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Is there affordable mental health help available?

Is there affordable mental health help available?

Casual scribe

Is there affordable mental health help available?

Hi everybody. My 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with ADD, depression and anxiety approx 2-3 years ago. She also self harms. She was prescribed medication and attended a number of sessions with a Psychiatrist. She gave treatment a go for a short time but then refused all help.  Things seemed to have been going "better" for a while but now, entering Year 11, she has actually reached out and asked for help - which is fantastic.  Got a referral to a Psychiatrist but on attempting to book the appointment, was advised that it was going to cost just under $900 for the first session and then $195 each session thereafter charged on an hourly basis.  As  single parent on low income, there is no way I can come up with that kind of money. Even if you receive some back on Medicare, I don't even have it up front to begin with.  Sorry for the long story, basically I am looking for advice on where I can turn to get help for my daughter. Have approached the GP who referred us but now 2 weeks on, still haven't received a reply.  Don't know what/where or who to turn to to get the help she needs. Any advice is appreciated. Sorry again for the long story.


Re: Is there affordable mental health help available?

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Hi @just-me


I agree it's such a great sign that your daughter has come to you for help. I'm in a similar situation to you as a single parent with a teen in Year 11 except I have a son.


With him, my GP was able to arrange 10 subsidised visits to a psychologist under the Medicare Better Health Plan. I negotiated to pay $50 per visit on top of the rebate. It was worth it.


Not sure where you are writing from but can you access Headspace services? And I looked on the young people site and found this great resource from Beyond Blue.


Also you could check with her school. Does she have access to a school counsellor or can they recommend a youth worker? I guess it depends on the extent of your daughter's illness. With my son, he flourished when he could just talk to someone (his pyschologist) without fear of being judged and he responded very well to cognitive-behavioral tools. My GP also felt he needed to be on Zoloft.


There are psychiatrists (and other health professionals) who will bulk-bill if you are not too ashamed to ask (and I am not!) So you do have choices. Hope this helps; I'd be pleased to hear how you go.

Casual scribe

Re: Is there affordable mental health help available?

Hi Mitzi


Thank you for your reply.  We are in Perth WA.  Unfortunately we have used our 10 subsidised visits with a psychologist who not only scared my daughter but they too seemed "distressed" after our visits.  I have given the Headspace info to my daughter, and have tried calling them myself buy never been able to actually get through to talk to anybody.  We have used the school's chaplain/psych services as well...its trying to find the "right fit" for her, if that makes any sense, is really a challenge.  Thank you for your comments and advice, truly appreciated.   Never ashamed to ask and am continually asking, just not getting anywhere with that at the moment. :-( 

Super contributor

Re: Is there affordable mental health help available?

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Hello @just-me,


It can be such a battle trying to find the right fit. Even when money isn't a factor, and I can't imagine a life like that, it can still be difficult to find the right person. You are certainly not the first parent to be stuck in this no man's land, putting in all the effort and still not finding a solution. Which says far more about the system than anything else. As I'm sure you know, it's certainly not a comment on your daughter. A good health professional should appeal to her immediately and at the very least, put her at ease during their sessions. If she's coming out feeling more distressed then they are failing her.


I know you've tried a bunch of places and I'm sorry to add another to your list but I wondered if you've given CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services) a call. There WA page is here. They have an age cut off of 17 but I believe that extends to young people who have turned 17 already so even if your daughter's birthday is soon, you should fit the criteria. They have some great differences to other options in that they work primarily with young people so they are very skilled in that area, they are able to work with young people with significant mental health issues, whereas some of the Headspace services are set up to support 'mild' MH difficulties and will refer to CAMHS if it's too complex. They also have a range of venues so hopefully one will be accessible for you. The list is here.


I hope this helps. As has been said before, it's awesome that your daughter has reached out for your support and said she wants help. It's definitely an ideal window, but don't get too disheartened about the hurdles (so easy to say) when young people see that their parents are really trying their best, that means a lot to them. 


Have you two talked about how difficult this is? How is she finding it?


Frequent scribe

Re: Is there affordable mental health help available?

Hi how are you !!! Can you plz share what is your current location? So that  I can find the nearest and affordable mental health center near you.

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