Overview: GP mental health treatment plans

Mental health services in Australia are provided through various pathways. A detailed explanation of the types of mental health services in Australia is provided at Australia's mental health services – Mental health. A key access pathway for Medicare subsidised mental health care in Australia is via General Practitioner (GP) mental health treatment plans (see Box 2.1). 

Box 2.1: GP mental health treatment plans

GP mental health treatment plans provide a structured framework for GPs to provide early intervention, assessment and management of mental health disorders, and act as a pathway to refer to mental health treatment services such as psychological therapy. This is part of the Commonwealth Government’s Better Access initiative (for more information see Better Access initiative).

Under a mental health treatment plan, a patient is entitled to Medicare rebates for up to 10 individual psychological appointments and up to 10 group allied mental health services each year. This includes access to subsidised psychologist and certain occupational therapists and social workers. An additional 10 individual psychological therapy sessions per year were made available in response to the potential adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for the period 9 October 2020 to 31 December 2022 (Department of Health 2022).

Humanitarian entrants may access mental health care through various other pathways including specialist trauma-informed care through the Program of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (PASTT), state government mental health services, not-for-profit organisations, and other cultural or religious counselling. These services may be accessed regardless of whether the individual has a mental health treatment plan or not. As these services are not subsidised by Medicare, it is not captured in these data. The information presented in this section only includes data on Medicare subsidised GP mental health treatment plans in migrant groups and does not include data on the overall use of mental health services by this community nor the prevalence of mental health conditions.


Department of Health (2022) Additional 10 MBS Mental Health Sessions during COVID-19 under the Better Access Pandemic Support Measure – Factsheet, Department of Health, Australian Government, accessed 17 Aug 2023.