Mental injury support

Your mental health is important and we want to make sure you get the support you need. Support, such as provisional payments, is available to help workers with a work-related mental injury with their recovery.

Background

If your work is contributing to poor mental health, this could impact how you think, feel and behave inside and outside of work. It's important to seek the help you need quickly. It has been shown that early treatment and support can reduce the impact of poor mental health. It can allow you to remain at or return to work and the activities that you enjoy in life.

Treatment and support

Workers with a mental injury can access early treatment and support while they await the outcome of their claim. Payment for this support is called provisional payments. Where a worker is entitled to provisional payments, WorkSafe can cover the reasonable cost of treatment for 13 weeks.

If your claim is accepted, WorkSafe can continue to cover treatment costs in accordance with Victorian workers' compensation legislation. If the claim is rejected, WorkSafe can continue to cover these costs for up to 13 weeks.

It's important you start getting the help you need while your claim is being reviewed. There are many different options for treatment and support for a mental injury and it’s important you find the right support for your own recovery.

Provisional payments - support for workers with a mental injury

This video provides useful information on how Victorian workers who suffer from a mental injury can access early treatment and support, where you can go for support and how to find out further information.

Provisional payments: support for mental injuries

What WorkSafe will pay

  • consultation sessions as required in line with the relevant policy and fee schedule
  • medication as prescribed by your GP or healthcare provider for your mental injury (in line with the Pharmacy policy)
  • inpatient psychiatric treatment care as required
  • e-mental health services (if pre-approved by the agent)
  • facilitated discussions with occupational rehabilitation providers

What WorkSafe will not pay

  • non-attendance/cancellation
    • WorkSafe will not pay for appointments where injured workers cancel or do not attend

Mind the gap

The payment of reasonable costs of treatment does not necessarily mean payment of the full cost. There may be a 'gap' between what the healthcare provider charges and what WorkSafe will cover. If they charge more, you'll need to pay the difference. You can ask your healthcare provider if you'll be charged a gap fee prior to booking an initial appointment.

To start your recovery, you can access the following services:

General practitioner (GP)

A GP can work with you to develop an action plan and recommend services and resources that can assist you to address your mental health concerns.

Your GP may recommend or refer you to a mental health professional to provide you with psychological support services.

Your GP may also provide you with a Certificate of Capacity which you will need to submit with your claim form if you are seeking weekly payments as part of your compensation.

What to bring to your appointment

If you have already submitted your Worker's Injury Claim Form to your employer, you may have a claim number and can bring this to your appointment.

Psychology

Psychologists are experts in human behaviour and use evidence-based psychological interventions to prevent people from becoming unwell, improve human functionality in their personal, vocational and familial roles and assist them to overcome mental and physical illness and optimise their health and functioning in the community.

What to bring to your appointment

A referral from your GP and/or other medical practitioner is required.

E-mental health services

A range of e-mental health services are also available to assist you. These services are free and complementary to the treatment you may receive from your healthcare provider. They give you access to online programs and services, to use on your own or with a healthcare provider. Speak with them to discuss whether this is appropriate for you.

Accredited Mental Health Social Workers

Accredited Mental Health Social Workers (AMHSWs) are specialist providers with knowledge and skill in assessing, diagnosing and improving mental health and associated psychosocial problems experienced by individuals.

What to bring to your appointment

A referral from your GP and/or other medical practitioner is required.

Psychiatry

Psychiatrists are medical practitioners who are experts in mental health. They specialise in diagnosing and treating people with mental illness.

Psychiatrists provide psychological treatment, prescribe medications and do procedures such as electroconvulsive therapy.

What to bring to your appointment

A referral from your GP is required.

Facilitated discussion

A facilitated discussion is a voluntary process that offers a safe and supported environment to identify the barriers to you returning to work, and assists you and your employer on reaching a mutual agreement and pathway forward. Return to healthy work is the overarching goal for all injured workers.

Facilitated discussions are conducted by occupational rehabilitation (OR) providers. OR providers are professionals who are experienced in dealing with workplace injuries. They are independent of WorkSafe, the Agent and your employer.

Your WorkSafe agent can assist you with a referral to this service.

Additional services

There are some services that your healthcare provider may want to refer you to which may be complementary and assist to achieve your goals but are not directly for the treatment of a mental health condition.

A referral from a medical practitioner and prior approval from the WorkSafe agent is required for these services and there must be a clinical justification for the request.

Services include (but are not limited to):

  • occupational therapy
  • remedial exercise
  • outreach services
  • pain management
  • remedial massage

Other support

Lifeline (13 11 14)

Beyond Blue (1300 224 636)

Headsup

Directline (1800 888 236)

Headspace

Head to Health