It is important to look after your mental health during this period, especially as people may experience increased anxiety and stress due to COVID-19. Our Psychological Therapy Services (PTS) has improved accessibility to help limit the transmission of COVID-19. We will continue to provide services via telehealth.
Our Psychological Therapy Services (PTS) provide short-term support to people who have mild to moderate mental health concerns. Under this service, individuals can have up to 10 sessions in a calendar unless otherwise noted below. Therapeutic services available are for community members who identify within the following streams:
- Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander People
- People with Comorbid Alcohol & Other Drugs (AOD) issues: A person must have a co-existing substance use and mental health issue, both of which are clinically and/or socially significant. Please note: the person in the therapy session must not be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Carers: People who provide personal care, support and assistance to another individual due to disability, medical condition (including terminal or chronic illness), mental illness or are frail and aged. Please note: A person is not eligible if they provide care for payment, as a volunteer for an organisation, or as part of the requirements of a course of education or training.
- Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Intersex (LGBTQI) people: People who identify as LGBTQI or have concerns in relation to their experience of sexuality or gender.
- Young people: aged 12 -25 years who reside in the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury or Lithgow LGAs.
- Women with Perinatal mental health issues: Women who are pregnant, or have a child 12 months or younger.
- Children 0-11 years of age
- People at low to moderate risk of suicide or self-harm: They are eligible to receive unlimited support hours within a two month period. For more information please see Seek Out Support (SOS)
- People with complex needs (Extended): People over the age of 25 who experience moderate to severe mental illness with added complexity inclusive of trauma (physical, sexual, emotional), abuse, neglect or a current diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder can receive 25 support hours over a 12 month period. Please note: Patients accessing Victims of Crime or other equivalent services are not eligible.
- People affected by bushfire: please read below for more details
A GP Referral is needed to access this service. Please talk to your GP for more information.
Is a Health Care or Pension Card needed?
A health care card is not needed to access Psychological Therapy Services for:
- People impacted by bushfire
- People at risk of suicide or self-harm
- Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people
All other Psychological Therapy Services do require a Centrelink issued pension or health care card.
Who is it for?
The Bushfire PTS stream is available to anyone in our region experiencing high levels of distress resulting from the recent bushfires. The impact of the bushfires must be a significant contributor to a person’s deterioration in mental health if they are referred to this service. For example, people who have experienced loss of property, loss of business income, or have experienced significant mental health impacts as a result of threat of bushfire, which could be from past trauma.
- Any individual living in Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Lithgow or Penrith
- Individuals must be referred by their GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician
- Individuals are entitled to up to 10 free face-to-face sessions until June 2021
- No Centrelink issued pension or Health Care Card is required
- No Mental Health Care Plan is required, however your GP may choose to complete one at their discretion
- Where appropriate, couples or family members who meet the eligibility criteria may be referred and seen together rather than individually
- Individuals currently receiving services under other PTS steams are eligible for sessions under this new stream
- Individuals who use services through the Better Access Bushfire Recovery initiative can also access the Bushfire PTS stream, and vice versa.
How do I access the Bushfire PTS service?
Your GP must refer you via our intake line and complete a referral form.