Mental Health Treatment Plans
What is a Mental Health Treatment Plan?
A mental health treatment plan (MHTP) is a support plan that your General Practitioner (GP) writes with you in response to your mental health state. If your GP agrees that you require additional support, they will ask you a few questions to identify the type of healthcare that may be able to support you.
First, book an appointment with your GP and let them know it is to talk about a MHTP. During your appointment, your GP will talk to you about your mental health, your lifestyle and any stressors.
Your GP will make an assessment about your mental health and may coordinate a MHTP for you.
Your mental health treatment plan will have goals agreed by you and your doctor. It’ll also have:
- treatment options
- support services available.
Keep in mind your health information and treatment plan will be private. Doctors can’t share your information unless you agree to it.
Types of support you may be able to get with a mental health care plan include:
- one-on-one sessions with a psychologist
- group psychologist sessions
- sessions with a social worker or another allied health practitioner.
If you have a MHTP, you will be entitled to Medicare rebates for up to 10 individual sessions with a mental health professional (such as a psychologist or counsellor) in a calendar year. The Medicare rebate covers you for a certain amount of the value of your session.
If your mental health practitioner charges more, you’ll need to pay the difference.
It is important to remember you won’t be able to get a referral for all your sessions for the year in one go. Your plan will cover you for six sessions. After that, you can go back to your GP for a review. You will discuss whether it would be beneficial for you to have another referral for further sessions.
Every Medicare card holder in Australia is eligible for a Medicare rebate for:
- 10 sessions of individual in-person or telehealth counselling sessions per calendar year (psychological therapy)
- 10 sessions of group therapy sessions per calendar year
- These sessions might be with a psychologist, accredited mental health social worker or other allied health practitioner like a mental health nurse or occupational therapist.
Due to the ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic:
- Until 30 June 2022 10 additional individual psychological therapy sessions (including telehealth) are available to all people eligible for services under the Better Access initiative.
Medicare will rebate you $124.50 for a 50+ minute session (or $84.80 for 30-50 minutes) with a clinical psychologist on a mental health treatment plan. If the actual cost for a session is greater than this, you’ll have to pay the difference.
Your GP may refer you to a mental health professional near you, but you are welcome to conduct your own research and choose your own mental health professional. Click HERE to access our culturally responsive health practitioners list. Another good resource is the Australian Psychological Society –
Before you go to your appointment with your GP, it is a good idea to write down a list of things you want would like support with. If you are feeling nervous, there’s no need to worry as they are trained in helping people who need mental health support. Having a list can be a helpful prompt if you are having difficulty knowing what to say.
Bring your Medicare card and Private Health Insurance card (If you have private insurance)
Bring Photo ID – if you are a new patient so that you can be set up in their system.
If you live in a remote area or have other accessibility issues, it might be hard to see a mental health professional. You may be able to have a telehealth video consultation instead.
You can claim for video consultation sessions with a mental health professional.