What is Medicare rebate?
Medicare provides access to health care for Australian residents. The government pays part or all of the fees when you see a health professional. This payment is called a rebate. To get the rebate you must have a Medicare card.
If you don’t have a Medicare card, please call Centrelink on 132 202.
If you receive benefits from the Government, you might be entitled to a Health Care Card. Bring your Health Care Card every time you need to see your doctor. Your Health Care Card will help you buy medication and access health care at a reduced rate.
The rebate amount may be different for each health professional.
Who should I contact if I am unwell?
If you have concerns about your mental health or that of someone else, please see your local doctor (GP). Your GP will refer you to a mental health professional if necessary.
In an emergency please call 000.
You may also contact the NSW Mental Health Intake Line on 1800 011 511. This is a 24 hour number to assist you with mental health acute care situations.
How do I access private mental health professionals?
Your GP may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist. They both work with people living with mental illness. However, they have different roles in your care.
- Psychiatrists are medical doctors. They have studied medicine and can prescribe medication. They will check how the medication is affecting you. Some of them also have received training to help people with mental illness by using other therapies.
- Psychologists study how people behave. They assess and treat people using different therapies.
They both can work in the public community health services or privately in their own business.
Through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access), you may have up to ten visits with allied health professionals. You will be given a Mental Health Care Plan by your GP, and this entitles you to services that include; Psychological assessment and treatment by a clinical psychologist, a Social Worker or Occupational Therapist.
Medicare may help pay for your care with one of these professionals, whether a psychologist, social worker or occupational therapist. Please talk to your GP for more information. You will require a referral for a Psychiatrist, and a Mental Health Care Plan for the other professional services
Where do I go for help?
Mental Health Information Line
1300 794 991
Anxiety Disorders Information Line
1300 794 992
Your local doctor (GP)
Translating & Interpreting Service
(TIS) 131 450
Please call the Mental Health Information Line through the Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS). Free to Australian citizens or permanent residents.
This information is for educational purposes. As neither brochures nor websites can diagnose people it is always important to obtain professional advice and/or help when needed.
This information may be reproduced with an acknowledgement to WayAhead – Mental Health Association.
The Association encourages feedback and welcomes comments about the information provided.