If you are noticing that life is becoming more challenging or overwhelming and you want to talk to a professional but are worried about the impact of a mental health record, or others being involved, possibly dependent on someone for a doctor’s appointment, then, contact a professionally registered counsellor or psychotherapist. No referral is required and no mental health record is filed with Medicare.

Professionally registered counsellors offer private counselling to individuals, couples, families and groups. They are experienced across all areas of mental health, and it is easy to discover one who specialises in your specific area of need, if required. They are not restricted to a limited number of sessions, they do not pathologise and they are not bound by governing practices of methodologies. In short what this means is that you will not be labelled, there is greater freedom of choice for you to choose how you process your issue and how long it takes. As most of us are aware, we all learn differently, so too, do we process experiences differently and so as each issue is different it sometimes requires alternative style by which to achieve a successful outcome. Unlike Medicare mental health plans, most professional counsellors work from a problem focused perspective, that is to say, it is not a band-aid solution focus approach to ‘fixing’ you, but a complete wellbeing process for sustainable resolutions of your issue(s).

What professional registered counsellors do offer, just like Medicare Service Providers, is confidentiality, a governed code of ethics and practices, high levels of expertise and a network of resources for additional services, if required.

Prescribing to a Medicare Mental Health plan has its benefits with a number of sessions (between 6 – 10 per year) that are claimable, however, for most people this is only for a fraction of the actual cost. For the majority of Medicare Mental Health Services there is an out of pocket expense that is typically equitable to that of the cost of a private counsellor. If you choose to continue with your Medicare Service Provider past your nominated number of sessions, you are required to pay full costs.

Yet, are you aware that some private health insurers offer cover for private counselling and that taxpayers may be eligible to claim counselling and/or mentoring expenses on their tax and/or gst returns.

How can I access services that are not Medicare related?

  • Ask others, you just never know who else knows of a professional counsellor to recommend
  • Online search for professionally registered counsellor at Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (ARCAP) arcapregister.com.au
  • General online search for: counsellors or psychotherapist on the internet by area or specialisation or methodology or other demographic
  • Mention to your GP that you are looking for help but don’t want a mental health record, they often keep a database of service providers.
  • Be aware of counsellors who offer e-health services such as: Skype, phone and/or instant messaging as they may provide greater accessibility for your circumstance and/or needs
  • Keep an eye open for support groups or psycho-educational workshops that offer support in different ways and that you are comfortable in joining or being a part of.

Of course there is a plethora of free services available via governmental and non-governmental programmes. It really depends on you, your circumstance and who and what you are comfortable with.

The big message here is that just because Medicare Mental Health Plan is government led and funded does not mean it’s the best plan for you, it just means it’s probably the only one you’ve been told about. You have a choice and now that you have a little more understanding you can choose what’s best for you.

The most important message here is, whatever your choice, don’t wait to do something about what you are experiencing.   Talk to someone today.

@mutuworld     #preventMHI