The term mental health encompasses all aspects of our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing, it affects how we feel, think and interact with the world around us. It’s important to acknowledge that “dealing with life’s challenges and changes” can be difficult at times and place our mental health and wellbeing under pressure. The effects of this will be different for all of us, as we all have an innate but varying capacity to cope and deal with these pressures.

A Mental Health Care Plan is designed for someone struggling with their mental health and wellbeing or experiencing a mental health disorder as diagnosed by a doctor. This mental health treatment plan is about YOU and your GP having a conversation and both agreeing that you need additional support. The mental health treatment plan is written out by a GP and identifies what type of extra support you need. It is really about patient and doctor agreeing on what is needed to help you achieve your goals and to support your recovery journey.

A Mental Health Care Plan may include:

  • Referral to a psychologist, counsellor or other mental / allied health professional.
  • A discussion around other types of support or strategies to help you.
  • Review of current medication or the prescription of new medication.
  • Other health checks or blood tests to explore other physical health issues.

Another major benefit of a Mental Health Care Plan is that it comes under the Better Access initiative, which entitles you to a Medicare rebate for up to 10 sessions with a mental health professional. The current guidelines do not cover all 10 session in one year. Your plan will cover you for 6 sessions, following that you can discuss with your GP whether the additional 4 sessions would be of benefit via a Mental Health Care Plan review and additional referral.

Some things to remember in context to a Mental Health Care Plan:

  • When booking an appointment with your GP ask for a longer consult or mention the reason for the booking (struggling with mental health / discuss care plan etc.)
  • Sometimes there can be waiting periods to see psychs / counsellors. Discuss alternate support options until you can get an appointment. This may include family, friends, support lines or other services. Options can be limited in rural and remote areas.
  • Like any plan, it gives us direction, but it’s important it is actively reviewed through follow-up appointments with your GP and check-ins to monitor progress.

Recovery from mental health and wellbeing challenges and / or mental illness is an ongoing process and is often referred to as the recovery journey. When we can seek help, talk about, normalise and work through our mental health and wellbeing problems, the boundaries of our comfort zone grow and expand. This is also how we grow as individuals and is the true meaning of resilience!

Working with Warriors® Podcast Series. These podcasts launched on the 19th June 2020 are based on conversations around men’s wellbeing and health from our “Working with Warriors”® education sessions. These short podcasts regarding a man’s approach to his wellbeing and health are now available to listen via our website or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and numerous other podcast directories.

Terry and the Team

The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401
Phone: 08 9690 2277
Email: menshealth@4blokes.com.au
www.regionalmenshealth.com.au