Frequently asked questions

Do you have some questions about Head to Health Canberra? Below are some of the common questions we get asked at Head to Health Canberra. If you need more information please don't hesitate to request a call back.
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What services are available? Are the services we refer to free?

When undertaking an initial assessment, we will ask some (brief) questions about your capacity to pay for fee-paying services. Capacity to pay for a service is a (small) part of the consideration of which services will suit each individual. Any services, including the initial assessment, a person receives or partakes in at Canberra Head to Health are free. Canberra Head to Health is supported by funding from the ACT Primary Health Network (PHN) via Capital Health Network (CHN) through the Australian Government’s PHN Program.

What is an initial assessment?

The initial assessment is a standardised assessment process that ensures we get a good understanding of your personal situation to ensure we can make appropriate recommendations for you. This process covers a range of areas, including; your current mental health symptoms, any risk issues, current functioning, any co-occurring conditions, treatment and recovery history, social/environmental stressors, family supports and your capacity/motivation to engagement with services.

An initial assessment takes 30 to 60 minutes, dependent on the individual’s situation.

Do I need to have a Mental Health Treatment Plan?

A Mental Health Treatment Plan (formerly known as a Mental Health Care Plan or MHCP) is not required to access our services. 

What resources and referrals will I receive?

All resources and referrals recommended will be discussed with you during our 24-48hr check-in post initial assessment. Resources may include online or e-therapy services. Referrals may include local community or health services, private mental health professionals (e.g. psychologist) or referral for treatment services with our Intervention team.

Is Head to Health free?

All services provided by Head to Health are free of charge. Services are funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health via the Primary Health Network and delivered by Think Mental Health.

What happens after an initial assessment?

After the initial assessment, you will receive a check in call from the intake team. This call will take you through the recommended resources/referrals. A follow up email will also be sent out to you after this call. A letter to your GP (if you have a GP you are comfortable with us writing to) will be sent outlining the details of the service(s) you received at Canberra Head to Health, the outcome of the assessment and the recommended referrals and resources provided.

Can I book an appointment with a psychologist?

Whilst we do have a multidisciplinary team of mental health clinicians, which does include psychologists, you can not automatically book an appointment with the treatment team. The first step is to go through our intake process, which includes the initial assessment to determine your needs and then discussion on the best resources and referrals for your circumstances. Not everyone will be referred for internal treatment services, it really depends on your personal circumstances and where you can best get your needs met.

Can I talk to someone over the phone or visit the clinic?

Either is fine. If you decide to proceed with an assessment, we will work to find a suitable time for this. Sometimes this will be immediate, sometimes it will be at an agreed scheduled time. The same process is followed whether you come into the Centre or contact us via telephone.

Where is Head to Health Canberra?

Our current (interim) location is at Alia House, Level 1, 9 Napier Close Deakin. There is street parking available or you can access the Centre via the #58 Bus from Civic or Woden to Denison Street, followed by a 3min walk to the office. Please note that we are moving to our permanent location in Canberra City, in October 2022.

What is the earliest / latest time I can schedule an assessment?

The Centre currently operates during business hours, 8:30am – 5pm. Our latest scheduled assessment time is 3:30pm. Please note we are planning to move to extended hours later in the year once we are in our permanent location.

Who is eligible for services at Head to Health?

Anyone 18 years or older are eligible for services. 

We are happy to talk with parents of children or young people themselves and make suggestions for appropriate services but can not provide assessment or interventions to anyone under 18 years.

The only exception is for a current project providing services to those at risk of disordered eating, whereby we are providing interventions for people as young as 12 years of age. This project is running through till the end of September 2022.

What happens when I request a call back on the website?

Canberra Head to Health reception will receive the request and aim to give you a call at the designated day/time you have requested. They will send through some further information via email.

Please note this call will come from a private number.

If I just walk in, will I be able to see someone straight away or would it be better to schedule a time?

We always have at least one worker available to see someone who walks in. Sometimes you may need to wait if the worker is already with someone, though can always schedule a time that suits if this doesn’t work for you.

In a crisis, who should I contact?

Canberra Head to health is not a crisis service. If you find yourself in a crisis situation, please call emergency services or Access Mental Health (1800 629 354), Lifeline (13 11 14) or one of the other recommended services listed on our website.

Will my information remain confidential?

We take your privacy very seriously and always comply with the relevant Privacy and Health Records legislation. Before completing an initial assessment, we will ask a series of questions with regard to confidentiality including if you give permission to Canberra Head to Health to share assessment information with any provider we refer you to (e.g. a GP or Psychologist), or to providing de-identified information to the Department of Health to help fund and improve the service.

Can I call on behalf of someone else?

Yes, you can, but if you are calling on behalf of someone else it may limit the support we can provide.

In particular, we are unable to schedule a person in for an assessment without their consent. Consent can be given verbally in the instance that they were unable to call themselves but are present when you call Canberra Head to Health.

You are most welcome to attend the Centre with someone you care for, to support them to access services.

Are the intake workers qualified?

Our Intake Team all have minimum qualifications in health or related disciplines and have appropriate skills and experience to provide mental health services.

If I request a time, and I did not receive a call, what should I do?

Our intake team can get very busy at times, if you had a time scheduled in and have not yet received communication, please feel free to contact on 1800 595 212 and speak with reception who will be able to let you know what has happened. It may be that intake team member is finishing up on another call which took longer than expected and is planning to ring you shortly.

If you missed a call from us at the scheduled time, don’t hesitate to contact reception and we will be able to get you transferred through to the appropriate team member.