Your first appointment
This information is about your first appointment for your mental health
It has information about
- Going to your GP
- Seeing a mental health worker
- Going to the emergency department for your mental health
- Where to get more information
The first health worker most people go to for help with their mental health is a GP.
A GP is the doctor that you see when you
- Are sick
- Need a health check
Mental health is about
- How you think
- How you feel
But it is OK to go on your own if you prefer.
You can get ready for the first visit.
It can be hard to communicate how you feel to your GP.
To communicate is how you understand and share your feelings or information.
It can help to think about what you want to communicate before you go to get help.
You can think about
- What you want help with
- How you have been feeling lately
- Any questions you might have
It can help to make some notes.
You or someone you trust can make notes.
Before you go to get help you can practise
- Communicating your points
- Asking your questions with someone you trust
What happens when you go to your GP
Your GP will ask you some questions.
You can tell them
- How you have been feeling
- What has been going on in your life
Your GP might also ask about what has been going on in your life.
Your GP might ask if any stressful things have happened.
For example if you are experiencing bullying.
Bullying is when someone or a group of people are mean to you on purpose.
This could be more than one time.
Your GP might ask about your mental health.
For example how you have been feeling.
You have different types of feelings.
Feelings can make you feel good.
You can be
Feelings can make you feel bad.
You can be
Your GP might ask about your physical health.
Physical health is about
- How your body feels
- How well your body is doing what it is supposed to
For example if you been been feeling unwell.
They might also ask how you take care of your body.
For example how much exercise you get.
Your GP might ask you questions about medicines.
Medicine is sometimes called medication or drugs.
Medicine can be in
- A tablet
- A pill
- A drink
- An injection
For example your GP might ask
- What medicines you take
- How they make you feel
You might want to ask your GP some questions.
You might ask
- Why am I feeling like this?
- What could help my mental health?
- Who can help me with my mental health?
- Do they work with people with intellectual disability?
- Will I have to pay money to get help for my mental health?
- When will I start to feel better?
Your GP will let you know what could help your mental health.
Your GP might give you information on things you can do to help your mental health.
Your GP might discuss ways people who support you can help you feel better.
Your GP will let you know what treatments might help you feel better.
Treatments are things that can help you feel better.
Treatments can be therapies and medicines.
Therapies are activities your mental health workers use to support your mental health.
Mental health workers are people who work to help you with your mental health.
Your GP might help you find a mental health worker who can support you.
They might suggest you see a mental health worker such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.
A psychologist helps you with your mental health by talking with you.
Psychologists help you find things you can do to feel better.
A psychiatrist is a doctor who helps you with your mental health using talking and medicine.
Your GP might also suggest a treatment plan for your mental health.
A treatment plan is a list of things you can do to help you get better.
A treatment plan is sometimes called a care plan.
People who have been told they have a mental health disorder by a doctor can get a rebate.
A rebate means you get some money back after paying for your treatment.
For more information about
- Mental health treatment plans go to https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/mental-health-treatment-plan
- Seeing your GP go to https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/talking-to-your-doctor-gp-about-mental-health
There is more information on the next page.
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