As stated in an earlier blog, there are several signs that could indicate your need to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist.

Seeking assistance, however, can be overwhelming and seem like an insurmountable task, especially if your mental health status is interfering with your daily life. 

The first step towards healing is as simple as visiting your General Practitioner (GP) to discuss your concerns; its best to organise a long appointment.

In your discussion with your GP, the following points may assist you:

  1. GPs sole aim is to provide you the required care support for your concern and advise you of any necessary next step. 
  2. Examples of issues which you may raise in your GP appointment could be as follows:
    • Your symptoms and how they affect you. 
    • How your daily life may have been impacted. 
    • Any concerns that you may have about the pathway ahead in seeking assistance.
  3. Kind of questions that you may wish to ask include the following:
    • What are all my options? 
    • What do you think is my best option and why? 
  4. As with all medical issues, your discussions will be confidential. Your information will not be released without your consent, unless in exceptional circumstances, where your life or lives of others may be at risk. 
  5. Be open about all your concerns, including any questions you may have about the fees you may be charged and how much of the fees will be covered by Medicare. Your GP can also address your concerns about the confidentiality of your records.

Following your discussions, you GP may refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist or both!

Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) for Seeing a Psychologist

  1. Description of a MHCP: A Mental Health Care Plan is a document that your GP writes with you to provide your psychologist with an overview of the status of your mental health and possible conditions. 
  2. Purpose of MHCP:  In addition to providing vital information about the reason for your referral and your medical history, a MHCP allows to receive Medicare rebate for 10 sessions per annum.
  3. Mental Health Conditions Covered by MHCP: You can use a MHCP to deal with minor mental health concern or a much more serious one. 
  4. Situations that MHCP Cannot be used: A MHCP cannot be used for report writing marital or relationship therapy.
  5. When to obtain a MHCP:   It is never too early or too late to discuss obtaining a MHCP with your GP. Furthermore, you do not need to be diagnosed with a mental health condition to be given a MHCP.

Referral for seeing a Psychiatrist 

  1. Seeing your GP:  When you discuss your mental health issues with your GP, you may face either one of the two following:
    • Your GP may see it fit to give you the referral right away. 
    • More generally, your GP may see it as a better option to explore possible options, such as seeing a psychologist or maybe prescribing you with medications. 
  2. Referral Description: A short document that explains your symptoms, reasons for your referral, medical history and a list of your current medications.

Important tip: Ensure that your medication list is current. Your medication list can provide important information about the status of your wellbeing and assist the psychiatrist in prescribing the medications that will not have interferences with your current ones.

Please do not hesitate to call Takes Care Specialist Centre on 3870 9388 to see how our psychiatrists or psychologists may be able to assist you.