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Topic: In need of extra help

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Sezza_H
    Sezza_H avatar
    31 posts
    20 February 2020

    Hello all,

    I’m currently seeing a psychologist at Headspace and have been doing so for the past couple of years. I have a mental health care plan so I am covered for 10 sessions with my psychologist each year.
    This is going well but I would like extra support on top of this, I am just not sure how to obtain this and how this works with the mental health care plan. Does anyone know if it’s possible to get more than 10 sessions a year? Would this extra support have to be sought outside of an organisation such as Headspace? Finally, how does all this work with the mental health care plan?

  2. Nurse Jenn
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Nurse Jenn avatar
    381 posts
    20 February 2020 in reply to Sezza_H

    Hi Sezza_H,

    Thank you for writing in to the forum and presenting a really important question. At the moment, each calendar year you can get a renewal for your BetterAccess sessions which is often not enough for many people. Topping up sessions can be expensive and for some people, unattainable. There are organisations called Primary Health Networks across the country (there are 31 of them) and they fund mental health services that sit along side of Medicare. These supports are generally for vulnerable people or those experiencing financial hardship.

    They often have central intake services that can offer you advise on other funding they may have that you could access. For example, they often have funding for people who are at risk of homelessness or who live in rural and remote postcodes. You can try to call your local Primary Health Network and find out if there is any mental health services that you are eligible for. You can find out where you local Primary Health Network is by going to this page.

    https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/PHN-Locator

    You can access some services that aren't as intense if you are feeling ready for a different level of support. I have listed a few below that you might discuss with your current psychologist. I also suspect at the headspace centre you are at, you may be able to access Youth counsellors but it would be different than the psychological level of support you are used to.

    An option that some people find really helpful is a National program called Mindspot. It is free phone and online treatment using a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy approach for people with stress, low mood, and worry. You connect with a Mindspot counsellor however you have to be over the age of 18 to access most of these treatment programs. You can visit the Mindspot Clinic by going to this page. https://mindspot.org.au/

    There is another free program that has been Developed by Beyond Blue called NewAccess that is available in some parts of Australia. You can find out if this program that supports people with low mood and worry is available in your location by going to the site. https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/newaccess

    These are just a few of the supports that are available but your local Primary Health Network may have others that they have funded in your area.

    Wishing you the best and hopeful to hear of others experiences,

    Nurse Jenn

  3. Sezza_H
    Sezza_H avatar
    31 posts
    20 February 2020 in reply to Nurse Jenn

    Hi Nurse Jenn,

    Thanks for your response! I will look into the services you have listed and have a chat with my psychologist to work out what the best course of action is.

    Thanks again for your help, it is much appreciated.

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