General support options

Support options can be provided face to face, by telephone, or online

Community Mental Health Services:

Community based organisations can offer a range of free or low cost mental health services. Some community services have guidelines around who can access their services.

General Practitioner (GP):

For many people, their local G.P. is the first person they seek mental health support from.
A GP can conduct a basic mental health assessment and provide referral options for further support.
Not all GPs are the same, some GPs have additional mental health qualifications.


Psychologists can provide psychological assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Psychologists are trained to deliver effective and scientifically supported treatments for mental health disorders, including: depression, anxiety, phobias, stress management, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Some psychologists specialise in particular professional areas, for example Clinical Psychology. The Australian Psychological Society (APS) provide information about some of the most common areas.
Medicare rebates are available when visiting a psychologist under the Better Access initiative. To access the rebate you will first need to visit a General Practitioner (GP) and receive a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan.
Psychology is a regulated profession in Australia. To maintain registration as a ‘psychologist’ a person must adhere to certain standards of practice. APS Code of Ethics
For assistance in finding the right psychologist for you, visit:
For further information on the Better Access initiative and the GP Mental Health Treatment Plan visit the Department of Health's website

Social Worker:

"The social work profession in Australia is broad and diverse but consistent to all practice is a commitment to human rights and social justice. Social workers work with individuals, families, groups and communities in the context of their physical, social and cultural environments, their past and current experiences, and their cultural and belief systems." - AASW


Psychiatrists are qualified medical practitioners who have undergone further specialist training to become experts in the treatment of mental illness. You will often need a referral to see a psychiatrist.
General Practitioners (GP) can provide referrals to psychiatrists. GPs will usually complete a mental health assessment with you before making the referral.
The Black Dog Institute provide a Fact Sheet on what to expect from a mental health consultation.

There are also telephone services you can access for information, referral and treatment:

Telephone services may help you better understand the situation, find the right support, and help reduce any immediate distress you or someone else may feel. An advantage of telephone services is that they can sometimes provide immediate counselling support.
A list of key telephone services.

Online services you can access for information, support and treatment:

Online services may provide you with additional information and support to help you manage the situation.
Some online services provide self-help treatments that you can complete by yourself or with the support of a mental health clinican. MindHealthConnect provide a list of online self-help programs.

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