a good fit for them. The Australian Clinical Psychology Association has a website in which you can find a clinical psychologist based on your requirements including even the preferred gender of your psychologist. You can check out the website at https://acpa.org.au/find-a-clinical-psychologist/

Whether you have picked a psychologist yourself or are happy for one to be selected for you, the next step in seeing a psychologist is to receive a mental health care plan from your doctor. A mental health care plan is for anyone who has a mental health condition and that their doctor feels that they would benefit from a mental health treatment plan. A mental health care plan will specify the broad issue, the kind of therapy you may need, and what you are hoping to achieve.

A mental health care plan entitles you to Medicare rebates for up to 10 individual or 10 group appointments. However, you cannot get Medicare rebates for those 10 sessions all in one-go. After you have used up 6 sessions, you will need to re-visit your doctor for a mental health plan review and new referral.

After you have received a mental health care plan, you are now ready to book an appointment. In most instances, it is up to you to call the clinic and book in an appointment for yourself. They will typically ask you a few questions about yourself and ask you to bring the mental health care plan along with you on the first appointment.

Some people they find it helpful to do some research prior to the appointment in regards to what to expect. This article from VICE highlights some of the things you may encounter from your first appointment (https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/d3jyv7/what-to-expect-from-your-first-therapy-appointment)

Some people also find it helpful to write a list or some dot points about some of the things they wish to share with the psychologist on the first visit. It can also be helpful sometimes to bring something with you that brings you comfort such as wearing your favourite t-shirt or jewellery.

At LETSS, we understand that attending a psychology appointment can be a nerve-wracking experience so if you would like any more additional support in the lead-up to the appointment you can call us at 1800 013 755 or start a webchat via www.letss.org.au.

(Image from Unsplash by Toa Hefitba) 

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LETSS@skylight.org.au 

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We would like to Acknowledge that the land we provide a service on today is the traditional lands for the Kaurna people and that we respect their spiritual relationship with their Country. We also acknowledge the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.        

 

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