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Desperately need physiatrist but can’t get any

Community Member

I’ve been trying for over 4 months, 5 different trips to my gp for referrals and no physiatrist will take me. they never even get back to me. i just don’t know what to do any more. i know i desperately need to get help but i don’t have any other options left but to keep my fingers crossed for several more months. it’s extremely important i see one and i don’t know how much longer i can hold out. is there any thing else i can do?

6 Replies 6

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Chillipower~

There is nothing more frustrating than having a health system that does not work, and trying for 4 months just to get an appointment is sadly all too common.


I would expect apart from your GP you may have tried the


healthdirect's National Health Services Directory

and the

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists' directory


My other suggestion is until you can get a psychiatrist to do one of the free on-line therapy courses put out by the Mindspot Clinic which is a government backed organisation that provides therapy for a range of illnesses and also has qualified psychologists supervising. They will liaise with your GP if you have one.


I used it for PTSD and it was a help.


I hope you find someone quickly




i appreciate your reply. unfortunately ive tried calling multiple psychiatrists before getting a referral and checking if they would take me as a patient. even after doing that they still never get back to me after i get the referral. as for the mindspot clinic, i dont think thats something that will benefit me as i need medication and diagnosis rather than therapy. i have tried psychologists and unfortunately they have not helped in the past. which is why im putting my last hope into psychiatrists and medication. but thank you for the suggestions!

Community Member

You've probably done this but just checking, after you got the referral did you call the psychiatrist office again? Maybe try calling them several times especially if they previously said they would take you on as a patient. Barring that, if you are particularly desperate, especially if you might self harm, try the emergency department of your local hospital. You may have to wait several hours but they will get you an emergency psychiatrist from the hospital to see you that day. 


I wish there was a better system for first contact with mental health professionals.


Sending thoughts of support and love.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear ChilliPower~


It's a great pity and I quite understand it is an actual psychiatrist you need. My only other suggestion (apart from the lists I mentioned) is wiht the clinics you have contacted ask them to put you on a cancellation list. I've have some success with this for other specialists.though the resultant appointments have been as short notice



Community Member

Hi i am having the same problem, have sent in 4 different referrals over the last 4 months and not one has contacted to let me know what is going on. I have had to ring or email them, one told me they had lost referral so resent it, then has to contact again to be told we sent a letter to your doctor telling you that we couldnt help. My doctors receptionists then dont tell me, i then have to make another appointment with doctor to get another referral.

Been in again today as i don't believe that my referral has enough information on it, my psychologist also agrees. He told me the referral needs to have details of my symptoms (as he thinks i have ADHD), asked doctor to add symptoms into referral and she wouldn't do it, she said she can't add them when they weren't the symptoms she noticed, the were symptoms the psychologist noticed.  She then told me if i want help i should go to the hospital and say i am suicidal to get help.

I just want an appointment with a psychiatrist who can diagnose me and then give me help. I am so frustrated how long do i fight for???  They tell us to ask for help, I am asking for help and not really getting it!!! 

The system is stuffed!!!!!!

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Glazier50~

Welcome here to the Forum. I"m afraid you are not the only one who has had to deal with the  shortcomings of the mental health system


This is not helped by people not doing their jobs properly, giving insufficient details or not notifying you and all the rest. Incredibly frustrating and one feels stuck.


To be told by your GP to go to a hospital and say you are suicidal when you have not said so in your message  is a most unprofessional action, and any remaining confidence I had in that GP would disappear. It smakcks of 'go away and bother someone else'.


If your psychologist feels that they have information that is relevant to the referral by a GP then it would seem logical they report those facts to the GP in writing (which is normal anyway) who then appends them to any referral they make. The referral does not have to be based just on the  GP's own observations.


I'm afraid it is a case of keeping on plugging away until you get a satisfactorily outcome. This is hard, and if the professional you are dealing with becomes too uncooperative maybe you have a chance to seek another.


Do you have anyone who can support you, it is a most stressful time?


I wish there was an easy answer