Occlumentia

7+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2010
54
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Australia
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Psychology Student
Hi all, I just joined although I've been lurking and reading the Psych SDN forums for some time now.

I am an Australian Psychology student, working in mental and population health research, and planning to go the clinical way in the future.

Are there any other Aussie students/psychologists/social workers etc. here? I've noticed that most of the posts here are from an American perspective - it's really interesting to see how other countries handle mental health training and practice.

I also have a question about the system in America - does the government cover any kind of mental health care, or is that all done through an individual's insurance? Also, where do most psychologists work, as far as you know? In universities, hospitals, private practices, or elsewhere?

Here, our nation-wide health plan, Medicare, covers a certain number of (private) psychologist sessions a year (generally 12) as long as there is a referral from a primary care physician. In a lot of cases 12 sessions isn't enough, but it's better than nothing! Plus the rate of pay per session isn't too shabby (some psychologists only charge this rate, while others charge a bit on top as well).

Does the US has a similar system in terms of number of visits, national coverage of charges, etc?

Thanks, and nice to meet you all :)
 

KillerDiller

10+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2007
1,560
52
271
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Post Doc
It's nice to hear what is happening in different countries.

Currently in the U.S. we have limited public health programs, Medicare and Medicaid. Unlike your Medicare, the U.S. Medicare system only covers specific individuals--those over 65 or those who are recognized as disabled and unemployable. If you acquire a disability, you have to wait 2 years to be eligible for Medicare, unless you happen to have acquired a certain set of disorders. Medicaid, on the other hand, covers those who live below the poverty line and also meet a set of other conditions (pregnant, living with HIV, disabled, etc).

Otherwise, individuals obtain private insurance through their employers, through their school if they are a student, etc. I have heard of private insurances having a limit on the number of sessions available, but I do not believe there is a limit in the public plans (I could be wrong about that).

Of course, the newly passed health care legislation is designed to change some of this.
 

KillerDiller

10+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2007
1,560
52
271
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Post Doc
When you say "disabled", would this include psychiatric disorders?
Only if the disorder is severe and chronic enough to prevent a person from being employed in the long term. Those with schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses can qualify.