At Strathfield Family Medical Centre, our doctors are trained in mental health. We can also offer psychologists to provide counselling and a hypnotherapist to look after our clients in a highly private and caring environment.
Psychotherapy is a process of talking through issues of concern to increase understanding, feel supported and assist adjustment to many life challenges.
It can be helpful for symptoms of fatigue, pain, stress, anxiety and depression.
Successful therapy can increase feeling of well-being and reduce conflicts both within an individual and in their relationships.
Longer appointments are recommended and are available on request at Strathfield Family Medical Centre
Better Mental Health Initiative
The Medicare Better Access initiative helps patients gain affordable access to Psychological Care. The care plans aim 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:
- General practitioners,
- Psychologists (clinical and registered) and
- Eligible social workers and occupational therapists.
Many people with mental health problems will consult a Psychologist prior to consulting their Doctor. Others choose to come directly to see a Doctor, or sometimes the Doctor may suggest that a mental health plan could be beneficial to you.
A Psychologist, school or workplace counsellor may suggest you attend your Doctor for a mental health assessment and plan. if so, it can be very helpful if you ask the Psychologist for a letter briefly outlining the reasons why he or she thinks this is appropriate for you.
Mental Health Assessments
A mental health assessment is a consultation with your Doctor about your mental health symptoms and problems. The aim of the consultation is to allow the Doctor to make a diagnosis. If a mental health disorder is diagnosed then a GP Mental Health Care Plan can be prepared.
Mental Health Care Plan
A Mental Health Plan is a plan that sets out the best treatment for your mental health disorder. This plan may involve seeing a Psychologist as well as other treatments such as medications.
Under the Better Outcomes in Mental Health Initiative, patients with a clinically diagnosed mental health problem can then receive a rebate for up to 6 sessions initially with a Psychologist, eligible social worker or occupational therapist.
Further sessions can be authorised by your Doctor by carrying out a GP Mental Health Care Plan Review. This Review must be done at an appointment to qualify for the additional sessions with your Psychologist.
What conditions cannot be covered by a GP Mental Health Care Plan? The initiative's goal is to improve the individual's mental health, and at present does not cover:
- Relationship counselling, or
- Tobacco use disorder.
Long Mental Health Appointment
A mental health assessment can take time so a 30 minute appointment is required to discuss or prepare a mental health plan.
If you have not discussed these issues with your Doctor before, it may take more than one appointment to work out the best plan for you. It is therefore a good idea to allow sufficient time between seeing the Doctor and your first appointment with a Psychologist.
It can be difficult talking about your mental health problems, and we suggest that you arrange appointments with your Doctor and your Psychologist on different days .
Therapy for Couples
Sometimes both partners within a relationship wish to see a Psychologist for individual therapy. If this is the case, we would suggest you each see a different Doctor for your mental health assessment.