Getting a Mental Health Care Plan

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A Mental Health Care Plan is a support plan for someone who may be experiencing mental health issues or concerns. 

If you have been feeling anxious, depressed, or are finding you are experiencing an ongoing period of sadness, it might be time to consider having a chat with someone who can help manage these emotions moving forward. 

Getting a Mental Health Care Plan is a big step in the right direction and nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. Life as of late has changed dramatically, whether you have been directly impacted by COVID-19 or not and it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed.

If you think getting a Mental Health Care Plan or speaking to someone is the next best step for you; there are some steps you can take. You may want to pass some information on to a friend or loved one also.

How do I go about Getting a Mental Health Care Plan? 
  1. The First step is to book an appointment with your GP. You can use your normal GP. If you don’t have one check out HealthDirect – a national directory to find one nearest to you.
  2. On the day of your appointment, make sure you have everything you need. Medicare Card, ID, and any extra money you may need if your GP charges above the Medicare Gap.
  3. Before you head into your appointment, you may feel nervous. Do some of these Mindfulness Meditations to help quell any anxiety you may have.
  4. When in with the GP, simply tell them about how you have been feeling and how you would like to explore some options for mental health support. GP’s have these conversations with dozens of individuals a day, so don’t be afraid to be honest.

    They may ask you about your physical health, your family history, how you are currently feeling and what is going to trigger these emotions. They may also enquire about your cultural background and your work and financial situation.
Now you have your Mental Health Care Plan, what’s next?

Now you GP has given you your Mental Health Care plan. This document outlines what you and your GP have agreed are some steps you would like to take. This also qualifies you for 10 subsidized sessions (note that this has increased to 20 free sessions between 2020 – 2021) with a psychologist, counsellor, or therapist. 

Now it’s time to find yourself a professional. Your GP may have suggested someone, but you can also check out Beyond Blue to find a provider, or speak with your family/friends (if you are comfortable with that) for some recommendations. 

Once you find someone you like, book an appointment in and go from there. These appointments will look different for everyone, but these are trained professionals who will help guide you through this process. 

Once you find someone you’re comfortable with, you can book in regular appointments to help you maintain your mental health. Some individuals may only need a few sessions and some may need ongoing support, it is important that you remember everybody is different. 

If you are having feelings of depression, sadness, or suicide you can talk to someone right away at LifeLine.

If you have an NDIS Package, you may also be eligible for accessing mental health sessions. You can contact the tappON team for suggestions on local professionals near you. 

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