I am not happy with the service

You may not be happy with the mental health worker you are seeing. That is OK, there are things you can do.


If you do not feel comfortable with a mental health worker

It is important to have good rapport with mental health workers. Rapport means being comfortable with someone, feeling like they understand you and you understand them. It can take time to build rapport with a mental health worker. When you see the mental health worker, if you:

  • do not feel comfortable
  • do not like them
  • do not think they know enough about how they could support you

it is OK to discuss it with them.

If you cannot find a way to work together, it is OK to say you do not want to see them again. It is OK to find another mental health worker.

You can:

  • make an appointment to discuss this with your GP. A GP is the doctor that you see when are sick or need a health check. A GP is also known as a general practitioner. You can say that you would like a new referral to a different mental health worker. A referral is when a doctor suggests you see a health worker who can help you.
  • ask someone you trust to help you find another health worker.  


If health workers are hard to understand

Sometimes health workers can be hard to understand. They may use big words or talk about complex things.

If you do not understand what the health worker is saying, you can let them know. You can tell them how you understand information best. For example, writing information down, using pictures, or using easier to understand words. 

Making a complaint

A complaint is when you let someone know you are not happy with something. If you are:

  • not happy with a mental health service you are getting
  • worried about how mental health workers are treating you

you have the right to make a complaint. It does not cost money to make a complaint.

  1. A good first step is to try to work the problem out with your mental health worker if you feel comfortable. But it is OK if you do not want to communicate with them or do not feel safe. To communicate is how you understand and share your feelings or information.
  1. You could also ask to discuss the problem with your mental health worker’s boss.
  1. If you are not happy with what they say, you can make a complaint to other people.
Infographic How to make a complaint


Complaints about NSW Health hospital mental health services

You can:

  • let the hospital know you want to make a complaint
  • contact the hospital complaints officer – ask a doctor or nurse or look at the hospital website
  • contact the local health district in writing
  • make a complaint with the Health Care Complaints Commission.


Complaints about a private mental health worker

You can:

  • let the head of the service know you want to make a complaint
  • make a complaint with the Health Care Complaints Commission.


There are other ways to make complaints too. These are just some suggestions.


Making a complaint to the Health Care Complaints Commission

The Health Care Complaints Commission is a government service. It looks into complaints people make about their health care.

You need to make complaints to the Health Care Complaints Commission in writing. You can ask someone you trust to support you to write the complaint.

The Health Care Complaints Commission can also support you to write your complaint. You can:

Health Care Complaints Commission
Locked Mail Bag 18

For more information visit the Health Care Complaints Commission website.


For more information see our Easy Read resource on making complaints about mental health care.