Seeing a mental health professional can vary in cost. Most people see a mental health practitioner for treatment of psychological conditions such as anxiety, depression, etc. Below is a guide to various pricing options for those who are seeking support.
Most people who are eligible for medical can access Medicare rebates for psychological sessions under the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access) Initiative.
To take advantage of the Better Access initiative, you’ll need to make an appointment with your GP, who will assess your mental health and well-being and create a mental healthcare plan with you. A mental healthcare plan is a support plan for someone who is experiencing psychological distress and mental health issues. Your mental health care plan might include your goals for your mental health and well-being and possibly a referral to a psychologist, mental health social worker, psychiatrist or occupational therapist. This initiative gives you access to 10 free psychological individual sessions per calendar year and 10 group psychological sessions per calendar year.
Due to covid 19 on the 9 October 2020 Government announced that you can access 10 additional individual mental health sessions. From 9 October 2020 to 30 June 2022 you can have a maximum of 20 individual Better Access Sessions each Calendar Year.
For more information on Better Access, talk to your doctor, treating health practitioner or visit www.health.gov.au/mentalhealth.
Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS)
ATAPS is a subsidized psychological treatment program provided by the government. This is a low-cost treatment option for people with mild to moderate common mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. The program is designed to complement the Better Access program. ATAPS provides psychological treatment for people who cannot easily access Medicare-based programs, including these groups:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- people in rural and remote areas
- children and young people
- people at high risk of suicide
- people not able to pay fees
Under this program, individuals may be able to access 12 individual therapy sessions per year. After six sessions, your doctor has to assess if you require a further six. In some exceptional circumstances at the discretion of your doctor, you may be eligible for 18 sessions per year. Individuals may also be qualified to attend 12 group therapy sessions a year.
To access ATAPS, you need to speak to a GP who will create a mental health treatment plan with you and refer you to a mental health practitioner.
For more information on ATAPS, talk to your doctor, treating health practitioner or visit www.health.gov.au/mentalhealth.
How Can Sisters Healing Space Help You?
Sisters Healing Space has a list of practitioners who can provide services through Medicare bulk billing, Better Access initiative and ATAPS. When you visit your doctor, you can discuss options on referral to mental health practitioners who have Medicare selected in their profile.
Private Health Insurance
They are several private health insurance options in Australia with various coverage features. If you have private health coverage, talk to your provider to see if psychological services are covered. Some practitioners may provide mental health subsidies. Please have a look at our directory and speak to a therapist today.
Not-for-Profit and Non-Government Organizations
They are several not-for-profits and NGOs that may provide counselling and psychological services free of charge or at a subsidised rate. For example
- Beyond blue
Private practice practitioners may not offer Medicare or private health rebates or subsidies. Psychological service prices vary from $50–$150 or more. View our directory to browse the cost of some of our practitioners who may have a private practice.
E-therapy comprises online programs that provide therapy either on the web or by phone applications. These programs offer assistance to people experiencing mild to moderate psychological conditions. You may have to pay a monthly subscription to use such a service.