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Mental Health Care Plan - changing psychologist

Sneed
Community Member

Hello all, first time time posting here.

I just have a question in regards to the mental health care plan. Towards the end of last year, my GP wrote one of these up for me, and I went looking for a psychologist. I wanted someone to see me reasonably quickly as I had some pressing concerns, which was a difficult task as many seem to have long waiting lists. I was, however, able to find someone who would begin seeing me at the beginning of the year, an I have since had a few sessions with her.Unfortunately, I don't think it's going very well. Not to go into specifics, but I'm not sure her methods are appropriate for me personally.

I would like to try seeing someone else, but I am just not sure how to go about this with the MHCP situation. Is it possible to start seeing another psychologist on the MHCP after you've started with someone else? Would it require a new MHCP or do I use the old one?

I guess I just want to know if it's possible to transition from one psych to another on the MHCP and what the process for doing so would look like. I gave my MHCP to my current psych.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

1 Reply 1

Nurse_Jenn
Community Member

Hi Sneed,

Welcome to the beyondblue forum. It is a great place to get some support and answer your questions. The Mental Health Care Plan is a bit confusing for all of us. I can speak from what I know about the process but the easiest way to understand it is by going the Department of Health Patient Fact Sheet which can be found here. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-ba-fact-pat

In summary, once you gain a mental health care plan, you are entitled to an initial 6 sessions (plus an additional 4 on review) with a Allied Health Professional under the Better Access scheme. This means that you get a Medicare rebate for your psychological sessions. You must have a mental health care plan to access this scheme. If you see a psychologist and then you request to a new psychologist your mental health care plan does not expire. However you would need to visit your GP to get a new referral to a different psychologist. After the initial 6 sessions you GP does a review of your progress and then writes a review and referral for the remaining 4 sessions. These 10 sessions are allocated per calendar year and can be renewed by visiting your GP who can repeat the process annually depending on your requirements.

The reason why it is confusing is that this does not always work exactly the way the process is mapped out but this is the way it is supposed to occur.

There is another thread that discusses this on the forum as well and you can visit this by going to this page (just copy and paste the link into the google search bar as it is not hyperlinked)

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/treatments-health-professionals-and-therapies/changing-psychologists-with-medicare#qm3dFXHzvGGEbv8AAOnT_A

In short, you can change psychologists and should continue to be allocated the sessions you are entitled to with the support of your GP.

Wishing you the best possible outcome,

Nurse Jenn