Mental health services in Australia

It’s normal to feel worried about living in a new country, but there are plenty of support services available to you if you’re an international student, visitor, or worker in Australia.

Written by Editor Medibank
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Mental health refers to your mood and state of wellbeing. When your mental health is good, you feel happier and are more able to cope with stress and achieve your goals. But adapting to life in a new country can be hard, and sometimes you might feel sad or overwhelmed.

The good news is there are plenty of services available to help you out. You just need to be brave and talk to people about how you’re feeling.

Medibank phone support

If you have Medibank Overseas Visitors Health Cover or Overseas Workers Health Cover, you can call the 24/7 Medibank Nurse Phone Service or Medibank Mental Health Phone Support on 1800 644 325, where you can talk to an experienced and qualified mental health professional about any mental health questions or concern and get advice on what to do next. 

If you're a student with Medibank Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), you can call the Student Health and Support Line on 1800 887 283 at any time of the day or night. They'll offer you advice and over-the-phone counselling as part of your cover. They also have an interpreter service so you can speak to someone in your own language.

International student support (ISS) team

If you're a student, your university’s ISS team are there to make your time in Australia as smooth as possible. If you’re having trouble, they’re a good place to go for advice and support. They’ll be able to help you find a doctor, and in some situations can arrange a reduced study load or time off without affecting your visa.

General practitioner (GP)

Most Medibank Overseas Health Covers* will pay towards the cost of seeing a doctor (usually called a GP). If you’re feeling sad or stressed, a doctor will listen to you and give you advice and treatment if you need it. They may also refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist who is trained to listen and help you work through any problems.

Psychologist or psychiatrist

Psychologists and psychiatrists will discuss how you're feeling with you, and may give you tools to help get you back on track. You can see a psychologist without a GP referral, but you'll need one to see a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist might also prescribe medicine.

Online resources

There are some great, free services you can access from your phone or computer. They also provide telephone counselling any time of the day or night.

  • beyondblue offers info and advice about depression and other issues, as well as an online live chat. You can also call and speak to someone 24 hours a day on 1300 224 636.
  • Lifeline is a crisis support and suicide prevention service with an online live chat. You can also call them 24 hours a day on 13 11 14.

How Medibank Overseas Health Cover can help

If you have a Medibank Overseas Health Cover, you may be able to get some money back for some mental health services:

  • If you need to go to hospital for mental health treatment, your Overseas Health Cover may be able to help with some of the hospital bills, provided you have served your waiting periods and that you have Hospital psychiatric services included under your cover.

  • If you see a GP, most Overseas Health Covers* will pay towards the cost of the appointment.

  • If you see a mental health professional without being admitted to hospital, you may be able to claim towards the cost of mental health services depending on how you are billed -

    For mental health services billed with an MBS item number, some Overseas Health Covers^ will pay towards the cost with a range of providers.
    For psychology and counselling consultations billed without an MBS item number, we’ll pay towards the cost (up to annual limits) if you hold Medibank Comprehensive OSHC or Overseas Workers Premium Hospital, Medical & Extras, or a Medibank Extras cover that includes Mental Health Support.

  • Lastly, if you are prescribed medication as mental health treatment, your Overseas Health Cover~ or Medibank Extras cover may pay some of the cost (up to annual limits and waiting periods may apply).

It’s a good idea to check your Cover Summary or give Medibank a call to confirm what’s included in your cover and the benefits we pay. If you have Medibank Overseas Visitors or Overseas Workers Health Cover, give us a call on 132 331 or if you have Medibank Overseas Student Health Cover, give us a call on 134 148.


* Excludes Overseas Workers Base Hospital cover.

^ Excludes Overseas Workers Base Hospital, Overseas Visitor Health Insurance, Overseas Visitors Starter Hospital & Medical, and Overseas Visitors Everyday Hospital & Medical.

~ Excludes Overseas Workers Base Hospital, Overseas Workers Standard Hospital & Medical, Overseas Visitor Health Insurance, and Overseas Visitors Everyday Hospital & Medical.

Written by Editor Medibank

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