Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the psychological and social complications of diabetes?

Psycho-social complications of diabetes can include depression, anxiety, lack of motivation, significant diabetes distress, grief/loss, eating disorders (e.g. anorexia or bulimia nervosa), inability to drive a vehicle (as a result of hypoglycaemic unawareness or severe hypoglycaemic events), disordered eating (abnormal eating behaviours that reflect many but not all symptoms of eating disorders) and a negative impact on relationships.

What is the relationship between depression and diabetes?

Research suggests a two-way relationship between depression and diabetes. That is, depression increases in patients with diabetes (patients burdened with self-care challenges may find their psychological stress leads to depression) and the incidence of diabetes (specifically, type 2 diabetes) increases in patients with depression (depression is often associated with poor behavioural choices like physical inactivity and unhealthy dietary habits).

Is there a difference between diabetes distress and depression?

Yes, there is a difference between diabetes distress and depression. A Psychologist can help to figure out which is the correct diagnosis for each person and provide the relevant support.

Why is Psychology provided for under the Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative?

Psychologists are experts in human behaviour. This means that they are able to assist not only those people who have mental health problems, but also people who need help in adjusting to a complex illness.

Often complex illnesses require a number of lifestyle changes such as changes to diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol intake, changes in time management strategies to help with scheduling regular appointments, changes to medication, as well as changes to work, family and living arrangements.

Psychologists can assist with making some of these changes and adapting to the challenges of having a complex illness. Being confronted with a complex illness can also be a very emotional time, and people may feel anxious or depressed, angry, helpless or confused.

Psychologists can provide support and assistance at these times to help with the emotional adjustment that occurs when confronted with an illness.

Am I eligible for the Medicare rebates to see the Psychologist under the Medicare funded Better Access to Mental Health Care Services?

‘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.

To be eligible for Medicare rebates under the Better Access initiative, you need a GP referral and a GP mental health plan. The mental health problems which are covered under the Better Access scheme include alcohol use disorder, bereavement disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, sleep problems as well as co-occurring anxiety and depression.

Under this scheme individuals diagnosed with a mental health disorder can access up to 10 individual sessions per calendar year.

How many sessions with a Psychologist am I entitled to under the Medicare funded Better Access initiative?

Under the Better Access initiative, eligible people can receive up to 10 individual sessions in a calendar year (1 January to 31 December).

Referrals cannot be provided for the full 10 sessions. A referral is for a maximum of six sessions. Your referring doctor will assess your progress after the first six sessions and determine whether further sessions are needed.

After you have reached the maximum number of allowable sessions 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.

Can I use my private health insurance to cover any costs or additional costs above Medicare rebates?

You cannot use your private health insurance cover to pay any additional costs above the Medicare rebates for these services.

You need to decide if you will use Medicare or your private health insurance cover to pay for the psychological services you receive.

Contact your private health fund to ask about any rebates.

What are the fees if I see the Psychologist under the Medicare funded Better Access Services or the Chronic Disease Management Services?

The cost for a psychology session is usually greater than the Medicare rebates so you will need to pay the difference between the Psychologist fee and the Medicare rebate.

You can refer to the fees section of the website or contact us before commencing your treatment.

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close