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How Do I Get A Mental Health Treatment PlanYou obtain a Mental Health Care Plan by visiting your doctor, who will assess whether you have a mental health disorder and will benefit from a Mental Health Treatment Plan. Your doctor will ask you a checklist of questions to assess if you have a mental health issue. If your results suggest that you might have an issue that needs to be addressed, they will fill in the plan, and you will set goals together. As part of that plan, you may be referred to experts in the appropriate field required to assess and treat your specific condition.
When you make the booking for a Mental Health assessment, be sure to ask the receptionist for a double appointment, as 20-30 minutes are needed. If you have a history of mental health issues or a list of medications, take a list of the medications and what they were prescribed to treat and any documentation from external medical bodies that have documented your previous medical history.
What Does A Mental Health Treatment Plan Cover
If you have a Mental Health Treatment Plan, you will be entitled to Medicare rebates for up to 20 individual psychological appointments per calendar year. This gives you access subsidised by Medicare to certain psychologists, occupational therapists, and social workers.
You cannot receive Medicare rebates for all the sessions in one go. After your first six (6) appointments, you will need to see your doctor again for a Mental Health Plan review. They can then decide if you need a referral for further sessions.
The Mental Health Treatment Plan is part of the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule Better Access initiative. This initiative aims to improve outcomes for people with clinically diagnosed mental health disorders.
How Do I Ask For A Mental Health Plan
When you book the appointment with the receptionist, tell them you need a double appointment to discuss a Mental Health Care Plan with the doctor. Once you are in the appointment, talk to the doctor about what issues of concern you have and the things that have taken place in your life in the lead-up to the appointment. It helps to be as honest and open as possible.
Fear of being judged can prevent some people from relaying the truth in full, which can impact the assessment score and downplay the potential severity of your situation. Doctors and Mental Health Care Workers are non-judgemental and there to help you. They can only do that if you help yourself.
Can A Psychiatrist Provide A Mental Health Care Plan
If you are diagnosed as having a Mental Health Disorder, your GP will prepare an initial GP Mental Health Treatment Plan and then refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist who will prepare a detailed assessment and management plan specifically for the patient.
Psychologists are not licenced to prescribe medications. Psychiatrists are clinical doctors and experts in their field. They are licenced to prescribe medications to patients who require them as part of their treatment plan. Read how psychotherapy helps in mental illnesses.
Does A Mental Health Care Plan Expire
All patients require a current Mental Health Treatment Plan to be in place to claim a rebate for Better Access services from Medicare. Your Mental Health Treatment Plan may be provided to the allied Mental Health provider with the referral.
A Mental Health Plan does not expire per se but needs to be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure you are on track and working towards achieving good mental health.
How Many Sessions Are Under Mental Health Care Plan
The Medicare Better Access service allows for up to twenty (20) visits with a professional Mental Health Care Provider in one year. That total is broken down into an initial six (6) consultations and a review with your GP to assess if you require subsequent sessions or if your issue of concern has been addressed or treated.
How Often Can You Review A Mental Health Care Plan
Generally, a formal review should occur four weeks to six months after completing a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan. If a further review is required, this can occur three months after the first review.
The majority of patients do not require more than two formal reviews in a twelve-month period. Some cases might require quarterly or monthly reviews depending on the specific conditions being treated.
Can Kids Get A Mental Health Care Plan
Yes. Children between 5-11 can develop Mental Health Issues that require a Mental Health Care Plan.
Click the hyperlink to view a Mental Health Assessment for children.
What Is The Medicare Rebate For A Psychologist
As of 2022, if you have an eligible Mental Health Treatment Plan, the government will provide you with a rebate or pay part of the costs for accessing psychological services.
If you see a Registered Psychologist, you will get back $89.65.
If you see a Clinical Psychologist, you will get back $131.65.
*Please note that the amounts stated are accurate at the time of writing and are subject to change in line with government and Medicare legislation.
Read our article on why is world mental health day important for more insights.