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 has been shown that early intervention can reduce the impact of poor mental health and allow you to remain at or return to work and the activities that you enjoy in life.

Treatment and support

Victorian 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.

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.

To locate a GP near you or for helpful questions to ask your GP:

What WorkSafe will pay

Consultation sessions as required in line with Reimbursement Rates for Medical Practitioners. Medication as prescribed by the GP (or psychiatrist) for the mental injury in line with the Pharmacy policy.

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.

What WorkSafe will pay

Consultation sessions as required in line with the Psychology policy and fee schedule.

A psychologist is required to submit a Treatment Notification Plan Form by the fifth session. A psychologist may also be requested to submit a psychology review form by the agent, self-insurer, employer or WorkSafe.

E-mental health services

A range of E-mental health services are also available to assist you. These services 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.

  • This Way Up, delivered by Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital offers online learning programs and education about anxiety, depression and physical health.
  • Black Dog Institute offers a range of digital tools and apps that you can access anywhere at no cost.

What WorkSafe will pay

These online resources are free and complementary to the treatment you may be getting from your health provider. Other services may attract a fee and if pre-approved by the agent, WorkSafe would cover reasonable costs.

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.

What WorkSafe will pay

Consultation sessions as required in line with the Mental Health Social Workers policy and fee schedule.

Following the completion of an initial 10 hours of AMHSW services, and after each subsequent block of 10 hours service, the provider is expected to submit an update to the agent.

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.

What WorkSafe will pay

  • consultation sessions as required in line with the Reimbursement Rates for Medical Services
  • inpatient treatment care as required
  • medication as prescribed by the psychiatrist (or GP) for the mental injury in line with the Pharmacy policy and fee schedule.

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 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.

What WorkSafe will pay

The support will be funded by WorkSafe. You will not be required to make any payment.

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)
Telephone helplines such as Lifeline offer immediate mental health support and counselling 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Beyond Blue (1300 224 636)
Depression and anxiety support

Headsup
Resources developed by Beyond Blue to help understanding of mental health in the workplace and practical support strategies.

Directline (1800 888 236)
Substance abuse

Headspace
Mental health services for 12-25 year olds

Head to Health
Assist you with finding digital mental health services and resources.

Related information