How to access treatment
For a person to get the most benefit from psychological treatment he or she will need to be able to attend regular appointments and be prepared to openly explore their expectations of both the treatment and of the therapist.
Prior to making a commitment to a full course of treatment, some initial preparatory work may assist those who are apprehensive or highly anxious about what treatment involves
- Public community mental health services, can be accessed via local public hospital networks.
- Private community mental health services can be accessed via private hospitals and private community based BPD treatment programs.
- Private health insurance with psychiatry inpatient cover and referral from a private psychiatrist attached to the hospital will facilitate access to private BPD treatment programs such as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. Once engaged in therapy, if the patient consults the psychiatrist on the same day that they attend the therapy sessions then the psychiatrist’s fee is covered by some insurance schemes. Please check with your insurance provider when considering service options.
- A GP can refer you to a private psychiatrist for treatment. Medicare will cover part of the costs of consulting a psychiatrist for up to 50 sessions a year.
> 'Find a psychiatrist' Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP)
- The GP can also refer to a private psychologist or treatment program for treatment. The Professional Associations have searchable databases of their members to help you find a psychologist with an interest in BPD
> Australian Psychological Society (APS)
> Australian Clinical Psychology Association
> Australian Association of Psychologists (AAPi)
- Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia Register
>The PACFA Register is designed to provide a comprehensive list of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for the Australian community.
> These Psychotherapists and Counsellors have been assessed against Register Eligibility Criteria agreed to by Member Associations of PACFA, and have demonstrated an approved level of professional training, competence and ethics.
- Australian Association of Social Workers website offers a search directory of its members who have elected to make their details available to the public - Find a Social Worker
- Australian Counselling Association (ACA) is a National progressive professional peak association of counsellors and psychotherapists with over 4,100 individual members - Find a Counsellor
- Occupational Therapy Australia. Their directory lists individual occupational therapists working in private practice settings who are members of Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) and who have chosen to make their contact details and some areas of practice details available to the public. Not all occupational therapists are included in this directory. - Find an OT
- Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Credentialed Mental Health Nurses are registered nurses who have completed an accreditation process with the College of Mental Health Nurses that ensures they have advanced expertise in treating mental illness. They most often work as part of a GP’s or private psychiatrist practice and there is usually no gap charge - Find a credentialed Mental Health Nurse
- National Health Services Directory a searchable database for a range of health services including GPs, psychology, counselling, mental health services
Better Access to Mental Health
The Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access) initiative aims to improve outcomes for people with a clinically-diagnosed mental disorder through evidence-based treatment. Under this initiative, Medicare rebates are available to patients for selected mental health services provided by general practitioners (GPs), psychiatrists, psychologists (clinical and registered) and eligible social workers and occupational therapists.
As the diagnosis of BPD is not a recognized condition for rebate so the individual will need to have a co-occurring condition such as anxiety, depression etc. Psychological treatments may be required for up to a period of two years.
Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS)
ATAPS enables GPs to refer consumers experiencing financial or other hardship to ATAPS mental health professionals who deliver focussed psychological strategies services.
The program is funded by the Department of Health to give priority to people who may have difficulty accessing services such as:
- those less able to pay fees
- children and their families
- people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities
- people from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
- people that have self-harmed or attempted suicide or are at risk of suicide
- those affected by forced adoption practices.
To qualify for the program you need to:
- Have a diagnosed mental disorder
- Have a Mental Health Treatment plan and referral from a GP
Those under 12 years of age or those at risk of suicide may also access ATAPS.
ATAPS complements other programmes such as: the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access) initiative, the Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Areas (MHSRRA) programme, and the Rural Health Outreach Fund (RHOF).
* Any mental health professional who is providing treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder should be using a form of psychotherapy that has been shown to be effective for BPD.
^ The listing requirements for the searchable databases listed above vary between the Professional Organisations. This information is offered as a guide only.