Welcome to our resources page, where Call to Mind shares information sheets, mental health guides and the latest updates on telehealth, psychiatry and psychology.

Factsheets, guides and tips


Browse our articles which cover common queries about mental health conditions, tips for carers, telehealth resources and more.

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What’s the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

What’s the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist? What’s the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist, and who should you see? People often confuse these terms, and while there are similarities – both start with the prefix ‘psych’, as they are both experts in how the brain works and can treat mental illnesses through psychological therapies, but there are distinct differences between the two professions. Psychiatrists A psychiatrist has gone through medical school and specialised in mental health. To become a psychiatrist, they go through at least 11 years of training (often more), with at least 1-2 years spent training as a general doctor and at least 5 years of training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. As such, they are equipped to make links between mental and psychical issues and are also able to write medical prescriptions. In terms treating patients, psychiatrists can make diagnosis and manage treatment through a broad range of therapies to suit more complex mental illnesses and conditions (such as severe depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder). Psychologists Psychologists have at minimum of 6 years of university training and supervised experience in mental health. They can hold a Masters or Doctorate (or PhD, which qualifies them to be called ‘Dr’ though not a medical doctor) in psychology. ‘Clinical psychologists’ have special training in diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. When it comes to treatment, psychologists focus on talking therapies, or psychotherapy, to treat patients. They tend to see people who might have behavioural problems, learning difficulties, depression and anxiety. They’re both here to help It is common for psychiatrists and psychologists to work together, often with a psychiatrist making an initial assessment and diagnosis, and referring on to a psychologist for ongoing care via talking therapy. Often, you may be referred by a GP for one-off psychiatry assessments (and sometimes follow up psychiatry appointments), and then the psychiatrist may refer you onto a psychologist. You do not need a referral to see a psychologist, though you will need one (along with a Mental Health Treatment Plan) tro receive a Medicare benefit. Call to Mind offers psychiatry and psychology appointments, and is also able to arrange GP consults for those in need of a referral to see a mental health clinician. See a psychiatrist See a psychologist Back to resources ←

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What it means to care for someone with a mental illness

What it means to care for someone with a mental illness As a carer, you play an important role in helping someone recover from a mental illness or condition; it’s also important that you look after your own health and wellbeing. You’re considered a ‘carer’ if you are helping someone with a mental condition or illness. Every caring relationship is unique – you might be a carer who spends time listening to a someone’s challenges. You may be there for someone when they have to go to hospital or you may be at home looking after someone full time. Regardless of what your relationship as a carer looks like, you play an important role in helping someone recover from a mental illness or condition. Some of the roles you may play as a carer include: Help someone take the first step in getting help If you’re close to someone and notice that they may be struggling with mental illness, or are avoiding treatment for psychical symptoms of mental illness like trouble sleeping or being overly anxious, you can encourage them to seek help from a GP, psychiatrist or psychologist. Read more on the first steps towards getting help here. Talk about their diagnosis After a person has had an assessment by a clinician, they might be given a particular diagnosis, which is just an agreed-upon name for their set of symptoms and a tool to help doctors create an appropriate treatment plan. A diagnosis can also help you better understand what is happening and what to expect, though diagnoses can change over time and never define a person. If someone has been diagnosed with a mental illness, you can help them discuss the meaning of this diagnosis, how much support they may need and what is realistic for both you and them. Work with clinicians As a carer, you may be involved in the process of someone seeing a psychiatrist, GP or other doctors involved in treating someone’s mental health condition. If the person you care for agrees, you might attend appointments with them, discuss treatment plans and medications with their clinicians and talk to their doctors about any questions you have, how to best provide support at home and what your role should/shouldn’t involve. Help keep track of medications Mental illness is often treated with medication, which can help reduce someone’s symptoms. Often it is taken everyday, but each medication will come with specific information on how to take it and what the side effects may be. To help with someone’s medication, you can keep track of what they are taking, their psychical and mental health, any side effects or behavioural changes and ensure they understand any restrictions that come with the medication (i.e. avoid combining with alcohol or driving vehicles). If you notice any issues, talk to that person and their doctors about it. Keep a list of of all relevant and important information As someone’s carer, it’s a good idea to have all important information stored in one place, such as telephone numbers to call in an emergency, a safety plan, a list of medications someone is taking, side effects to look out for, legal paper work, what to look for if someone is unwell and steps to take in that case and any other information you think might be helpful. Looking after your own health Being a carer can be a challenging role in itself, and you need to make sure that you first look after your own needs, take breaks as needed and look out for any symptoms of your own, such as depression. You can also join carer support groups to talk about your experiences with others who understand. Remember, it’s important for you to have support from family and friends as well as providing support to someone with a mental illness. There are financial and emotions supports available for carers, and taking a break and looking after yourself is paramount. To learn more about being a carer for someone with a mental illness and what resources are available to you, visit Your Health in Mind. Back to resources ←

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Tips for connecting to a telehealth call successfully

Tips for connecting to a telehealth call successfully Telehealth makes accessing mental health care accessible and simple. Whether you attend your telehealth appointment from home or your GP’s office, there are a few important steps to follow before and during your video conference call that will help reduce any technical or communication issues on the call. The following tips tips will help ensure your video call runs smoothly. 1. Check your internet + device Before your telehealth appointment, it’s a good idea to do a pre-call test to ensure your internet speed, camera and microphone are all working. To do this, go to www.tools.coviu.com/precall, click ‘start test’ and follow the instructions. At the time of your call, try not to have other programs, apps or streaming services running, as this may slow down your internet speed. If you are still having issues connecting, please make sure you read the Coviu patient support page for further guidance on technical requirements. 2. Choose the right space Before your telehealth appointment, think about which space is best to attend your call. If you are at the GP, there should be a room reserved for you. If you are making the call from home, choose a room that you know will quiet at the time of your appointment, and that has plenty of light, either from a large window or overhead lights. 3. Consider lighting On that note, make sure the room will be well-lit during your call. This means you either need to have overhead lights switched on, or plenty of light coming through the windows. If it is very bright outside, avoid sitting in direct sunlight, or having the sun shining on your screen – this will make it hard for your clinician to see you, and hard for you to see your screen! 4. Setting yourself up. Even though you might be talking to a Call to Mind psychiatrist or psychologist from home, it’s still important to show up just like you would a normal doctor’s appointment – wear something comfortable and appropriate, and find somewhere you can sit up straight while still feeling relaxed – a chair pulled up to a table or desk is best. Set your computer, tablet or smart phone up on the table or desk so the device is at about eye level. If you’re not using a laptop or desktop computer, try leaning your phone or tablet against a sturdy stack of books so you can let it stand freely during your call. Whether you’re using a computer, tablet or smart phone, make sure your device is fully charged before your telehealth appointment. Keep a charger nearby in case your battery starts to go low during the call. 5. Minimise distractions It’s important to ensure privacy when you attend your telehealth video conference call (unless a guardian or support staff have been asked to assist by your GP or Call to Mind clinician). Before your call, ask anyone who will be around to avoid interrupting you or opening the door during the duration of your appointment. Move clutter or distractions away from the space in which you’ll be sitting. Turn phones, tvs and other devices off or on silent so you can focus on talking to your clinician. Still need some guidance? Test my connection Contact us for more help Back to resources ←

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