Did you know? Under the “Better Access to mental health care” program eligible patients can receive up to 10 individual/group sessions with mental health professionals. The program aims to improve outcomes for people with mental health issues by linking them with appropriate treatment.

Medicare rebates are available for mental health supports such as:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologist (clinical and registered)
  • Social Workers
  • Occupational therapists

The program is available for people assessed with a mental health condition who would benefit from a structured approach to the management of their treatment needs.

These sessions are available through a referral from your GP. Your GP will develop a Mental Health Treatment Plan with you. It is up to your GP to determine whether you require a treatment plan.

Sample of a GP Mental Health treatment plan – http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-ba-gpsamp

You may also be referred by your psychiatrist or paediatrician.

Your GP can refer you for up to 6 sessions. Once you have completed your 6 sessions you can return to your GP to obtain a referral for a further 4 sessions if appropriate.

Depending on the health professional there may be a cost/gap that you will need to pay. Once you have a Mental Health Care Plan it could be worth calling a few places to determine whether there is a fee.

The 10 sessions are available to eligible people every calendar year.

More information on this program is available by calling Medicare on 132 011.