What is a Mental Health Care Plan?

A MHTP is a Mental Health Treatment Plan, or Mental Health Care Plan. It is Medicare-subsidised and allows you up to 10 sessions with a Psychologist.

Understanding Mental Health Care Plans: How They Work

Taking care of our mental health is just as important as caring for our physical health. One way to manage and support mental health is by using a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). But what exactly is an MHCP, and how does it work? Let’s dive in and take a deeper look.

What is a Mental Health Care Plan?

A MHCP is a structured approach to managing mental health conditions. It gives you access to 10 subsidised sessions with a psychologist each year and is developed collaboratively with you and your general practitioner (GP). It covers your mental health concerns and the goals you want to achieve and provides steps to reach those goals. 

How Does a Mental Health Care Plan Work?

1. Initial Assessment:

The development of a MHCP begins with an initial assessment conducted by your GP. During this assessment, you will discuss your mental health history, current symptoms, and any factors impacting your mental health.

Remember, when booking your appointment, to ask for a Mental Health Care Plan appointment so they can schedule an appropriate time; MHCP appointments are often longer than a standard appointment.

2. Developing the Plan:

Based on the assessment, your GP will work with you to create a tailored plan. This plan will include: goals, strategies, and interventions they think would be useful for the psychologist to use and resources and supports for you to access outside of your appointments.

3. Implementing the Plan:

With the plan in place, you will begin to implement the recommended strategies. This may involve regular therapy sessions, taking prescribed medications, engaging in self-care, or participating in support groups.  Here, we recommend calling your preferred psychologist and informing them you would like to schedule appointments using an MHCP. 

4. Regular Reviews:

A MHCP should be reviewed regularly; this is normally completed after your 6th appointment and then again after an additional 4 appointments. Your psychologist will send a letter to the GP once you have completed these sessions to provide an update on your progress and recommendations for your ongoing care. Your GP will review this letter and discuss your goals and progress to make any necessary adjustments to the plan and send back to your psychologist. 

What is a Subsidised Session?

A MHCP allows you to claim up to 10 individual or 10 group sessions with a psychologist each calendar year.  As each practice sets its fees, Medicare may only be able to cover some of the cost for these sessions.  For example, as of 2024, Medicare will pay $137.05 for an appointment with a Clinical Psychologist and $93.35 for an appointment with a Registered Psychologist. Please note these rebates are subject to change and we recommend asking your psychology practice for current rebate prices and how much their fees are so you can determine your out-of-pocket cost per appointment.

It is also important to know that you can continue to see your psychologist after your 10 sessions. However, you will need to pay for this through either your private health insurance or privately.  Please be aware you cannot use your MHCP and your private health insurance at the same time. 

While most mental health conditions will provide you with 10 subsidised sessions per calendar year, certain eating disorder presentations can extend this to 20. To be eligible for an Eating Disorder Treatment and Management Plan, you must have a diagnosis of one of the following: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder or Otherwise Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder (OSFED).  In addition to this diagnosis, additional requirements need to be present.  We recommend discussing these requirements with your GP as they are able to assess and approve an Eating Disorder Treatment and Management Plan.   If you’d like to see the requirements to get a general sense of whether you could be eligible, you can view the requirements here:

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/eligibility-eating-disorder-health-care-plan?context=20

A MHCP is a valuable tool for managing mental health conditions. It offers a personalised and proactive approach to care. By collaborating with your GP and psychologist and staying committed to your plan, you can take significant steps towards improving your mental health.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our friendly administration team, who will be able to assist you further. 

Better Self Psychology specialises in helping children, teenagers, and young adults.

More Articles

Better Self Psychology Understanding Emotional Distress
Self Improvement

Understanding Emotional Distress

There is no doubt that emotional distress is extraordinarily uncomfortable, and most of us will do anything to avoid it. But, experiencing some distress – and learning how to cope with it – is one of the key ingredients to achieving change through psychological intervention.

Better Self Psychology Stuck In A Pattern Of Unhelpful Thinking
Self Improvement

Stuck In A Pattern Of Unhelpful Thinking?

It is no question that many of us wish we were able to see the world through rose-coloured glasses. Although viewing some situations in a less than optimistic light is completely normal, some of us may find that our perceptions of the world often fall into this category.

Self Improvement

Basic Emotional Needs

All human beings have strivings for connection, understanding and growth. In Schema Therapy, we talk about basic emotional needs. The idea being if these needs are met in childhood, we’ll grow into confident adults who feel worthy.