The Australian Government currently offers a program called the ‘Better Access initiative‘ to resolve a number of common mental health issues. In most cases your GP is the person paid to assess and administer your mental health journey. Your GP will make a basic assessment to determine that you meet the criteria for a mental health care plan under the ‘Better Access initiative‘. In this initial session they complete a document called a mental health care plan which typically grants six psychology sessions.
You can nominate your own psychologist or take a suggestion from the GP.
After six sessions with your psychologist you return back to your GP and they may grant you a further four sessions in that 12 month period. This is called the six plus for arrangement. Some mental health conditions are eligible for additional sessions under a different program but for most people with common mental health issues the limit for 12 months is ten sessions.
Your psychologist sends a brief report to your GP at the six and the tenth session to update your GP as to your progress and treatment direction.
Many psychologists will work with the client to keep within ten sessions to you minimise costs but you can also elect to pay for additional sessions without a rebate. In some cases private health insurance can provide a rebate.