Getting started in treatment for the first time can be a bit overwhelming, so we’ve prepared a list of common questions to help.

Can’t see your question listed below?

Contact us – we’re happy to answer it.

Seeing a Psychiatrist at The Redleaf Practice

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have specialist training in diagnosing and treating people with mental illness. The Psychiatrists at Redleaf have a particular interest and expertise in helping individuals with an eating disorder.

Psychiatrists can assess both mental and physical wellbeing, and use this information to make diagnoses and develop a management plan for treatment. Psychiatrists can request medical tests such as pathology and prescribe medication.

According to the RANZCP, there are 3 main differences between Psychiatrists and Psychologists:

  1. Psychiatrists are medical doctors, Psychologists are not.
  2. Psychiatrists prescribe medication, Psychologists cannot.
  3. Psychiatrists diagnose illness, manage treatment and provide a range of therapies. Psychologists focus on providing psychotherapy (talk therapy) to help patients.

Psychiatrists and Psychologists often work together and lots of patients at Redleaf see both at our clinic. Often a Psychiatrist will manage medical safety and medication, while the Psychologist provides ongoing therapy.

An initial appointment with a Psychiatrist is approximately 60 minutes. Your Psychiatrist will ask questions about your medical history, background, current situation, and concerns, to gain an understanding of your needs. If required, your Psychiatrist will also take your blood pressure and do a basic physical check-up.

The initial appointment is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you have about treatment or otherwise. If the client is under 18, the Psychiatrist will likely spend time talking to both the client and their parents, together and individually.

Your Psychiatrist will discuss diagnosis, treatment options and make recommendations for the best course of treatment. It may take a few appointments for your Psychiatrist to make a full diagnosis. They may also request additional tests, such as blood tests, or want to speak with other medical professionals involved in your care.

We recognise that speaking to someone for the first time can be an overwhelming and unfamiliar experience and it is normal to feel a bit nervous before your appointment. Deciding to talk to a Psychiatrist is a positive step forward and often becomes easier over time.

Fees & Rebates

The cost of a consultation at The Redleaf Practice varies depending on which Psychiatrist you see. We are not a bulk billing practice and there will be an out-of-pocket cost for each appointment. To discuss the cost of consultations, please contact us.

To make things as convenient as possible and allow you to focus on your appointment, we keep your card details on file in an encrypted secure format. After your card details are entered into our system, they are stored and ‘tokenised’, meaning they are not visible to anyone in the practice. Payments are powered by Braintree Paypal, one of the world’ largest online payment providers, with stringent data and security protocols.

After your session, we will process payment automatically and email you a receipt. Note that payment at time of consultation is required, so please ensure there are adequate funds available in your account.

Yes, you will need a referral from a medical doctor to see a Psychiatrist. Referral letters from a GP are valid for 12 months. Referral letters from a specialist are valid for 3 months.

With a valid referral, you can claim a partial rebate from Medicare for your appointment. There will be a ‘gap’ or ‘out-of-pocket’ cost for each appointment.

While we endeavour to remind clients regarding the need for referrals, we take no responsibility for eligibility to claim sessions from Medicare. We recommend keeping track of your referral expiry, which is listed on your receipt. If you are unsure, please contact us.

We have Medicare claiming facilities at the practice. Once payment is received in full, we can submit your Medicare claim on your behalf. Rebates are usually received overnight into the bank account you have linked to your Medicare card number.

Cancellation Policy

To ensure that we can offer appointments to those on our waitlist in a timely manner, appointments cancelled/missed without required notice will incur the full consultation fee. This fee cannot be claimed from Medicare or private health funds.

We send out reminder texts that include the date and time of your session to help you keep track of appointments. Please check these texts carefully and contact reception as soon as possible to reschedule appointments to avoid the inconvenience of a cancellation fee.

A/Prof Sloane Madden: Appointments cancelled after Friday 5pm the week prior to the consultation will incur a cancellation fee.

Dr Shirene Shanker-Butler: Appointments cancelled after Monday 5pm the week of the consultation will incur a cancellation fee.

Support Services Available 24/7

If you need support now, we recommend contacting one of the below services that are available 24/7. Always remember, if there is an immediate risk of harm, call 000 or present to the nearest emergency department.

Lifeline – 131 114

Mental health line – 1800 011 511

Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 46 36

Kids Helpline  – 1800 55 1800

Interested to know more?

If you have any questions or queries, we encourage you to reach out.

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