“Be willing to ask!”Abhishek Ratna
Who can help you? Well, that depends on what you are seeking to solve or find out about.
There are a range of people in the community who are available to assist. For those seeking mental health support, there are a range of options, and the choice is always yours, however, you may need to have met their criteria for service if they are fully subsidised. Thankfully, there are now “no wrong door’ policies – which means that wherever you turn up to, they will assist you to get the right service for you.
In the public system, the local approved Mental Health Services can assist with assessment and treatment of acute mental health problems. Their telephone lines are manned 24 hours a day and they can get a member of the Acute Crisis Intervention team to assess you if warranted an after-hours call out or arrange a suitable appointment for the near future.
Your local Primary Health Network also funds organisations to provide subsidised mental health support for those experiencing stress and low to moderate mental health concerns. I know of three organisations in my local area who have either state or commonwealth funding to support the community at no cost to the individual being treated.
Then we have the private sector, in which I am one of many health professionals in the community who can see clients privately. As I have a Medicare provider number, clients who have a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) written by their General Practitioner can claim the Medicare rebate for up to ten sessions per calendar year. Or you could pay the full fee without a MHCP. For those with private health insurance, you may be able to claim under this – please check with your insurer whether you can claim for an accredited mental health social worker or psychologist.
For those with NDIS funding, check with your plan manager to see if psychological support is available.
There are a number of Employee Assistance Programs that many of us locally are signed up with as an approved contractor. Carers gateway is another option for those who are in a caring role.