If you have any questions or enquiries please feel free to contact us on the details provided below or alternatively you can complete our online enquiry form also located below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
02 9211 7666
02 9281 6053
|What is mental illness?|
It is estimated that one in five people suffer from emotional problems sufficiently distressing to justify seeking professional help. Symptoms can range from relatively mild feelings of depression and anxiety to severe distress and dysfunction that threatens life itself.
Scientific, medical and social research is enabling a better understanding of the nature and cause of psychiatric illnesses and symptoms, and improved diagnosis and treatment are constantly being developed.
|How is a psychiatrist different to a psychologist?|
A psychiatrist is a qualified medical doctor who has obtained additional qualifications to become a specialist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness and emotional problems. Because of their extensive medical and psychiatric training, psychiatrists are able to view illness in an integrated way by taking into consideration the related aspects of body and mind.
Psychiatrists are trained both to recognise and treat the effects of emotional disturbances on the body as a whole, as well as the effects of physical conditions on the mind. This is particularly important, as many emotional disturbances affect various parts of the body and physical illnesses can certainly affect the mind. A psychiatrist’s medical and psychiatric training allows both the physical and emotional to be kept in perspective.
|What sort of therapy is right for me?||The choice of therapy is very much an individual thing – we’ve outlined the key options available to help you make a decision and you are welcome to talk through the options with your doctor when you first meet.|
|What do I need to make an appointment with a psychiatrist at your practice?|
As with all specialist medical services, we require a referral from your General Practitioner (GP). The referral will need to be either emailed by you, or faxed by your GP for consideration, prior to being offered an appointment.
A referral assists us in outlining the reasons for an appointment, types of treatment and medication requirements, whether the referral is appropriate for their practice and whether clinicians have capacity to provide an assessment, and where required, ongoing treatment. Due to these factors, a submission of a referral does not guarantee an appointment.
You do not need a referral to obtain an appointment with our counsellor, however to be able to be eligible for Medicare rebates with our psychologist, a referral or GP Mental Health Plan may be required.
|How am I able to send my referral?|
You can either scan or take a photo with your phone of your referral and email it in. It must be clear and legible for the doctor to read.
Alternatively, when you obtain your referral from your GP, you can ask them to fax it directly to our rooms on your behalf.
It is important for either of the sending methods outlined above, that your contact number is also noted in the email or on the referral, so we may contact you.
|I have sent my referral in, what happens now?||Your referral will be presented to the psychiatrists or clinician to be reviewed and responded to.|
|How long will it take to receive a response?||While we endeavor to provide you with a response as soon as possible, we allow up to 7 days to receive feedback from the clinicians. Our reception staff will advise you of the outcome once they have the response.|
|What happens in the event I am not offered an appointment?||Once we have notified you of this outcome, we will also advise your referring GP, so that alternate recommendations can be made with them. In some cases, information from the clinician can be provided to your GP for appropriate alternate recommendations.|
|My appointment needs are urgent in nature, what can I do?|
Red Tree Practice is not an urgent or emergency service provider. For any matters warranting emergency or urgent services, should be referred to the NSW Mental Health (T: 1800 011 511) to be linked with your local mental health team.
Alternatively, you can contact your GP or local hospital for further discussion regarding these or similar services.
|I require a court ordered report, are you able to provide this?|
Unfortunately, our clinicians are unable to offer consultations for the purposes of law ordered reports for persons unknown to our clinicians, and would suggest to seek other recommendations from your GP.
|How long are the sessions with the psychiatrist or clinician?|
Sessions generally last for around 45 minutes, though we encourage you to allow up to an hour. Sometimes our clients also like to allow some time at either side of the session to clear their mind ahead of the therapy, or reflect on what has been discussed following the session.
Couple therapies and initial assessment bookings may be booked at a longer timeframe, but this will be discussed with you at the time of booking your appointment.
|What should I bring to my first meeting with the psychiatrist?||All you need to bring to the first session is yourself – you are enough. Our team don’t expect you to have completed “homework”. If you would like to bring something along feel free to – but there is no expectation that you do.|
|What happens at the first session?|
In your first session your treating psychiatrist will ask many questions to help gain an understanding of your particular circumstances.
Occasionally, psychiatrists may need to order blood tests and x-rays to exclude organic causes of symptoms.
Your first session will usually be around 60 minutes in length, longer in some circumstances. Don’t be concerned if your assessment is not finished within the first session – you are a complex being and the team working at Red Tree Practice understands and respects this.
|Will I be prescribed medication?|
This varies with every patient. Medication is just one option that will be considered by your doctor. A wide range of medications is now available for use in psychiatric illnesses. Medications can now effectively remove symptoms, alter the course of illnesses and commonly return patients to a normal life.
In some instances, medications can be life saving, for example, in a case of a severe depressive illness. Psychiatrists are highly experienced in prescribing and monitoring these medications.
Some doctors may request a second opinion before prescribing medications.
|What if I don’t like my psychiatrist?|
We understand that you may not make the right connection with your psychiatrist or mental health clinician – so are always open to referring you to another member of the Red Tree Practice team or elsewhere.
|How often should I meet with my psychiatrist or clinician, and how long will the therapy go for?||This is an individual thing. Some patients will only require several sessions for assistance with medication. Others will benefit from regular psychotherapy which is usually once per week. Even once the more regular therapy has finished, our doctors welcome occasional visits with their former clients as a check in on how they are tracking.|
|I don’t live in Sydney but am keen to use Red Tree Practice’s services, what are my options?|
Red Tree Practice also offers tele-psychiatry services via high definition video conference, however this service is usually offered to people whom the psychiatrist has had a chance to assess in person first.
There are requirements for any tele-psychiatry sessions to be eligible to claim via Medicare, please visit out online resources/links page for the Department of Human Services (Medicare) website for more information to see if you are eligible to claim. If the requirements are not met, these sessions are charged as an out of pocket cost.