Your rights in using a mental health service are set out in the national Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which you can find at:

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-pubs-m-rights2

The standards expected of mental health services are set out in the National Standards for Mental Health Services, found at:

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-pubs-n-servst10.

In particular, when dealing with PsychMed you can expect to:

  • Be treated courteously, respectfully and fairly at all times;
  • See a practitioner who is qualified and competent to help you;
  • Receive evidence-based treatment;
  • Have your questions about your treatment answered to your satisfaction;
  • Have your privacy respected, within the legal limits (see below);
  • Give feedback on our services and be able to make a complaint if not satisfied.

If you have a carer, and you want them involved in, or informed about, your treatment, please let us know so that we can arrange this.

If you have a preference to see a male or a female psychologist, you can request this and we will arrange it, although it might mean you have to wait a little longer for a first appointment, depending on our waiting list at the time.

You have a right to ask any questions you wish about your treatment.

You have a right to see the records we keep about you. You can make a written request and we will respond promptly. More details of your rights to records are found at www.privacy.gov.au.

You also have a right to see the correspondence between your psychologist and your doctor. You can request it from either of them.

In general, you have a right to expect that the matters you discuss with your psychologist in sessions will be kept private. However, there are important exceptions:

Communication with the doctor who referred you. The doctor and your psychologist will exchange information about you as necessary for your treatment. Your psychologist will write brief reports to your doctor at the end of six sessions and again at the completion of treatment.

Safety

  • If you are not safe, we will make any disclosure we think necessary to keep you safe. This includes being safe from someone else and being safe from harming yourself.
  • If someone else is not safe, will make any disclosure needed to keep them safe.
  • If you have a firearm, and we consider that this is unsafe, we must notify the police.
  • If a child is at risk of abuse or neglect, we must notify the child welfare authorities.
  • Court cases and similar legal processes.

Courts of law can obtain any information and records they need. If you are, or may become, involved in a court case, bear in mind that we cannot keep secrets from a court if information is required from us.

With your permission. It is your choice if you would like someone else to have information about your mental health treatment. If you want us to pass on information, we will usually ask you to sign a form giving permission. In the case of minors or people under mandated care, we may ask permission from a parent, guardian or advocate.

The law prohibits unfair treatment of any person because of their illness or disability. That includes both mental health and physical health issues. This protection applies to your work, accommodation, education and access to services, among other things.

  • If you are concerned that you have experienced discrimination because of your mental health or on any other ground covered by law, such as race, age, sex, sexuality, family responsibilities, among others, you can complain to the Equal Opportunity Commissioner, see www.eoc.sa.gov.au or to the Human Rights Commission, see www.humanrights.gov.au.
  • For unlawful unfair treatment at work, you can seek help from the Fair Work Ombudsman, see www.fairwork.gov.au
  • Workplace bullying is a health and safety issue and can be investigated by Safe Work QLD, see

You have a right to complain if you are unhappy with any health service, including ours.

You are welcome to raise complaints directly with the manager of the office you attended.

You can also complain to the Office of the Health ombudsman, see https://www.oho.qld.gov.au/. This in an independent office which investigates complaints about health services in Queensland.

A complaint about a psychologist can also be made to the Psychology Board of Australia, see www.psychologyboard.gov.au. Complaints can be made by phone, by mail or in person at an AHPRA office.

If you have a carer, it is your choice whether you would like them involved in your treatment. You can ask your psychologist to give information to your carer about your condition and your treatment, if you wish. You can also have your carer present in a therapy session, by arrangement with the psychologist, as long as that person’s presence does not interfere with therapy.

Carers have a right to give us information that they think will be helpful to your treatment, and to receive any information about your treatment that you may choose to give them.

It will help us if you will please:

  • Treat our staff and other patients with respect and courtesy;
  • Attend your appointment on time, or phone us if you are running late;
  • Let us know immediately if you will not be able to keep an appointment. If you cancel with less than 48 hours’ notice, or you miss an appointment, you may be charged a fee;
  • Tell us if you change your phone number or other contact details;
  • Not smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs on our premises.