Female consumers
Male consumers

Female consumers

16 to 24 years

Female aged 16 to 24 years, Major City, VIC
For severe and long term mental health difficulties, more than 12 sessions are sometimes required. I currently access a private psychiatrist twice weekly and have for the last four years. However, for those who cannot afford private health cover and need more…. (#66)

Female aged 16 to 24 years, Major City, VIC
Mental health disorders are already social taboos, having lack of access to available services makes life just that little bit harder. (#18)

Female aged 16 to 24 years Outer Regional NSW
I had the experience of having to wait eight weeks with my GP's referral to a psychologist from the Division of GP. I then learnt that I could actually find my own. I didn't have to wait to be seen, and whilst I had to pay an extra $45 to see them,… (#81)

Female aged 16 to 24 years
Rebate for REGISTERED psychologists needs to be the same as clinical psychologists. There is no prejudice between the 2 types of professionals for sufferers of mental disorders, that they are both entirely and equally accessible. (#110)

25 to 44 years

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City ACT
The completion of the Mental Health Plan by the GP was unhelpful for the GP and myself. It was a formality they had to complete to enable me to access the Better Access initiative and made no difference to the treatment they provided. All it did was cost me. . . .(incomplete comment) (#107)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City ACT
There needs to be more information about it 'out there'. Are the people who have accessed it those who were already accessing services but now get to do it subsidised? I suspect so. I've heard from others that some GPs tell clients it is a waste of money. (#5)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City ACT
Yes, it should be for an unlimited amount of sessions, not limited to I think 12 in one year. (#98)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City NSW
Have recommended this many times. I found it to be very helpful. Awareness and easier access to mental health professionals is critical to managing these illnesses. I believe we are understaffed in rural areas and I hope this can be addressed. (#21)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City NSW
I have to travel 2.5 hours by public transport each way (so 5 hours in total) to see a decent psychiatrist. I have tried the public system psychiatrists but every time I went they kept asking me if I was suicidal or wanted to harm myself. (#113)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City NSW
I have to travel from Beaumont Hills to Burwood (St John of God Medical Centre) to see my psychiatrist on a monthly basis. I believe that GPs require more information on depression and anxiety as I have been suffering for 13 years before my GP decided to refer me. (#42)
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Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City NSW
It is one thing to have access to a health practitioner (eg GP) but quite another to have them facilitate access to further practitioners. My GP refused me a mental health plan as, in his words, "a psychologist can't make my problems go away." (#29)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City NSW
Psychological and Psychiatric services are great-need them in a quicker timeframe or your Mental Health decreases. (#82)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City NSW
Services need to treat the whole person, need to be free or cheap and waiting times must be as short as possible. System requires more government spending! Schools also require more counsellors! (#115)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City NSW
The care I received was on the whole excellent. My only issue was that I had a terrible experience at an acute psychiatric ward as there were no beds available in a more suitable specialised mother baby unit and as such suffered longer. (#36)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City QLD
I ran out of the 12 ones per year at a time when I needed them. (You only get 12 sessions a year apparently.) I found that I got a lot better when I started going to the sea/sun with a friend once a week and swimming in the sea, relaxing and having a chat. (#83)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City QLD
To overcome Depression, you really need to see a Therapist for quite a long time. They tend to be expensive and I had to give up before I was in any way better, merely because I could not afford it. I now feel I am on my own as I can't afford to see a Therapist. (#77)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City VIC
GPs need to be better educated about mental illness so that they make referrals not just a prescription. (#76)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City VIC
I feel that as a sufferer of depression, single, working/studying part time and in my late 20's I don't get enough support from the government or medical profession to help me beat this illness. I struggle with my medication bills, add to that the limited . . . .(incomplete comment) (#85)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City VIC
I think it is a fantastic step in the right direction but it shouldn't end here. Greater education is needed all the time advising people where to go and what to do and what resources are available to them before they become desperate. (#35)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City VIC
I think it's wonderful that this is being given such consideration. I am unfamiliar with the public system in this respect, having been referred to my psychiatrist by my endocrinologist, but I am aware that there are issues with waiting times & the system. . . .(incomplete comment) (#119)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City VIC
In reference to question 6, the costs of treatment were only affordable with the Medicare rebate. Without the rebate, I would have been unable to seek the ongoing treatment I required. (#44)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City VIC
It was great to see an allied professional (clinical psychologist) who specialised in my problem areas (borderline personality disorder) and who could target the treatment specifically to me in conjunction with my psychiatrist prescribing medication. (#65)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Major City WA
I think the cost of the allied health professionals is still too expensive, and there should be more of a Medicare rebate made available, especially for those on benefits or low incomes. (#33)
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Female aged 25 to 44 years Outer Regional QLD
Psychology appointments undertaken were at no cost, this may have been funded through Medicare, not really sure. Medications however are quite expensive. (#38)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Outer Regional QLD
Service from Health Professionals is good, but access to them especially in emergencies is bad. Appointments can take weeks, and if you are mentally ill this can seem like a life time. (#112)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Outer Regional VIC
The treatments from the psychologist were not evidence based, just talking, no plan, no evaluation of where we were, no direction in the treatments, very crisis driven and not helpful. Made no attempt to refer me to a psychiatrist even though my symptoms . . . .(#6)

Female aged 25 to 44 years Outer Regional WA
My GP firstly didn't do a mental health care plan as she didn't have time so I was referred to a psychiatrist who I had to pay without any rebate because of my doctor. Finding the right psychiatrist is important for the individual’s recovery. (#26)

45 to 64 years

Female aged 45 to 64 years Inner Regional NSW
There were not enough sessions. (#60)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Inner Regional SA
I think for the purpose of this survey, you are only asking the experience of obtaining the allied health aspect of the service. What about the experience of the GP doing the health care plan. My experience of this was appalling (#8)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Inner Regional TAS
I am not satisfied with the availability of Medicare rebate in respect of clinical psychologist, etc without reference to their training and practice while it is not available in respect of services provided by others including counsellors with very high skills. (#22)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Inner Regional VIC
More public awareness of this scheme would be positive. (#116)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City NSW
As someone who has a heart arrhythmia that is often mistaken as an anxiety condition, I feel I can comment on services for people with at least anxiety disorders. I understand that there is a Better Access initiative allowing access to psychologists etc (#125)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City NSW
I believe that there should be Medicare only access to quality psychiatrists. (#45)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City NSW
I was seeing a psychologist for months before the initiative rebates began and getting very little rebate from my health fund and looking at having to stop. Now I feel that I am able to get the help I need without so much worry of cost (#57)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City NSW
In the past 10 years, I have needed to access Mental Health Services for my daughter and have been somewhat disappointed in the result being referred to one department to another, when someone is in distress and has threatened suicide these services should be easy. . . .(incomplete comment) (#121)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City NSW
It is less stigmatising than having a case manager in the public system. Also having GP means more likely to get care for both mental and physical health together, and it avoids the medication- more medication- side effects- multi medication – diabetes. (#89)
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Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City NSW
Thank you for this opportunity to comment. Access would be improved if there were rebates available, through Medicare and private health insurance schemes, for visits to counsellors/therapists as well. (#37)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City NSW
This initiative helped me as I was very distressed after the break-up of a relationship. I was supported at every step by the GP, who was concerned that I might become suicidal. I was referred to the Extended Hours Team (community mental health service). (#9)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City QLD
Fours years ago, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Took me two years to recover. Use all health services available. Now see psychiatrist for a check up each year. Have Blood tests for Lithium levels. Have my own individual Stay Well Plan to keep healthy. (#20)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City QLD
I feel that the costs of mental heath providers, mainly psychologists, are totally out of reach for the average family. Although the 12 week Medicare rebate does help anyone with mental health problems, in general need more then 12 weeks of seeing a mental health specialist. (#106)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City QLD
I think it should be a lot easier to see a doctor through the Hospital system. (#12)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City QLD
It has assisted me in accessing services that I would not normally be able to afford. (#91)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City QLD
The Better Access Initiative has made allied health services available and accessible to everyone, not just those who have private health insurance or financial capability to pay for services. This initiative should be continued and more people informed of availability. (#108)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City SA
Make it more highly promoted - not just web sites but everywhere but in particular to medical professions as well. (#84)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City SA
Many organisations funded by government who claim to offer a 'service' only keep lists of other people who offer 'service'. None of them actually do any work. More variety is needed than just talking eg art, narrative etc. (#92)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City VIC
I am in a position to afford to pay $100 for my weekly session with my psychotherapist and sometimes I feel a bit guilty about getting a Medicare rebate when there are probably people who need it more than I do. On the other hand, I have a severe and enduring problem. (#4)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City VIC
I believe that Family Therapists (qualified) should also be included in the Medicare rebate. I was seeing a psychologist for $150 per session, now see a family therapist at same clinic, who is meeting my needs fantastically and better than the original psychologist. (#34)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City VIC
Up front fees can be very expensive for those on limited income, may deter some people from seeking help. There is a need for "follow up" support groups in outer "metro" areas. (#79)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City WA
I was referred to local mental heath service which was helpful; however part of the reason for my depression is due to severe back pain and GP REFUSED to carry out Better Access for physio even after I stated as a resident of Australia was entitled to it. (#101)
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Female aged 45 to 64 years Major City WA
NOT sure as I only go to mental health clinic but I have a great GP who works in partnership with my psychiatrist. (#7)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Outer Regional SA
It is good that some funding is now available to help with the costs of seeing a psychologist etc. BUT
a) six weeks is usually nowhere near long enough to sort out most problems
b) you have to be able to access these services which is often extremely hard. (#88)

Female aged 45 to 64 years Outer Regional TAS
I have suffered with depression for years. Sometimes I cope other times I don't. I have other health issues and problems, i.e. two heart attacks at 45, diabetic, asthmatic, migraine sufferer, just to name a few. (#43)

65 years and over

Female aged 65 years and over Major City SA
I have been very fortunate with the help I have received from both my GP and psychologist. I feel it is very important for a patient to have good rapport with both the GP and psychologist for positive results. (#105)

Less than 16 years

Female aged Less than 16 Outer Regional NSW
My local services were very few, but when I had to go to an adolescent Mental Health unit it made me worse. I needed to be with my mum and Dad and I wasn't allowed and so I got worse. (#78)

Male consumers

16 to 24 years

Male aged 16 to 24 years Major City VIC
I chose a non clinical psychologist because I wanted to talk about my life goals and how to mange my mental health condition. (#10)

25 to 44 years

Male aged 25 to 44 years Inner Regional QLD
I have found that the Better Access Plan is a great help with the cost of seeing a Psychologist. I would like to see more sessions per year, as I found 12 per year is not enough for when a person needs a lot of help. (#87)

Male aged 25 to 44 years Inner Regional VIC
I am hoping this will help fill in the gaps within the primary care in allied health. (#74)

Male aged 25 to 44 years Inner Regional WA
I think any advancement in treating mental health problems early, affordably and with understanding will advance our society and make a real difference to individuals who have suffered silently and shamefully because of the misinformation and negligence. (#46)

Male aged 25 to 44 years Major City VIC
I think any initiative that may contribute to more accessible and affordable treatment for sufferers is a good thing. A fortune gets spent by the Govt/TAC (rightly so) to address the road toll which is something everyone identifies with. Why should mental health be different. (#15)

Male aged 25 to 44 years Major City VIC
There are many issues with the public mental health system, far beyond the reach of this survey. (#69)

Male aged 25 to 44 years Major City VIC
There should be more information for local areas. (#75)

45 to 64 years

Male aged 45 to 64 years Inner Regional NSW
I believe we need a resource centre in our town like or similar to the one at 132 Prince Street, Grafton 2460. For starters, it would be a great place for consumers and carers to meet and socialize, share information stories etc. Numerous possibilities. (#95)
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Male aged 45 to 64 years Inner Regional NSW
Will the Initiative be looking at ways to increase the number of psychiatrists in rural/remote areas? (#28)

Male aged 45 to 64 years Inner Regional SA
There has been no residential or visiting psychiatrist to my town since 2007 and I only have a social worker and GP which can see me regularly providing there is an appointment available. Demands on their time are high. (#73)

Male aged 45 to 64 years Major City NSW
Getting the GP to complete a form is hard enough. Finding a psychologist to see is even harder! (#97)

Male aged 45 to 64 years Major City NSW
There is still considerable stigma attached to Mental health and its treatment. The fact that it is difficult to access help only feeds that stigma. GPs tend to medicate problems without offering real alternatives or complimentary remedies or strategies. (#71)

Male aged 45 to 64 years Major City QLD
I am in a more fortunate (or unfortunate) position than most people suffering similar problems to myself, because I am a Vietnam veteran, and my conditions resulted from that part of my life. Therefore, I am able to access services which are accessible easily through DVA. (#100)

Male aged 45 to 64 years Major City SA
I consult a psychiatrist for an organic mental disorder. I would not consult an allied therapist. (#62)

Male aged 45 to 64 years Major City SA
I have multiple chemical sensitivity, a condition whose aetiology is unknown but which is often associated with neuro-psychological complaints. Whatever the cause may be, the symptoms of MCS following chemical exposures are severe and often extreling(?). (#86)

Male aged 45 to 64 years Major City SA
Mental health is proceduralized to the detriment of the consumer. I have been abused and witnessed dear ones suffer abuse as a direct result of vulnerable situations they were put in by mental health treatments. Dangerous cowbows. (#123)

Male aged 45 to 64 years Major City SA
The more 'open' the issue of mental illness is made will help take away the embarrassment that consumers feel of admitting to it. Mental illness MUST be considered to be an illness, if diagnosed by a credited doctor, and should be recognised as such. (#99)

Male aged 45 to 64 years Major City VIC
I think the stigma attached to mental health problems is a major problem. Poster advertising campaigns in Melbourne in recent months have been excellent. (#39)

Male aged 45 to 64 years Major City VIC
My psychiatrist bulk bills and, as an ongoing patient for over 10 years, I have ready access. Hence my comments may not relate to the BAI. (#104)

Male aged 45 to 64 years Major City VIC
Psychiatrists are crucial and almost impossible to see! (#52)

Male aged 45 to 64 years Major City VIC
There are many choices regarding access to help and these are to be made by the patient. Oftentimes the patient is not able to make the right choice, because of a lack of information or because of the nature of the illness. (#64)

Male aged 45 to 64 years Major City VIC
There seems to have been an explosion in the need for access to mental health professionals but not enough of them to go round! (#80)

65 years and over

Male aged 65 years and over Major City VIC
I question the usefulness of a simplistic survey such as this. People being happy with the service etc does not mean that they will have received the right treatment. Whether one would advise someone to see an allied health professional would depend upon their condition. (#103)