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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / How long does it take to get a first appointment with a psychiatrist?

Topic: How long does it take to get a first appointment with a psychiatrist?

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. LimeGreenTea
    LimeGreenTea avatar
    13 posts
    2 June 2020
    I recently talked to my GP on the subject of my mental health, they gave me a referral to a specific psychiatrist and said to make a booking with them. I did as they said but the earliest possible booking is for November (for future reference it's currently June). Is this normal?
  2. jess334
    Community Champion
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    jess334 avatar
    392 posts
    2 June 2020 in reply to LimeGreenTea
    Hi LimeGreenTea,

    Wow that is a crazy long wait. I have waited 8 weeks before, but not 5 months.

    Can you ask to be put on their cancellation list? Maybe that will move you up sooner.

    Otherwise, I'd suggest shopping around. Gps are usually happy to change the name on the referral letter. Give a few different places a call and book an appt at the one you can get in soonest. Then have your gp change the referral.

    During the wait period there are some great mental health places you can call if you are finding it difficult to get by. The Beyond Blue line is available 24/7.

    Kind thoughts Jess

  3. SarahZ
    SarahZ avatar
    79 posts
    2 June 2020 in reply to LimeGreenTea

    Hi LimeGreenTea,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks for reaching out.

    November seems like an exceptionally long wait! I've previously worked at a clinic and 2-3 months was already a really long wait. I think because of the current pandemic heaps of healthcare clinics are being inundated with people.

    I agree with jess334 - GPs are usually more than happy to refer you to a new psychiatrist if you ask them to. If you feel the wait until November is doing you more harm than good then you should definitely ask the GP to refer you to someone else who has a shorter waiting-list.

    Wishing you all the best!

  4. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    3980 posts
    2 June 2020 in reply to SarahZ

    I only had to wait about a month. I was told it could take up to 2 months but I was obviously lucky.

    Tim

  5. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
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    Sleepy21 avatar
    1189 posts
    2 June 2020

    Hello Lime Green Tea :)
    I think it is kind of normal, for good psychiatrists. It might be worth talking to the office about options for cancellations
    I would also add that sometimes very good ones have waiting lists - so I'd be wandering if your gp specifically chose this doctor because of his skill.

    For reference, I saw a psychiatrist who advertised that he could see any new patient within one week. There was no waiting times
    It turned out he was incredibly unethical and would cancel and move around current patients to fit in new ones, and also that he generally wasn't very good. Sometimes very good ones are busy, although it could also be that he works part-time. I would personally stay on the waiting list for this psych, meanwhile doing research into others in case one pops up who can see you sooner and fits your criteria. Good luck!

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