Getting a mental health treatment plan from your General Practitioner (GP) can help you access more affordable mental health services. Wonderfully, we have a counsellor and accredited mental health social worker on our team who can offer you counselling sessions that qualify for Medicare rebates – Chanel Keane.
Speaking with a GP about your mental and emotional well-being can feel scary and overwhelming. To make it easy for you, we share the following step by step guide on how to requesting a mental health treatment plan from your GP and access Medicare rebates for sessions with our counsellor, Chanel. This is the first time our counselling services have been eligible for these rebates and we are grateful to be able to offer this option.
The first step is to make an appointment with your GP. It is a good idea to book a longer consultation to give you and your GP enough time to discuss your concerns and for them to write up a mental health referral. It is important that you do not feel rushed and have enough time with your GP so that they can address your needs in a sensitive way – it may be worthwhile booking a longer than standard appointment, so perhaps ask their reception which appointment type is best.
During your appointment, your GP will ask you some general questions about your mental and emotional health. Your GP may ask you questions about any symptoms, how long you have been experiencing them, and how they are affecting your daily life. GPs are skilled at guiding the conversation and are keen to help you find support.
You do not have to have acute symptoms or mental health concerns to be eligible for a mental health treatment plan. GPs understand that many life challenges and stressors such as experiencing infertility, relationships issues, and grief/loss can affect a person’s emotional and psychological well-being. GPs generally prefer to address their patient’s mental health needs early so as to prevent symptoms from becoming more acute.
If your GP thinks that you would benefit from seeing a mental health social worker, they will provide you with a referral. You will need to ask them to include details for Chanel Keane at Fertile Ground Health Group. The referral will be for a certain number of sessions (usually six but up to ten) with a mental health social worker.
Chanel is available in-person or via Telehealth during the week at Fertile Ground. Please call if you prefer an in-person booking as you can only book Telehealth counselling appointments online. Reach our friendly reception team on 03 9419 9988
During your sessions, you will work together to develop a treatment plan to address your mental health concerns.
After your sessions, you can claim your Medicare rebates. The rebate amount for one hour sessions with a mental health social worker is $87.45 per session (as of February 2023). To claim your Medicare rebates, we can submit it for you or you can submit a claim through the Medicare website or app. You will need to provide your Medicare card details, the service details, and the payment details for the service.
Remember that seeking help for your mental health concerns is an important step in taking care of yourself. We all have times in our lives where we can benefit from having the support of a mental health professional who can listen and help us navigate through a challenging time. We are here to help in every way we can.
If you have any confusion about this process at all or would like to meet Chanel before you booking a series of sessions with her, please book a free 10 minute introduction call to discuss your needs and find out how she can help > navigate to bookings > Counselling > 10 min free Counselling introduction.
Perinatal & Fertility Counsellor, Accredited Mental Health Social Worker