Emergency Numbers

If you or someone you know is an immediate danger to themselves or someone else please call the emergency services line: 000

If you believe you need urgent mental health care and support, and are either unable to contact us or feel you cannot wait for the next available appointment, please contact Psychiatric Triage which offers 24-7 information, assessment and referral or Lifeline which also offers 24-7 crisis support. Beyond Blue and its corresponding website can also be helpful for individuals experiencing depression, anxiety and related disorders. SANE Australia and its own corresponding website can be similarly helpful for individuals attempting to cope with mental illness.

Psychiatric Triage for children and adolescents in crisis: 1300 369 012

Psychiatric Triage for adults in crisis: 1300 792 977

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

SANE Australia: 1800 18 7263

Frequently Asked Questions

"Do I need a referral?"
Yes. For most initial appointments a valid referral from a doctor is necessary. Some exceptions apply if an assessment is requested by an organisation such as an insurance company. If you wish to see a psychologist you will also need a mental health care plan in order to receive the Medicare rebate. A clinician might under some circumstances see a patient without a referral, but that will mean that a full fee with no Medicare rebate will be charged.

"What is a mental health care plan?"
In short, a mental health care plan is a specific plan made by your doctor for treating a mental health problem over a period of time. One is essential if you wish to see a psychologist as without a mental health care plan you will not be able to receive any form of Medicare rebate.

"Are your fees eligible for rebate?"
Most of our fees are at least partially rebatable through Medicare with some exceptions such as the writing of specific medical reports for court appearances and insurance companies. The amount available for rebate depends on the length of a session, type of treatment and, at times, your individual financial situation as clarified by your referring G.P. You can also have your fees paid partially or in full for you if you are making a claim through WorkCover, TAC, ComCare or the Department of Veteran Affairs. If you have extras cover, you may also be covered by your health insurer. As insurance policies vary greatly, we request that you check with your insurer before making your appointment. We are unable to check this for you.

"Is what I tell the clinician confidential?"
Yes. Anything discussed with your treating clinician will remain private and confidential. The information will remain confidential unless you give us permission otherwise. Any further privacy queries should be raised with your clinician during the initial appointment. It is common practice to share information with other medical professionals involved in your care such as your referring G.P. However, your consent will be needed and you can refuse this at anytime.

"How long is an appointment?"
All appointments with our psychologists generally last approximately one hour. An initial appointment with a psychiatrist will last approximately 45min according to your needs, and subsequent appointments will vary accordingly. Your psychiatrist will discuss this with you after your initial appointment. This is because some ongoing patients might only require 15min to receive a new prescription while others might need a full 'catch-up' session lasting a full 50min.

"How many appointments will I require?"
This is entirely dependent on your needs and the presenting issue. This can be best discussed with your clinician during the initial appointment.

"Can I bring someone into the session with me?"
Generally, this is entirely up to you. You can request for a partner, relative or other person to be present during the session if you so wish. The majority of such requests are usually granted.

"Do you have an immediate rebate system?"
Most of our clinicians are linked to the Online Medicare Rebate system. This requires that you first register for an online rebate with Medicare, either online or at a Medicare office. Once you are registered and Medicare has your banking details we can process an online rebate upon payment of your fee. The rebate usually appears in your bank account within three banking days after payment of your fee.

"How often will I have to have sessions?"
This is entirely up to you, your clinician and your individual circumstances. Most ongoing patients have recurring appointments every fortnight or each month. The recommended time period between sessions will be discussed with you during your initial appointment. It may also vary during your ongoing treatment depending on your individual circumstances at the time.

"I couldn't get my Medicare rebate?"
Please inform us if you have any problems getting your Medicare rebate. There are a number of factors that can result in Medicare refusing a rebate. Factors can range from a basic administrative error such as a wrongly entered date to an invalid referral or mental health care plan. If there are any problems, we will endeavour to explain and remedy the issue for you.

"What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?"
There are a number of differences between the two types of mental health professionals and it is best if you allow your referring G.P. to decide which professional will best suit your individual needs. Generally, there are two main differences. Psychologists are trained at university in understanding human behaviour and psychological issues while psychiatrists initially complete a Medical degree before continuing to specialise in mental health issues. Only psychiatrists are able to prescribe medications to treat your mental health. Overall, treatments can overlap and you may find that your referring G.P. believes you should see both a psychiatrist and psychologist.

"How do I get a renewed script?"
A patient must make an appointment with their respective psychiatrist in order to attain a prescription renewal. Due to the heavy volume of patients requiring renewed prescriptions we are no longer able to provide immediate script renewals. If your psychiatrist is unavailable, it can be useful to contact your referring G.P. instead.

"Do you charge cancellation fees?"
Our clinicians reserve the right to charge cancellation fees depending on individual circumstances if a patient cancels their appointment without 48 hours notice. Cancellation fees vary according to the clinician. The relevant information regarding fee costs can usually be found in a clinician's letter of introduction or registration form. If uncertain, please call and ask us or talk to your clinician during the initial appointment.

"How long is the waiting list?"
Waiting periods for an appointment vary dramatically due to a number of factors. Periods can range from a week to a couple of months. On a case by case basis we sometimes accommodate emergency appointments if it is practical and possible. We recommend making an initial appointment as soon as possible. It is common for some ongoing patients to reserve 2-3 appointments in advance following their initial assessment.