Medicare Rebates For Mental Health Services

Did you know, Under the Australian Government’s Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative, Medicare rebates are now available for psychological treatment by registered psychologists? This scheme provides assistance to people living with mental heath problems, allowing them greater access to psychologists and providing more affordable mental healthcare.


What mental health problems can be treated under the Better Access initiative?

‘Mental disorder’ is a term used to describe a range of clinically diagnosable disorders that significantly impact on a person’s emotions, thoughts, social skills and decision-making. The Better Access initiative covers people with mental disorders arising from:

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Bereavement disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Conduct disorder
  • Co-occurring anxiety and depression
  • Depression
  • Drug use disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual disorders
  • Sleep problems


Can I go directly to a psychologist to receive treatment through Medicare?

You must be referred by your GP, your psychiatrist or paediatrician. Your GP will need to complete a detailed mental health assessment and prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan before referring you to a psychologist. You should book a longer session with your GP to enable time for this.


Can I access any psychologist?

Under the scheme you can only see a registered psychologist with a Medicare Provider Number who you have been referred to by your GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician.

All of our psychologists at Lifepath Psychology are registered with a Medicare Provider Number.


Can I request a referral to a specific psychologist or does my doctor have to choose?

Your doctor must first assess that you require the services of a psychologist. Your doctor may allow you to request a specific psychologist. The psychologist in question must be registered and have a Medicare Provider Number for you to be entitled to the Medicare rebate. 

If you would like to see a psychologist at Lifepath Psychology just ask your GP to write a referral letter, and attach your Mental Healthcare Plan. You will need to bring this referral letter and Mental healthcare Plan with you to your first appointment to receive the Medicare rebate.


How many sessions with a psychologist am I entitled to?

Eligible people can receive:

  • Up to 10 individual sessions in a calendar year (1 January – 31 December). Your referring doctor will assess your progress after the first six sessions.
  • Up to 10 group therapy sessions in a calendar year where such services are available and seen as appropriate by your referring doctor and the psychologist.

After you have reached the maximum number of allowable session for the calendar year you will not be eligible for any further Medicare rebates for treatment you receive from a psychologist until the new calendar year.


What about my private health insurance?

You cannot use your private health insurance ancillary cover to top up the Medicare rebates for these services.
You need to decide if you will use Medicare or your private health insurance ancillary cover to pay for psychological services you receive. You can either access rebates from Medicare by following the claiming process or claim where available on your insurer’s ancillary benefits.


Lifepath Psychology Fees

For clients referred by their Doctor under the Better Access to Mental Health Care Rebate, with a current Mental Health Care Treatment Plan, we offer:

  • Gap fee payment only per session
  • If you are on a current Healthcare Card or Aged Pension Card we Bulk Bill
  • Children 17yrs and younger are Bulk Billed
  • Department of Veteran Affairs card holders are also Bulk Billed.


If you would like to book an appointment with one of our psychologists, or would like some further information about our services, please feel free to email your query to and one of our friendly staff will assist.

Health Benefits of Pets

Nothing makes a dog-lover feel better after a long day than their dog’s smiling face and wagging tail. And the unconditional love you may experience when your cat entwines itself affectionately around your legs can help lift your mood after a long day. Some pet owners may tell you how their beloved animals have helped influence their well-being.
Numerous studies indicate that companion animal ownership is associated with a range of physical, psychological and social health advantages. Examples of the health related benefits of pet ownership are:
Health benefit Benefits to owners Patients most affected
Physical health Cardiovascular health

  • Pets can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure (eg. patting a dog or watching fish swim peacefully in an aquarium)
  • Pet owners show improved recovery rates from heart surgery
Adults and the elderly, in particular those who are stressed, and/or have cardiovascular disease
Physical fitness (primarily for dog owners)

  • Dogs are great exercise partners and provide social support
  • Dog owners are more physically active (primarily though walking dog) and have reduced risk of obesity and better physical health
All ages, particularly those who are physically unfit or overweight
Immune system development

  • Exposure to pets lowers the likelihood of developing allergies
Psychological health Animal assisted therapy (AAT)

  • AAT with dogs and/or fish can increase morale, eating habits and overall health in Alzheimer patients
  • AAT increased attendance, decreased violent behaviour, and increased language and social skills in children with ADHD
  • In clinical settings, AAT reduces stress in children
People of all ages with various disorders
Mental health

  • Owners are less likely to experience loneliness and depression, as pets provide social support (with similar effects to human-human relationships), and provide a sense of purpose
  • Older people with pets are less stressed by major adverse life events than nonpet owners
Adults (particularly during times of stress or loss of a loved one), the elderly, socially isolated, chronically ill (physical or mental) or those with a terminal illness, and/or physical impairment
Child development

  • Pets may play a role in the social-emotional development of children,
    including self esteem, autonomy and empathy for others
  • Children who own pets show increased trust, community feeling, safety, self confidence and self enhancement
Children and adolescents
Social health Pets as social enablers

  • Pets are a good catalyst for meeting people (eg. neighbours, strangers)
  • Other social opportunities, including animal clubs and societies
  • Pet attachment is positively correlated with family cohesion and adaptability
  • Improves social interaction for the elderly and those with Alzheimer disease when used in visiting programs
People living alone and/or those having difficulty meeting

(Royal Australian College of General Practitioner


If you are considering owning a pet why not visit your local Rescue Shelter.
In the City of Armadale you can find


If you are unable to own a pet, why not consider volunteering your time to one of these fantastic agencies.
Pets make excellent companions, however, if you are really struggling to look after yourself then talk to your health care professional or doctor before you take on caring for a pet.