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Mental health treatment plan

6-minute read

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help now, call triple zero (000). You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Key facts

  • A mental health treatment plan is available to people who are diagnosed with a mental health condition.
  • It helps to cover the costs of up to 10 individual sessions of mental health treatment each year.
  • See your doctor to find out if you might benefit from a mental health treatment plan.

What is a mental health treatment plan?

A mental health treatment plan is for people with a mental health condition.

The plan identifies:

  • your treatment options
  • support services available
  • what goals you and your doctor have agreed on

How can a mental health treatment plan help me?

If you are struggling with your mental health, having a mental health treatment plan can help cover the cost of seeing a specialist mental health professional.

It can also help you:

  • feel more in control of your mental health
  • feel supported

Am I eligible for a mental health treatment plan?

You can only access a mental health treatment plan if you have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression.

How can I get a mental health treatment plan?

If you are struggling with mental health issues, visit your doctor.

When you make your appointment, make sure to book a longer appointment. Or say that you are interested in a mental health treatment plan. This way, you and your doctor will have enough time to discuss your mental health.

Your doctor will assess your mental health to:

This assessment usually involves a questionnaire. Your doctor will:

Sometimes, it can take a few visits to your doctor to diagnose a mental health condition.

What does a mental health treatment plan cover?

The mental health treatment plan is part of the Better Access initiative. This initiative aims to improve outcomes for people with a clinically diagnosed mental health condition.

A mental health treatment plan lets you claim up to 10 individual and 10 group sessions with a mental health professional each calendar year. The plan helps you access free or subsided sessions. Because health professionals set their own fees, Medicare may only cover some of the cost.

Group therapy does not include family and couple therapy.

To start with, your doctor can refer you to a mental health professional for 6 sessions. If you need more, they can refer you for further sessions.

Will my mental health treatment plan expire?

Your mental health treatment plan does not expire. You can begin using it at any time for the number of services you are referred for.

If you use all 10 sessions and you feel you need further support, visit your doctor.

Resources and support

You can find more information about mental health, mental health services and treatment plans through:

  • Services Australia — for information on government payments and services.
  • Beyond Blue or call 1300 22 4636 for mental health support.
  • Headspace — supporting young people and their families to be mentally healthy.

You can also call the healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222 (known as NURSE-ON-CALL in Victoria). A registered nurse is available to speak with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Services Australia (Better Access initiative - supporting mental health care), MBS Online (Medicare Benefits Schedule - Item 2712), Lifeline (What is a Mental Health Treatment Plan?), PANDA (How to get a mental health treatment plan)

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: September 2023

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