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Mental Health Care

GP's practicing at GHFP support provision of multidisciplinary mental health care.

GP's are experienced in managing common mental health problems for all age groups, including (but not limited to):

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Grief
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Drug and alcohol problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Relationship problems
  • Post traumatic stress

Better Access to Mental Health Care

Better Access to Mental Health Care is an Australian Government initiative that aims to improve outcomes for people with a clinically-diagnosed mental disorder through evidence-based treatment. Medicare rebates are available to patients for selected mental health services provided by General Practitioners, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and eligible Social Workers and Occupational Therapists.

What Medicare services can be provided under the Better Access initiative?

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 who are referred by a General Practitioner (under a GP Mental Health Care Plan), or by Psychiatrist or a Paediatrician.

During COVID-19 an extra 10 Better Access sessions have become available. Talk to your GP about accessing extra Better Access sessions.

What does it cost?

Appointments for GP Mental Health Care Plans with GP's practicing at Glebe Hill Family Practice are privately billed. If you would like an appointment for a Mental Health Care Plan please make a standard appointment with your GP to discuss your eligibility, and to arrange the appointment for the Mental Health Care Plan. Your GP requires a long appointment (30 minutes) for completion of a Mental Health Care Plan.

Allied health professionals are free to determine their own fees for the professional services they provide.

How can I access these services under Medicare?

Step 1:

Visit your GP who will assess whether you have a mental disorder and whether the preparation of a GP Mental Health Care Plan is appropriate for you, given your health care needs and circumstances. If you are diagnosed as having a mental disorder, your GP may either prepare a GP Mental Health Care Plan, or refer you to a psychiatrist or paediatrician who, once an assessment and diagnosis is in place, can directly refer you to allied mental health services. Whether a patient is eligible to access allied mental health services is essentially a matter for your treating health practitioner to determine, using their clinical judgement and taking into account both the eligibility criterion and the general guidance.

Step 2:

You can be referred for certain Medicare rebateable allied mental health services once you have:

  • a GP Mental Health Care Plan in place; or
  • are being managed by a GP under a referred Psychiatrist Assessment and Management Plan; or
  • been referred by a Psychiatrist or Paediatrician.

Your GP or psychiatrist/paediatrician can refer you for up to six individual or six group allied mental health services, which may comprise either psychological assessment and therapy by a clinical psychologist or focussed psychological strategies by an allied mental health professional. It is at the clinical discretion of your referring practitioner as to the number of allied mental health services you will be referred for (to a maximum of six in any one referral).

Step 3:

Depending on your health care needs, following the initial course of treatment (a maximum of six services, but may be less depending on your clinical need), you can return to your GP or Psychiatrist/Paediatrician and obtain a new referral to obtain an additional four sessions to a maximum of ten individual and ten group services per calendar year. Whether you have a clinical need to access the additional allied health services which attracts a rebate is a decision for your treating health practitioner, taking into account the written report received from the allied mental health professional at the completion of a course of treatment. At this time, a Review of your GP Mental Health Care Plan may also be undertaken.