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How can I gain access to sessions with a Psychologist? Referral Pathways Explained.

Updated: Apr 22, 2022

Deciding to seek help and see a psychologist for the first time can be challenging for some. The mere idea can raise questions and complicated feelings of uncertainty about the whole process.

Hills District Allied Health would like to offer some tips and insight to help support anyone considering seeing a psychologist to feel that they have the tools to make the right decision for them and their circumstances.

One of the initial things to consider when seeing a psychologist is what kind of referral you will be using. Some options include:

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is for clients who are supported financially under the NDIS for supportive services due to a disability. NDIS clients can claim support by managing their own funding, gaining support from Disability Support Managers, and requesting that providers who are accredited by the NDIS claim the cost of services directly from the NDIS.

Workers' Compensation is when a client is referred to a psychologist due to a psychological injury sustained at work. This will often include financial support from the employer's insurance to fund a number of sessions which can be determined by the circumstances and severity.

Medicare subsidised sessions can be accessed through your GP under the 'Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access) initiative' and the 'Australian Government’s Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program'. If using these medicare supported programs a new client would need to make an appointment with their GP and ask for a Mental Health Care Plan. It is wise to do this in a longer appointment with your GP so that they can talk to you in-depth about your circumstances and needs. The GP may make a recommendation for a particular Psychologist at this point, or if you know who you would like to see you can advise them of your choice. In this session, a GP may conduct an assessment scale using common tools such as the K10 or DASS. These scales offer a snapshot of the levels of anxiety, stress and depression being experienced at the time of assessment.

Tele-health appointments are currently covered under the mental health care plan accessed through your GP. If your preference is to have sessions with a psychologist using an online tool such as Zoom, please discuss this with your GP when discussing your Mental Health Care Plan. Online sessions can also be funded privately.

Private Health Care can be used to subsidise the cost of sessions with a psychologist. If you are considering using your private health care please call your psychologist's office to ask for an item number for the services required, your health fund will then be able to use this item number to offer you a quote to determine how much they are able to pay to subside each session, and for how many sessions.

Privately funded clients pay for sessions out of their own pocket and with no assistance from any cooperation or government agency. Privately funded clients do not require an assessment by a GP, a Mental Health Care Plan, or to notify their Health Fund if they have one. Privately funded clients have a direct relationship with their Psychologists from the beginning and for as long as they require support.

If you are unsure of which referral type is right for you, we would be happy to talk to you about how we might be able to help. If you would like to contact us click here to leave your details and we will call you back.

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