MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCIES
Please note Mind Plasticity is not an acute or emergency service. If you or a person you know is experiencing a mental health crisis call emergency 000, or your local mental health crisis team (call 1800 011 511 within NSW), or go to your local hospital emergency department.
Referrals to Mind Plasticity.
To access our service and claim from Medicare you will need to obtain a referral from a GP or Specialist. Only a referral letter is required to see one of our psychiatrists. A referral letter plus a ‘mental health care plan’ is required to see one of our psychologists or mental health occupational therapists. Full details of what is required for Medicare claiming can be found under our ‘Fees and Rebates – Medicare’ section below.
I live in a remote area, can I access your services?
If you cannot make it into the clinic, then a video-call (via Zoom) can be arranged. When having telehealth appointments we prefer a video-call for your initial consultation (providing you have access to the appropriate technology). Phone calls may be available for follow-up consultations but are not preferred by most clinicians.
While all clinicians at Mind Plasticity are able to arrange standard telehealth consultations, some assessments (e.g. Autism, Neuropsychological and Functional Capacity) and services (e.g. occupational therapy home-visits) have in-person elements which cannot be done virtually.
Are your psychiatrists taking new patients?
Dr. Pal Gupta is currently reviewing referrals for new patients, primarily engaging with young adults (18-24y) with a range of mood disorders. If you would like to see Dr. Gupta you are required to provide a general GP referral prior to booking an appointment to determine suitability.
Dr. Peter Young is currently reviewing referrals for new patients, primarily engaging with patients in middle to late adulthood (25-65y). If you would like to see Dr. Young you are required to provide a general GP referral prior to booking an appointment to determine suitability.
Dr. Claire Gaskin is currently wait-listing new patients. Dr. Gaskin is a paediatric psychiatrist and can engage with new patients aged between 6 and 21. If you would like your child to see Dr. Gaskin you are required to provide a general GP referral for review to determine suitability. Please be advised Dr. Gaskin has no capacity for new patients within the next 6 months and your child will be waitlisted for the next availability.
Dr. Nick Babidge, Dr. Kam Salah, A/Prof. Liz Scott and Dr. Mark Yim have closed their books to new patients. We do not currently have waitlists running for these doctors as their books are closed indefinitely.
How long is the waitlist?
The estimated wait-time for an initial consultation is currently 8-10 weeks. Please be advised this is an approximation and wait-times are variable.
How much is consultation with a psychiatrist?
Initial consultation fees vary depending on which psychiatrist you are seeing. All Mind Plasticity psychiatrists bill privately. With a GP referral you will be eligible for a Medicare rebate for all appointments. Please know that Mind Plasticity reception cannot make private healthcare claims and it is the responsibility of the patient to redirect the invoice to their private insurer.
ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (AD/HD)
Do your psychiatrists treat AD/HD?
Yes. Mind Plasticity has psychiatrists who can treat diagnosed AD/HD. If you would like to see one of our available psychiatrists for AD/HD treatment you are required to provide supporting documentation of a current AD/HD diagnosis (made within the last 10 years). This documentation should include a copy of a formal AD/HD assessment report. Correspondence from your previous treating psychiatrist will also be reviewed. Please be advised that photographs of medication bottles or previous prescriptions will not be accepted for review.
The psychiatry team at Mind Plasticity does not offer AD/HD assessments. AD/HD assessments are available with the neuropsychology team at APT Psychosocial Services, a sub-branch of Mind Plasticity.
I’m looking for an AD/HD diagnosis, what is the process?
To be assessed for AD/HD with Mind Plasticity you will be required to add your name to the AD/HD assessment waitlist for a formal assessment with a neuropsychologist at APT Psychosocial Services. AD/HD assessments with a neuropsychologist are an $800 private service (there is no associated Medicare rebate). Please know that Mind Plasticity reception cannot make private healthcare claims and it is the responsibility of the patient to direct their invoice to their private insurer. The waitlist for an appointment is estimated to be 4-6 months long. There is no fee to be added to the AD/HD assessment waitlist.
Reception will contact you to make an appointment once you have advanced to the top of the waitlist. AD/HD assessments are available over telehealth or face-to-face. You are required to make a 50% non-refundable deposit at the time of booking. Your AD/HD assessment will take 2-3 hours to complete. After you have completed the assessment, your neuropsychologist will begin to write your AD/HD assessment report. The turn-around between your assessment and report is approximately 3 weeks. You are then able to use this report to see an available psychiatrist at Mind Plasticity for a follow up consultation.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (OT)
How long is the waitlist for OT?
The expected wait-time for occupational therapy (OT) is estimated to be approximately 3 months long, as all of our OTs are currently at capacity. If you would like to be added to the OT waitlist please request a referral form from reception. Once returned to reception, this referral form will be passed onto the OT intake team who will contact when there is capacity.
How long is the waitlist for a Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA)?
Functional capacity assessments (FCA) take a minimum of 6 weeks to complete. Please allow an additional 6 weeks on top of the estimated wait-time for an occupational therapist for a completed FCA. If you would like to be added to the waitlist for an FCA, please follow the same steps as above by requesting a referral form from reception.
Are you NDIS registered?
APT Psychosocial Services – a sub-branch of Mind Plasticity – is in the process of finalising NDIS registration. Until this registration is complete, Mind Plasticity and APT will only able to engage with plan-managed and self-managed participants. APT will be able to engage with agency-managed participants once officially a NDIS registered provider.
Are your psychologists taking new patients?
The general waitlist for clinical psychologists and clinical psychologist registrars is currently open and is currently approximately 4 months in duration. The wait for neuropsychological assessments and skills coaching for AD/HD are currently open via APT Psychosocial Services.
I have used my 10 sessions from my Mental Health Care Plan, what does this mean?
Your Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) entitles you to a total of 10 Medicare-rebated psychology sessions per calendar year across all providers who use this scheme who you have seen. This means that after your appointment you pay the full fee for the appointment and then a rebate is returned to you from Medicare, leaving you with being out of pocket for only the gap for your initial 10 sessions that year. This plan can be renewed every 12 months. You do not need to cease therapy once your MHCP has expired, however you will be required to pay the full fee of your psychologist after your first 10 sessions. You may be eligible for a rebate from your private health insurer for these additional sessions.
What is a registered psychologist?
A registered psychologist generally has four years of university training with an additional two years of supervised practice. Psychologists are experts in human behaviour, having studied the brain, learning, human development and the processes determining how people think, feel, behave and react. Psychologists apply their expertise using reliable and scientifically supported methods. Psychological therapies are widely used to treat individuals, families and groups within our community.
What is a clinical psychologist?
Clinical psychologists are specifically trained psychologists who are able to assess, diagnose and treat major mental illnesses and psychological problems. These clinicians have expertise in applying psychological theory and scientific research to solve complex psychiatric problems requiring individually tailored interventions. Becoming a clinical psychologist requires six years of university-based training and an additional two years of registrar training in assessment and treatment methods.
What is a clinical neuropsychologist?
Clinical neuropsychologists are specialist psychologists who are trained to understand the cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects of a wide range of brain conditions including developmental, degenerative, immunological, traumatic and epileptic. With advanced skills in assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning, clinical neuropsychologists assess and treat people with brain disorders that affect memory, learning, attention, visual, language, reading, problem-solving and decision-making. Becoming a clinical neuropsychologist requires six years of university-based training and an additional two years of registrar training.
What is a mental health occupational therapist?
Occupational therapy is a profession concerned with promoting health and wellbeing through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. In the field of mental health, occupational therapists specialise in assessing how an individual’s mental health problems impact on their ability to perform their everyday occupations and roles. Identified barriers are worked through via the development of goals and treatment plans. Becoming a registered occupational therapist in mental health requires the completion of the equivalent of a four year applied science degree in occupational therapy and then demonstrated two years post-graduate training and clinical practice in the field of mental health.
What is an accredited mental health social worker?
Accredited mental health social workers help individuals to address psychological problems and improve quality of life via working within the broader implications of mental illness and its impacts upon an individual’ friends, family, work and education. This may involve family as well as individual counselling, and group therapy. Becoming an accredited mental health social worker requires an additional two years of supervised practice within the field of mental health in addition to a four year undergraduate degree.
What is a psychiatrist? A psychiatrist is a medical Specialist whom has expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Psychiatrists evaluate patients to determine whether or not their symptoms are the result of a physical illness, a combination of physical and mental, or a strictly psychiatric one. Psychiatrists prescribe medicine, and may also use psychotherapy in the treatment and management of mental illness. Becoming a psychiatrists requires the completion of medical qualifications with further qualifications obtained in the field of mental health.
Do I have to see a GP or Specialist before I can access your service?
The short answer is no. Anyone is free to contact us to make an enquiry, and some people choose to engage in therapy without involving their medical team. However in many circumstance people visit their doctor or specialist before starting services with Mind Plasticity. This enables medical screening, exploring the possibility of medications and accessing Medicare entitlements to reduce the out of pocket expense of therapy. Please feel free to contact us if you wish to discuss your individual circumstances.
Grief, loss and the pursuit of wellness Podcast
Dr Rob talks with Kate de Brito on her podcast How to be Happy about grief, loss and the pursuit of wellness. Available on Listenr, Apple podcasts, and Spotify.More
University of Sydney
At Mind Plasticity, we are committed to advancing the field of mental health through research partnerships with leading universities. Mind Plasticity has a long-standing partnership with the University of Sydney and has hosted a number of research trials and participated in academic partnerships.
How to access Mind Plasticity mental health services? The frequently asked questions page has information on what you require to make an appointment with us; plus descriptions of the roles of our practitioners.