I’m really glad you reached out here. Fighting to find public mental health support can be such a nightmare, and most of the services I’ve found have been through other people’s recommendations. I spent many years trying to find help in the public system and it’s so tough. I eventually gave up and got private insurance so that when I need to go to hospital I can get actual help. I also spend a day each week in an outpatient program which is so useful to have that constant support. Sometimes it’s just not financially possible, I know, which is just terrible that we should have to forgo our right to good medical care if we can’t afford it. I know for me, I would rather keep my insurance than eat. It’s so sad.
Pepper has given some great ideas. I am also on Centrelink, so have had to be creative in finding help I could afford. I was wondering if your partner sees a psychiatrist? It can take some time to find, but there are bulk billing psychiatrists out there. I think you might have more luck finding this than a bulk billing psychologist. Some psychiatrists provide quite a lot of therapy, rather than just medication management.
The other thing that I’ve found extremely useful was finding a GP that I feel really comfortable with discussing my mental health. A lot of GPs will bulkbill patients on Centrelink, and you can see them as frequently as you need. My GP is fantastic and I will come in sometimes for a long appointment where she just checks how I’m going and if there’s anything we can work on. It took a while to find a GP that was willing to be that person for me, but she has been really supportive and also proactive in getting me other help when I need it.
The other service that has been immensely helpful to me was Partners in Recovery, which is an organisation funded by the government. I was given a support worker who helped me to work out what services I needed and then helped me to access them. They were great in knowing what was out there and advocating for me. They found me a bulk billing psychiatrist and helped me apply for Centrelink and the NDIS, and I started going to a local day centre that ran activities for people with mental illnesses.
I hope this helps a little. I completely understand how terribly hard and overwhelming it is to find affordable support. I wish you luck that you will find what your partner needs, and the persistence to not give up searching.