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advice on getting help?

Hey guys. 

So lately I've been feeling a lot like I should go back to the psychologist I used to see (but haven't seen for about a year now), because I don't think I'm coping with things so well anymore and I think I could do with some support. The thing is, I'd really like to do it without involving my parents this time round. And the more I think about it, the more complicated it gets, mainly because I don't have a job and therefore I don't have much money. So I've broken this down in four main concerns (or steps, I suppose...) 

 

1. I'll need to get my own Medicare card. Since I'm 18, I know I can do that, but I'm already listed on my parents' cards so I'll have to be transferred to a new card. So I'm not sure if my parents will know about this? Will they be issued with a new card? I looked at the forms online and they all seem super complicated, but that's okay, I'll probably just go into a Medicare center and ask someone about it. 

 

2. I'll need to find out if my psychologist bulk bills. How do I even go about asking that, should I just call her and ask? Or I could email her. I'm kind of terrified of phonecalls. If she doesn't, then that means I'll have to pay some of the fee, right? At least that's my understanding of it, and I've actually not much of a clue how this whole thing works. And seeing as I don't have a job, it's really important that the cost is kept next to nothing.

 

3. I'll need to see a GP for a referral. I don't really like my current GP and I always hated having to go to him for a referral in the past, so I want to find a new one. I'm sort of wondering if it would be easier to go a Headspace center, because I think they have GPs there? And I've never even been to a doctor on my own so I've no idea what I would say. I'm kind of also terrible at talking. I thought it might be easier going to a place that's more youth-oriented, like Headspace. Does anyone have any experience on this? 

 

4. And then hopefully I can make an appointment with my psychologist. The (comparatively) easy bit. Funny, because I used to think that making the appointment was the hardest part. 

 

Anyway, if anyone has any advice/opinions/ideas/knowledge/past experience on any of the above, I'd love to hear it. Thanks very much. 

 

And after thinking all that, I generally start to wonder whether this is all worth it or necessary or if my problems are really important enough.... 

Re: advice on getting help?

Hi graphiqual

 

One quick note first: Your problems are always important enough. If they matter to you at all, then they are definitely important enough.

 

I'll let others post with their experiences and advice but I know a couple of these questions can be answered by firing off a couple of emails or making a couple of quick phonecalls.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing how others reply to your questions too. Smiley Happy

Re: advice on getting help?

Hey graphiqual, 

 

Well done on recognising that you need support again Smiley Happy it's a brave step! I'm just going to answer in numbers so it's easier to follow Smiley Happy 

 

1. Getting your own medicare is simple and an easy process. I'm still on my families medicare card and don't get taken off until that one expires. So my mum never knew that I go my own, until I told her a few years back - I've had my own since I was 16 and I am now 21. The forms online are complicated, it's so much easier to apply in person. 

 

2. Both question 2 and 3 kind of fit together. Depending how your psychologist works, they may bulk bill you or you may pay part of the fee... you'll need to find that out from either your psychologist herself or the reception in which where she works. You will need to see a doctor though to have anything covered under medicare as you will need a mental health plan drawn up otherwise you'll be seen as a private patient which can be costly. 

 

If you don't like your current doctor, it's definately worth finding one that you did as they can play a vital role in all this. headspace is an amazing service if you fit their criteria, they are actually who I first went through when I wanted to find a psychologist but without my parents knowledge because of various complications. They were so supportive and got me in touch with an amazing doctor (I too didn't like the doctor I was seeing previous to this) within their service who got me a referral to see the psychologist that I am still currently seeing. 

 

They are farily easy to talk to this kind of stuff about as they are so youth orientated and they have so much experience with young people and all experiences - especially first times. Don't be nervious. I remember I walked into my headspace centre nervous as hell, skipping school without my mum knowing, went straight up to the front desk and said "I need to speak to someone" - I then met an intake officer, a social worker, my doctor, my psychologist, all within the next few days to weeks. 

 

Hope that helps a little! 

Re: advice on getting help?

@Lex - Thanks, and I know, I'm just really quite bad at making phonecalls lol... 

 

@bg_xx - Thanks very much, this helped a lot. Just about the Medicare card, online the forms are different for when you apply for a new card and when you're transferring from an existing card... so I'm just wondering if I need to bring my existing card (ie. temporarily steal my mum's card) in order to get a new one? 

Sorry if these all sound like petty questions, I just really don't like making phonecalls! 

Highlighted

Re: advice on getting help?

That's okay Smiley Happy nothing is a petty question!
I had my mums medicare card when I applied in the hope it would make things easier and it did... the lady scanned the card, asked who I was and for ID from me, I signed a piece of paper and she gave me a piece of paper with my own medicare number on it while I waited for my new card to come in the mail!

Re: advice on getting help?

Awesome, thanks very much!

Re: advice on getting help?

Hey graphiqual,

I think you're doing an awesome job of making the effort to go out and help yourself. It's clearly not easy for you and I think it's great.

Seems like you may have the medicare situation on track? Maybe once you go into an office and talk to someone you can find out exactly what you need and what you need to do, then you can go home and sort it all out.

Seeing as you have seen your psych before I know that health professionals are usually generally soooo understanding if you mention that you're financially strained and can't afford it. They have always instantly said they will BB and I have never had to directly ask for it. But if you send an e-mail I believe that would be your best bet. That way you won't be freaking out about it before you go in.

And with the experience that bg_xx had I think headspace would be an appropriate place to start looking for a GP.

All the best.

Re: advice on getting help?

Thanks for all the advice.

I've just found out (from digging up old invoices and looking in my mum's email) that last time it used to cost my parents $50 a session, even with the mental health plan. I really can't affort that... So I don't know what I should do. Should I still ask her about it? I know I have other options, I can go to the counselling service at my uni, or I can go to headspace, but unless I have no other choice I'd really rather go back to someone I've already worked with in the past.

Re: advice on getting help?

I had a deal with my psych that I would pay what I could afford. It's just that you have to ask, which is always so awkward. It's worth it though. Last year when I wanted to do something about my sleep apnea, I made an appointment with a specialist and at the end of the appointment blurted out that I didn't earn very much. He was brilliant and put the whole thing through the public health system with bulk billing, and didn't make me feel uncomfortable for not being able to afford his services. I loved that doctor, he was so proud of me for implementing the changes he suggested.

Re: advice on getting help?


@graphiqual wrote:
Thanks for all the advice.

I've just found out (from digging up old invoices and looking in my mum's email) that last time it used to cost my parents $50 a session, even with the mental health plan. I really can't affort that... So I don't know what I should do. Should I still ask her about it? I know I have other options, I can go to the counselling service at my uni, or I can go to headspace, but unless I have no other choice I'd really rather go back to someone I've already worked with in the past.

Of course you should still ask her.  If she says no, then you haven't lost anything (and I'm pretty sure she won't).  People are really genuiniely want to help you out.  And if this is something she can offer you then great, if not that's when you can try out one of the other avenues.