Available support

When accessing treatment for emotional and mental health problems, Medicare rebates are available on a range of mental health services. This support under Medicare can subsidise treatment provided by specialist practitioners (psychiatrists, paediatricians), general practitioners, as well as allied health workers (namely psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and mental health nurses).

The type of service that you may need will depend on a number of factors such as your current situation, personal history, and the presence/severity of your symptoms. If your condition is mild for example, you may benefit from support and supportive counselling. Alternatively if your condition in more severe and beginning to impact on your ability to function from day to day, other more medical and/or psychological treatments described may be necessary and is likely to involve the development of a mental health care plan.

Taking the first step

Depending where you are at in your perinatal journey (pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, postnatal), a good starting point is to talk to either your general practitioner or your health professional that is currently providing your care (midwife, obstetrician or maternal and child family health nurse) about any concerns that you may have, how you are feeling, symptoms you may be experiencing, and for how long this has been occurring.

Once I said I needed help there was plenty available, I just had to get past the imagined stigma.

Talking with your health professional will allow them to evaluate your support and/or treatment needs, and consider the most appropriate next step on your journey to recovery.