Your first appointment
Your GP might have suggested you see a
- Other mental health workers such as an occupational therapist
Occupational therapists support people to take part in daily activities and support them to learn new skills.
Before you start seeing a health worker you might have what is called an intake session.
An intake session helps the mental health worker to find out
- A bit about you
- What is happening for you now
- Whether the mental health worker or service will be right for you
You can have someone you trust with you during an intake session.
You can get ready for an intake session by thinking about what you want to tell the mental health worker.
You can also get ready by noting down any questions you might have.
You can ask someone to help you.
During an intake session the mental health worker will ask you questions.
They might ask you
- Information about yourself
For example who you live with.
- What you are experiencing
- What you want help with
- If you have had support for your mental health before
- If you have any medical conditions
- If you are taking any medication
- If you are seeing any other doctors
What happens next
After an intake session you might make an appointment for an assessment session.
After the intake session the mental health worker might need to discuss with someone they work with if the service is right for you.
The mental health worker might say the service is not right for you.
If this happens you can ask the mental health worker why.
You can also ask the mental health worker to suggest another service that could help you.
You can go back to your GP who can suggest another mental health worker.
It is normal to feel nervous in waiting rooms.
To be nervous is when people feel worried about something that is happening or might happen.
If you feel nervous after you check in with the service you can wait somewhere else.
You might wait
- In the car if it is close by
Ask the person at the check in to call you when the mental health worker is ready to see you.
If you do not understand something the health worker says it is OK to speak up.
You can ask the mental health worker to
- Repeat what they said
- Communicate it in another way
Let the mental health worker know if you think you will have trouble getting to your appointment.
The mental health worker might be able to see you in your home.
If you need to go to the emergency department at a hospital, a nurse will see you soon after you arrive.
The nurse will ask you
- How you are feeling
- What is wrong
You might have to wait a while to see a doctor.
The noise in the emergency department might worry you.
If you want to you can ask the nurse if there is somewhere quiet you can sit.
You might feel stressed or afraid if you need to go to the emergency department.
It is normal to feel afraid.
You can let the nurse or doctor know if you are afraid.
The nurse or doctor will try to make you feel comfortable.
You can ask the nurses and doctors
- What is going to happen now
- How long will I have to wait
Below is a list of websites and sheets to support you for your first appointment.
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
For a list of questions you might want to ask when finding a new mental health service in the community go to https://www.3dn.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/