GETTING HELP: MENTAL HEALTH PLANS
When you get to a point when you know that you’re not okay and you need help, I myself know from experience that there are many factors that stop you.
No I didn't include certain factors more than once accidentally - they were what stopped me from getting help when I knew I needed it. I had spent weeks and weeks crying every day, sitting on my kitchen floor with a crying newborn in my arms staring at the wall, not wanting to get out of bed and just an absolute mess. At that stage I hadn’t gotten help because I didn’t want to admit I had depression all over again (except this time post-natal) and I couldn’t afford to see a psychologist.
It’s not easy to reach out. It’s not easy to book a doctor with a child who doesn’t sleep, so taking the steps to leave the house while severely sleep deprived and with a baby who will probably scream the whole car ride there and then in the waiting room too is a journey we just can’t muster up, purely because we’ll probably cry while the baby does. I know I did.
When it comes to money, I like to think we’re pretty lucky here in Australia. We have bulk billing doctors through medicare and mental health care plans to help us afford the cost of professional help. At my most desperate of times, I just went straight to the psychologist and that ended up costing me a nice $180 out of pocket, so yes, I learnt the hard way and went straight to my doctor to help take care of the rest. It was the best thing that I ever did.
So what is a mental health plan?
According to Headspace
A mental health care plan is a support plan for someone who is going through mental health issues. If a doctor agrees that you need additional support, you and the doctor will make the plan together.
A mental health care plan might include:
A referral to an expert, like a psychologist
The types of mental health care that can support you
Other strategies to improve and maintain your mental health, like our tips for a healthy headspace.
If you have a mental health care plan, the Government will pay some or all of the cost of up to ten sessions with a mental health expert in a year. You can get that through the Medicare rebate.