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Paying for mental health services

1-minute read

The cost of mental health services varies enormously, depending on where you live and what service you are getting.

If you see a doctor (GP or psychiatrist), then Medicare covers some or all of that cost.

If you are in a public hospital, care is free, at least for a while.

If you are in a private hospital, you will be charged. If you have private health insurance, that will cover some of the costs.

If you see a community mental health service, that is free.

If you are cared for by an non-government organisation (NGO), that is usually free.

The Australian Government’s Better Access program allows people to see mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, GPs, psychologists and other allied health practitioners, and have that care partly funded by Medicare. People with a diagnosed mental disorder and Mental Health Treatment Plan from their doctor are able to receive Medicare rebates for up to 10 individual and 10 group therapy sessions per calendar year.

Last reviewed: July 2017

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