Frequently Asked Questions

We have put together a selection of frequently asked questions about Family Talks Clinic. The answers provided are very general. If you have questions that are not mentioned please contact us. The team at Family Talks Clinic will then try to answer your questions as soon as possible.

Can mental health problems be prevented?

Mental health challenges are extremely common, getting timely appropriate help, building on our resilience and maintaining our mental and physical health can help prevent challenges becoming serious.

Can mental health problems be cured?

A more realistic approach is to think about what helps with the issues you are facing. Psychotherapy, medication, friendships, healthy lifestyle, and meaningful occupation can all help.

What should I do if I’m worried about a friend or relative?

This may depend on your relationship with them. Gently encouraging someone to seek appropriate support would be helpful to start with.

What is the difference between a Psychiatrist and Clinical Psychologist?

Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors who have specialised in mental health. They assess you through a holistic approach often referred to as bio-psycho-social model of assessment and care. Psychiatrists often create a management plan for you at the end of assessment that includes any combination of medication, psychotherapy and psychosocial modifications. Most psychiatrists are also therapist albeit using different schools of therapy.
Clinical Psychologists are trained mental health professionals who have undertaken highly specialised training in the diagnosis and psychological treatment of mental, behavioural and emotional disorders. Clinical psychology is a science-based profession which focuses on understanding, treating and preventing psychological distress or dysfunction. They often work with psychiatrists or general practitioners in order to ensure the medical side of your mental health problems are also addressed.

Do you receive a Medicare or private health insurance rebate when you see a psychiatrist?

If you have a referral from GP or medical specialist, you will be eligible to receive a Medicare rebate. Different rebates apply for different appointment types.

Do you receive a Medicare or private health insurance rebate when you see a Psychologist?

If you have a Mental Health Treatment Plan you may be eligible to receive a Medicare rebate of $124.50 (for a clinical psychologist) and $84.80 (for a general psychologist) per individual session for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. Our clinical Psychologist has developed her own template to complete by your GP to ensure all aspects required by Medicare are addressed so there are no issues with Medicare rebates .

 

Click here to download

Do I need a referral to see a Psychiatrist?

Yes, you need a current referral from a GP or medical specialist. The GP referral is valid for 12 months and the Medical Specialist referral for 3 months. This referral enables the clinician to be in communication with the other medical professionals you are seeing. A referral also entitles you to a Medicare rebate.

What languages are spoken at your clinic?

In addition to English, Dr Mirzaie speaks fluent Farsi (Persian) and Dr Feijo speaks German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese fluently.

Why does the psychiatrist need to see the whole family?

We believe that working with the entire family, is the best way to serve the person affected by mental health issues. This approach believes that every family member is a valuable resource, which in turn contributes not only to wellness of the individual, but also to a healthier harmony within the family unit as a whole.

How much time should I allow for the initial consultation and subsequent sessions with the Psychiatrist?

For younger people living with parents/carers 
The initial appointment is with the young person and their family members. The first appointment is 90 minutes. Follow up appointments may be required with the parents, separate to the patient, or in unison. This will be determined after the first appointment. These appointments are 60 minutes in length.
For patients living independently:
The initial appointment is with the patient, however if it is the desire of the patient, the Clinician will also see the parents/carers together with the patient.
Follow up appointments are 45 minutes in length.
Medication review
Patients requiring a review of their medication or a new prescription written, the appointment length is 30 mins.

I live in regional NSW. Are you able to conduct long distance appointments?

We can conduct online consultations, but it is at the discretion of the Clinician. To be eligible for a Medicare rebate for an online consultation, the following applies:

  • You are to be at least 15 kms by road from the rooms.
  • Within a telehealth eligible area as determined by the Australian Standard Geographical Classification Remoteness Area (ASGR-RA) classifications. Click here to determine if you are eligible.

How much does an appointment cost?

Family Talks Clinic is not a bulk-billing practice and payment is requested at the time of the appointment.
The costs vary for each doctor and for the length and type of appointment booked.
For Information about fees for each clinician and appointment type, please contact us and we will advise you of the cost of the appointment, the Medicare rebate you will receive and your out of pocket expense.
Medicare rebates are quite high for Psychiatrists so you can expect to receive up to 70% back, once the rebate has been processed. We will do this for you once the account has been paid, at the time of the appointment.
If you have reached your Medicare Safety Net threshold, you will receive up to 95% rebate from Medicare.

For further information visit:
https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/medicare-safety-net

How long do I have to wait to get an appointment if I am a new patient?

The wait time is dependent upon the clinician. However, as a general guide, the current wait time is approx. 4 weeks, however if you require an earlier appointment, we will place you on the waitlist and advise you if an earlier appointment becomes available.

What is the cancellation of appointment penalties?

There is no cancellation fee if this is done with 1 weeks’ notice for Dr Dey and within 4 full working days for the other clinicians. If an appointment is missed or cancelled after the notice time, then half the fee is payable. Please note that cancellation fees do not attract a Medicare rebate.

If I live independently can I bring a friend with me?

Whatever makes you most comfortable works for us. If you feel more comfortable with your friend, Parents or Carers being in the appointment with you, that’s ok too. It’s totally up to you.

What will happen at your first appointment?

 

Your first appointment with vary between 1-2 hours and at times even longer. The duration of your first appointment depends on your circumstances, your age, and the style of the clinician assessing you.

Your psychiatrist will

–  Listen and talk about your concerns and symptoms

–  Ask questions about general health

–  Ask about your family history

–  Often gives you a time separate from the family to discuss any issues in confidence

 

There will usually be a lot of questions. The long appointment gives the psychiatrist time to listen and hear your whole story.
They might also want to speak with other health professionals or members of your family.
Your psychiatrist may order some more tests to help them understand what is going on.
To get more specific information please talk to administration staff before coming in for your first session.

Who is needed at the appointment?

– FOR YOUNGER CLIENTS LIVING WITH PARENTS/CARERS

The initial appointment is with the child or adolescent and all family members if possible. If this is not possible then at a minimum one parent/carer is required to also attend.  If time permits, the Clinician will also see parents/carers/siblings and the child/ adolescent separately at this appointment.  For continuing appointments, further follow ups may be required with the parents, separate to the patient, or in unison. This will be determined after the first appointment.

 

– FOR CLIENTS LIVING INDEPENDENTLY

The initial appointment is with the patient, however if time permits and it is the desire of the patient, the Clinician will also see the parents/carers together with the patient.

What to bring to your first appointment?

  • For the Psychiatrists, a referral for the patient from their General Practitioner or Specialist is required (Please be aware that a GP referral is valid for 12 months and a Specialist referral for 3 months). This ensures we are in contact with your GP and also allows us to process your medicare rebate for you at the time of payment.
  • If you are seeing a psychologist, you will need a mental health care plan and a referral template to be completed by your GP. Click here to download the template required.
  • Medicare card
  • Letters or reports that you have from other professionals who have been involved, such as a school counsellor, teacher, psychologist or paediatrician.

Getting a diagnosis and treatment plan

It might take a few appointments for your psychiatrist to write a comprehensive psychiatric assessment. Ongoing appointments also may vary in duration and frequency depending on your needs and your clinicians’ style.
The next step is to work out a treatment plan.
A treatment plan is a combination of therapies that suit your health needs, personal preferences, family situation and age.
You and your psychiatrist will work together to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
The psychiatrist might provide the treatment themselves, or they might recommend you see another health professional – for example a psychologist

What about confidentiality?

Anything you talk about with your psychiatrist is confidential unless your life or life of others is at risk.
Your psychiatrist may need to share some of your private information with other healthcare professionals. Your psychiatrist might suggest involving family members in your assessment. They will discuss this with you first.
A psychiatrist may be required by law to share information or a person’s medical record with others. Your psychiatrist will tell you first if they need to do this.

Costs

General information

Family Talks Clinic is not a bulk-billing practice and payment is requested at the time of the appointment.
The costs vary for each doctor and for the length and type of appointment that you book.
For Information about fees for each clinician and appointment type, please contact us and we will advise you of the cost of the appointment, the Medicare rebate you will receive and your out of pocket expense.

Medicare rebate

Please be aware that the Medicare rebate amount does vary depending on the appointment type and if you have reached your Medicare safety net limit.

For Psychiatrists: If you have not yet reached the Medicare safety net limit, you can expect to receive up to 70% from the Medicare rebate. If you have reached the Medicare safety net limit, you can expect to receive up to 95% return for every appointment after the limit has been reached.

For Psychologists: If you have a Mental Health Treatment Plan you may be eligible to receive a Medicare rebate of $124.50 (for a clinical psychologist) and $84.80 (for a general psychologist) per individual session for up to 10 sessions per calendar year.

We will process the Medicare rebate upon payment on your behalf, if you have an active referral. Medicare will then pay the rebate directly into your bank account. This process normally takes approx. 5 working days.

Medicare Safety Net

The Medicare safety net is reached when you have spent $2133 for singles and families (within a calendar year). Please note that commonwealth concession card holders including those with a pensioner concession card, a health care card, or a commonwealth seniors’ card is set at $680.
Couples and families should contact the Department of Human Services – Medicare, to register their family members as part of a safety net eligible family. Registering as a family allows eligible out-of-pocket costs for each individual family member to count towards the family’s Extended Medicare Safety Net (EMSN) threshold. Couples and families need to register even if all family members are listed on the Medicare card. Registration is only required once, unless family members change, for example, if a student child is no longer studying full time or you have a newborn baby.

Cancellation policy

Please contact the office as soon as possible if you need to cancel an appointment so that we can offer the appointment to families on our waiting list.
There is no cancellation fee if this is done with 1 weeks’ notice for Dr Dey and within 2 working days’ notice for all other clinicians.
If an appointment is missed or cancelled after the notice time, then half the fee is payable. Please note that cancellation fees do not attract a Medicare rebate.

For further information visit here

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