Psychologists and Allied Health
This page provides information on mental health services delivered by:
Psychologists are health professionals who can work in a range of areas such as clinical, neuropsychology, health, community, forensic, organisational, and sports and exercise psychology. Clinical psychologists specialise specifically in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems, but many other psychologists – for example counselling and educational and developmental psychologists – can also provide assistance. Psychologists can provide psychological therapies (talking therapies) such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT). Clinical psychologists and other psychologists are not doctors and cannot prescribe medication in Australia.
You don't need a referral from a GP to access a psychologist, however you do need a Mental Health Treatment Plan from a GP to claim rebates through Medicare (Better Access) or to utilise the Brisbane MIND program. If you have private health insurance and extras cover, you may be able to claim part of a psychologist's fee. Contact your health fund to check.
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 GPs, 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.
Psychological Therapies Provided by Mental Health Professionals to under-served groups is known as Brisbane MIND. Brisbane MIND is funded through the Brisbane North PHN and provides an additional option for GPs to refer vulnerable patients. From 1 July 2019, Brisbane MIND will deliver more targeted and specialist psychological services to people from under-serviced population groups.
The refocused model delivers short-term psychological therapies for people with moderate mental illness from specific population groups and those at risk of suicide. Eligible people must demonstrate finanical hardship and experience barriers to accessing Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) based psychological intervention.
Referral to Brisbane MIND is accessed primarily through a GP and delivered by a range of contracted local allied health professionals.
Social Workers in Mental Health
Social workers in mental health can support people with mental illness by helping them find ways of effectively managing the situations that may contribute to these conditions or interfere with recovery. These may include family issues, financial problems, work stress and living arrangements. Some social workers are registered with Medicare to provide focused psychological strategies, such as psychoeducation, cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation training and skills training (e.g. problem solving and stress management).
You don't need a referral from a GP to access a social worker, however you do need a Mental Health Treatment Plan from a GP to claim rebates through Medicare A Mental Health Treatment Plan from a GP is needed to claim rebates from Medicare. Medicare rebates are available for individual or group sessions with these social workers.
Occupational Therapists in Mental Health
Occupational therapists in mental health help people who have difficulty functioning because of a mental health condition to participate in normal, everyday activities. Some occupational therapists are registered with Medicare to provide focused psychological strategies for people with depression or anxiety. You don't need a referral from a GP to access an occupational therapist, however you do need a Mental Health Treatment Plan from a GP to claim rebates through Medicare A Mental Health Treatment Plan from a GP is needed to claim rebates from Medicare. Medicare rebates are available for individual or group sessions with occupational therapists in mental health.
(Adapted from http://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/who-can-assist)