Are you new to Mental Health Services, have you been around a while or is this the first time you are going to approach your General Practitioner about how you’ve been feeling lately? This information may be really useful for you.
When you first make contact with your Medical Centre, tell the receptionist that you would like to see the Doctor to obtain a mental health care plan. They can explain to you that the Doctor will want to see you first of all for an appointment where they will listen to what you have been experiencing and they will make an assessment about your current mental health. They will usually then ask you to make a double appointment with the receptionist for your next visit.
On the return visit, the doctor or nurse will complete the Mental Health Care Plan for you. Expect that this appointment will take approximately one hour to complete and you will be asked a lot of fair and reasonable questions. This helps the Doctor to understand how to support you better.
If it is a Mental Health Emergency, you will need to present at your nearest Hospital, or ring 000 for an ambulance to attend and to treat you. At Hospital, a comprehensive (detailed) assessment of your Mental Health will take place.
The mental health system has several pathways, one may include self care and relaxation, others may need a Mental Health Care Plan to see a health professional regularly about their Mental Health. It is possible if your Mental Health is a risk to yourself of others, you may be detained under the Mental Health Act, but please do not let this put you off of seeking care. Being detained is usually in emergency situations to keep yourself or others safe.
Just remember, at any stage of your Mental Health Treatment you are allowed to ask questions. It is your Mental Health, you do have rights, rights about how you will be treated, rights around confidentiality and it’s limits and also what you can expect from professionals that will be caring for you.