Accessing Professional Advice

Most mental illness can be effectively treated or managed. Recognising the early signs and symptoms of mental illness and accessing effective treatment promptly is important. The earlier treatment starts, the better the outcome.

Episodes of mental illness can come and go during different periods in people’s lives. Some people experience only one episode of illness and fully recover. For others, it recurs throughout their lives. Effective treatments can include medication, cognitive-behavioural psychological therapies, psycho-social support and learning self-management skills.

There are several types of health professionals who can offer help and provide treatment. These include General Practitioners (GPs), Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Counsellors. GPs are a good starting point for someone seeking professional help as they can discuss possible treatment options with the person, work with the person to draw up a Mental Health Care Plan, prescribe medication if appropriate and refer a person to a mental health specialist.

For a great fact sheet on helping you to find an appropriate mental health GP, visit the Black Dog Institute.

If you are after information on treatment options for mental illness, you can take the first step by making contact with the following services: