If you or a friend are dealing with anxiety or depression, you might have questions about where to turn. This is a question students often ask us at the Study Melbourne Student Centre.
Seeing a psychologist can be a helpful step towards managing anxiety and depression. You may be able to claim some of the cost with Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Your health cover pays for some but not all of the psychologist fee. The fee you pay is called a gap fee (the gap between the amount covered by insurance, and the total fee). View the fee as an investment in your health.
How to claim some of the cost of seeing a psychologist
If you want to see a psychologist and claim some of the cost through OSHC, there is a process to follow:
- Make an appointment to see a general practitioner (GP), and ask them for a Mental Health Care Plan.
- When you have your Mental Health Care Plan, your GP may suggest a psychologist for you to see, or you can choose a psychologist yourself.
What is a Mental Health Care Plan?
A Mental Health Care Plan means you can see a psychologist for six sessions and some of the cost may be covered by your OSHC. After this, if you need more sessions with a psychologist, and you want OSHC to cover some of the costs, you must get a new Mental Health Care Plan from your GP. A Mental Health Care Plan will cover up to 10 sessions with a psychologist over a 12-month period.
How to find a psychologist
To find a psychologist you can go to the Australian Psychological Society Website.
Staff at the Study Melbourne Student Centre can also help you find a psychologist. If you are choosing a psychologist for yourself, bring their name to your GP appointment.
How much does it cost to see a psychologist?
To know the exact costs of seeing a psychologist, follow these steps:
- Call the psychologist before you visit to find out how much an appointment will cost.
- Contact your OSHC provider (you can do this online) and ask them how much money you can claim back. You will need to pay the gap fee.
- When you make your appointment, the psychologist will advise you how to pay. You may have to pay for the appointment upfront, and then make a claim to your OSHC provider afterwards.
More information about seeing a psychologist
For more information about seeing a psychologist contact your OSHC provider or health service at your education provider.
Study Melbourne Student Centre can provide more information over the phone or visit us in person.
Other ways to get help
Phone Lifeline 24 hours a day on 13 11 14 or chat to them online
If you are aged 25 years or under you can phone headspace on 1800 650 890 or chat online to a health clinician.