Please note, you do not need a mental health care plan to see a psychologist. However, with a health care plan you will be eligible for a rebate on your session. For more information, please see our billing page.
What is a Mental Health Care Plan?
If your eating disorder and mental health is a serious concern, you should start by visiting your doctor.
After an assessment, your doctor will decide on a course of treatment. One of these treatment options is a Mental Health Care Plan with a psychologist.
A Mental Health Care Plan doesn’t cover eating and food relating issues specifically. However, it is designed to address mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and overwhelm – which frequently appear in clients with eating disorders and food related issues..
A Mental Health Care Plan is a series of steps that allows you to beat the associated mental health issues and give you a better foundation to overcome your eating disorder.
The Mental Health Care Plan allows both your doctor and a psychologist to join forces and combat your mental health issues – like a super team.
Under the Mental Health Care Plan, the doctor will assess your mental health, identify your treatment, and refer you for that treatment. Then your psychologist provides the treatment.
Two heads are better than one. With this approach, you can be confident that your unique mental health needs are addressed.
A Mental Health Care Plan also allows you to claim money back from medicare for your psychologist sessions.
What is in the Mental Health Care Plan?
The Mental Health Care Plan with your Doctor consists of five different parts.2
- A discussion to identify your issue and your unique needs.
- A formal assessment of the severity of your issue.
- Working together to identify the best course of action for your issue.
- Referral to an specialist on your condition (such as a psychologist).
- A review of your progress.
The Mental Health Care Plan is designed to identify the support you need for your mental health issues and set clear steps for your recovery.
Both you and the doctor will need to agree on the treatment provided by the Mental health Care Plan before proceeding.
What are the benefits of a Mental Health Care Plan?
There are four advantages to using a Mental health Care Plan to treat an eating disorder or food related issue.
- 1. A second opinion
Our services might not be the only solution for you. Your doctor will look at your symptoms and ensure that you get the right treatment.
- 2. Combined expertise
What’s better than one expert helping you? Two experts! Your doctor and our eating disorder specialist will work together to solve your unique issue.
- 3. A better understanding of you
The Mental Health Care Plan outlines pre-existing conditions and medication you may be taking. With your full health background, we can create a better program for you.
- 4. Eligible for Medicare Rebate
Receive a medicare rebate that reduces the cost of each session. Who doesn’t want to save money?
How does medicare work with a Mental Health Care Plan?
If you are on a Mental Health Care Plan, you are eligible for a refund from Medicare for each session of support you receive at Happy Body Clinic.
The exact amount you get back from Medicare will be determined by the professional who treats you and the length of the session.
For more information, please refer to our billing page.
How many sessions are covered by the Mental Health Care Plan?
A Mental Health Care Plan will cover up to 20 counselling sessions per calendar year.
Are you eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan?
While your doctor has the final say, there are several questions that you can ask to determine if a Mental Health Care Plan is appropriate…
Do your issues with food or body image cause thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that are overwhelming you?
Are these thoughts, feelings or behaviors negatively impacting your everyday life, such as work or relationships?
Do you believe that a program designed to support and guide you can help solve your issues?
If you answered yes to all the above, you are likely eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan.
Your eating issues may be causing:
- An unhealthy reliance on food, alcohol or drugs.
- Feeling out of control
- Distress from feelings of shame and guilt
- Anxiety or constant worry
- Depression or grief
- Uncontrollable anger
- Sleep Problems
- Panic Attacks
Each of the above is significant enough to warrant a Mental Health Care Plan.
When should I visit my doctor and ask for a Mental Health Plan?
The short answer is:
Whenever you want.
You can ask for a Mental Health Care Plan…
- 1. Right now
You can see your doctor before contacting Happy Body Clinic. This way, you will know you are eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan before booking an appointment.
- 2. After your free phone consult
During the initial phone consultation, we may decide that you would be a good candidate for a Mental Health Care Plan. If so, we will suggest this option to you during the consultation.
- 3. After your first session
The first session is where we really get to know you and explore your food related issues in detail. If, during this session, we believe you would benefit from a Mental Health Care Plan, we will advise you to visit your doctor before the next session.
Booking an appointment with your doctor about a Mental Health Care Plan
When booking an appointment, you should tell the receptionist that your visit is to discuss a Mental Health Care Plan.
This way, the doctor will be ready to talk about your issues with you and set aside enough time to draw up the plan.
It’s not uncommon for doctors to make their assessment and complete your plan over two appointments.
By being upfront about your visit, you might be able to book a back-to-back session with enough time to complete a Mental Health Care Plan assessment – no need to come back at another date.
What should I say to my doctor in regards to a Mental Health Care Plan?
This is why it’s important to find a doctor you can trust.
You need to openly discuss the food and mental health issues you are experiencing and how they are impacting your life – don’t hold back.
You should also raise that you want a Mental Health Care Plan, and ask if it is suitable for your needs.
With all the information on the table, your doctor will be able to identify the best treatment option.
Important: A Mental Health Care Plan is also a referral. Once you and your doctor decide that psychological treatment is the right option, you should tell them that there is a psychologist at Happy Body Clinic that you would like to see.
How will my doctor assess my condition?
After discussing your issue and other background information, your doctor will assess your eligibility for a Mental Health Care Plan.
To do this, he will use an Medicare recognized test. Typically, this will be the K10 – a series of questions that will determine the severity of your mental health issues.1
The higher you score on this test, the more likely it is you will be eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan.
Click here to see the test for yourself.
Once the K10 test is complete, your doctor will discuss the results with you and determine if a Mental Health Care Plan is the correct treatment option.
Together with your doctor, you will agree on the health care options and level of support you receive over the treatment period.
What do I do once I have a mental health care plan?
Once your doctor has finalised the Mental Health Care Plan, you can start your sessions at Happy Body Clinic, and immediately take advantage of reduced costs.
Do I need to go back to my doctor again while on a Mental Health Care Plan?
Your Mental Health Care Plan covers 10 sessions with a psychologist. If you want to continue under the Mental Health Care Plan, you will need to update your doctor of your progress.
This is an important step. After reviewing your process, your doctor may have additional input which can speed up your treatment – we all want you to get better!
If your doctor agrees, he will sign off on an additional 10 psychology sessions under the Mental Health Care Plan.
Depending on the severity of your issue, you may find that 10 sessions is all it takes. But if you need more time, the extra 10 sessions are a safety net.
In the case of serious eating disorders, you may be eligible for up to 40 sessions under an Eating Disorder Management Plan.
The medicare rebate will apply to the extension.
Do I need a Mental Health Care Plan to see a Psychologist at Happy Body?
No, if you have an eating disorder, body image or food related issue, we are ready to work with you right now.
However, many clients benefit from their doctor’s input and enjoy the reduction in cost that a Mental Health Care plan offers.