Psychiatrists are doctors who have undergone further training to specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems. They can make medical and psychiatric assessments, conduct medical tests, provide therapy, and also prescribe medication. Psychiatrists often use psychological treatments such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT) and/or medication. If the mental illness is severe and hospital admission is required, a psychiatrist will be in charge of the person's treatment.
A referral from a GP is needed to see a psychiatrist and to claim rebates through Medicare.
The Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access) initiative aims to improve outcomes for people with a clinically-diagnosed mental disorder through evidence-based treatment. Under this initiative, Medicare rebates are available to patients for selected mental health services provided by GP's, psychiatrists, psychologists (clinical and registered), eligible social workers and occupational therapists. Medicare rebates are available for up to ten individual and ten group allied mental health services per calendar year to patients with an assessed mental disorder. Ask your GP for further information about this benefit.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists have developed a website called 'Your Health in Mind' that helps you to:
The website also provides a range of useful information about psychiatry, such as the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist, how to access a psychiatrist, and other useful information.
The website also provides psychiatrists and GP's with clinical practise guidelines and resources for practise