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What are GP Mental Health Care Plans?

Catherine Henry Lawyers
Catherine Henry Lawyers

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Mental Health Care Plans

Mental health care plans were introduced in the 2006 Federal budget.

They were introduced to improve access to mental health services by providing financial subsidies so that individuals can easily access clinical psychologists and others who provide mental health services in the community.

How do I get a mental health care plan?

If you feel that you would benefit from mental health treatment, you can ask your regular GP for a mental health care plan.

Your GP will work with you by assessing your mental health and determining what help you may need.

The GP will write up a mental health care plan which will then allow you to access mental health treatment (generally from a clinical psychologist) at a significantly reduced cost.

What sort of questions will my GP ask?

During the mental health assessment, your GP will address the following areas:

  • Your agreement for the GP Mental Health Care Plan service;
  • Your relevant history;
  • A mental state examination;
  • An assessment of risk and co-morbidity;
  • A diagnosis and/or formulation;
  • Use of an outcome measurement tool.

What is the benefit of obtaining a mental health care plan from my GP?

Rather than paying the full fee charged by the clinical psychologist, the government subsidises a significant part of the fee payable via a Medicare rebate.

In some cases, there will be no fee payable to the psychologist.

Each psychologist has a different charging policy and you will need to talk to the psychologist about how they propose to charge in your particular case.

How do I find the right psychologist? 

Your GP will assist you by providing names of psychologists. Alternatively, you can make enquiries via the Australian Psychological Society (APS) by calling the toll free number 1800 333 497 or by visiting their website (http://www.psychology.org.au) and clicking on the link “Find a Psychologist”.

How can we help?

Our health law team is highly respected in the health and medical litigation arena, with specialist knowledge accumulated over 25 years.

Our team can assist you by providing expert advice and legal support regarding your options. Contact us today on (02) 4929 3995 or info@catherinehenrylawyers.com.au.

*The material provided in our information sheets is for general knowledge only and is not a substitute for independent legal advice. For further information about the issues affecting you, please contact one of our experienced and professional lawyers for expert advice.

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