At Redbank Medical Centre, our GPs take a special interest in mental health care across all ages. With extensive training in the field, our GPs are able to provide comprehensive care, give our patients the peace of mind of knowing they are in the best hands. We accommodate for same day bookings, so you can rest assured that you will be able to see your GP whenever you feel it is necessary.

With mental health, speaking to a GP is a really good place to start. Mental health is about finding your best possible mental space and full potential in life - our doctors will work with you to help you achieve this. In a private consultation, our Doctors will assess your current situation and provide personalised, confidential advice. This may include strategies to help you manage your stress levels or sleep concerns, ways to achieve a sustainable work/life balance, or guidance to help you get through a rough patch.

Everyone experiences anxiety and fear at times; they are normal and helpful human emotions that help us deal with danger. However, some people experience excessive and irrational anxiety, and worries that become ongoing and distressing and that interfere with their daily lives. This may indicate an anxiety disorder. Often there appears to be no obvious or logical reason for the way the person feels. This may make an anxiety disorder even more worrying to the sufferer.


The main features of an anxiety disorder are fears or thoughts that are chronic (constant) and distressing and that interfere with daily living. Other symptoms of an anxiety disorder may include:

  • Panic or anxiety attacks (characterised by shortness of breath, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, choking, nausea).

  • Physical anxiety reactions – for example trembling, sweating, faintness, rapid heartbeat, difficulties breathing or nausea.

  • Avoidance behaviour – a person may go to extreme lengths to avoid a situation that they think could bring on anxiety or panic.

Anxiety disorders


In any one year, around one million people in Australia experience depression. One in six women and one in eight men will experience depression at some time in their life. The good news is, depression is treatable and effective treatments are available. The sooner a person with depression seeks support, the sooner they can recover.

Depression affects how people think, feel and act. Depression makes it more difficult to manage from day to day and interferes with study, work and relationships. A person may be depressed if for more than two weeks they have felt sad, down or miserable most of the time or have lost interest or pleasure in most of their usual activities. It’s important to note, everyone experiences some of these symptoms from time to time and it may not necessarily mean a person is depressed. 

Feelings caused by depression

  • sad 

  • miserable

  • unhappy

  • irritable

  • overwhelmed

  • guilty

  • frustrated

  • lacking in confidence

  • indecisive

  • unable to concentrate

  • disappointed.

Thoughts caused by depression

  • ‘I’m a failure.’

  • ‘It’s my fault.’

  • ‘Nothing good ever happens to me.’

  • ‘I’m worthless.’

  • ‘There is nothing good in my life.’

  • ‘Things will never change.’

  • ‘Life’s not worth living.’

  • ‘People would be better off without me.’


All young children can be naughty, defiant and impulsive from time to time, which is perfectly normal. However, some children have extremely difficult and challenging behaviours that are outside the norm for their age. The most common disruptive behaviour disorders include oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

Oppositional defiant disorder

Around one in ten children under the age of 12 years are thought to have oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), with boys outnumbering girls by two to one. Some of the typical behaviours of a child with ODD include:

  • Easily angered, annoyed or irritated

  • Frequent temper tantrums

  • Argues frequently with adults, particularly the most familiar adults in their lives, such as parents

  • Refuses to obey rules

  • Seems to deliberately try to annoy or aggravate others

  • Low self-esteem

  • Low frustration threshold

  • Seeks to blame others for any misfortunes or misdeeds.

Conduct disorder


Children with conduct disorder (CD) are often judged as ‘bad kids’ because of their delinquent behaviour and refusal to accept rules. Around 5% of 10 year olds are thought to have CD, with boys outnumbering girls by four to one. Around 1/3 of children with CD also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Some of the typical behaviours of a child with CD may include:

  • Frequent refusal to obey parents

  • Repeated truancy

  • Lack of empathy for others

  • Being aggressive to animals and other people 

  • Keenness to start physical fights

  • Using weapons in physical fights

  • Frequent lying

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Around two to five per cent of children are thought to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with boys outnumbering girls by three to one. The characteristics of ADHD can include:

  • Inattention – difficulty concentrating, forgetting instructions, moving from one task to another without completing anything.

  • Impulsivity – talking over the top of others, having a ‘short fuse’, being accident-prone.

  • Overactivity – constant restlessness and fidgeting.

Childhood disorders

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses. They can affect people of all age groups, genders, backgrounds and cultures. The number of people with eating disorders is increasing. We understand more about eating disorders now than ever before. Yet, many people live with these disorders for a long time without a clinical diagnosis or treatment.

The main types of eating disorder include: 

  • anorexia nervosa – characterised by restricted eating, weight loss, and fear of gaining weight

  • bulimia nervosa – periods of binge eating (often in secret), followed by attempts to compensate with excessive exercise, vomiting, or periods of strict dieting. Binge eating is often accompanied by feelings of shame and being 'out of control'

  • binge eating disorder – characterised by recurrent periods of binge eating. Binge eating can include:

    • eating much more than usual

    • eating until uncomfortably full

    • eating large amounts when not feeling hungry. 

Feelings of guilt, disgust and depression can follow binge eating episodes. Binge eating does not involve compensatory behaviours, such as for bulimia nervosa

Eating disorders

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a set of reactions that can develop in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event that threatens their life or safety (or others around them). This could be a car or other serious accident, physical or sexual assault, war-related events or torture, or a natural disaster such as bushfire or flood.

Other life-changing events such as being retrenched, getting divorced, or the death of a family member are very distressing, and may cause mental health problems, but are not considered traumatic events that can cause PTSD.

In the first days and weeks after a traumatic event, people often experience strong feelings of fear, sadness, guilt, anger, or grief. Generally these feelings will resolve on their own, however if the distress continues, it may mean that the person has developed PTSD or another mental health condition.

A person who has experienced a traumatic event should seek professional help if they:

  • don’t feel any better after two weeks

  • feel highly anxious or distressed

  • have reactions to the traumatic event that are interfering with home, work and/or relationships

  • are thinking of harming themselves or someone else.

Post traumatic stress disorder

The GP Mental Health Treatment Plans are for patients suffering from anxiety, stress or depression who would benefit from a structured approach to the management of their treatment needs. Many people suffer from stresses in their lives that significantly interfere with their thinking, behavior, socialisation and emotions.

The treatment plan involves a discussion between your doctor and you regarding assessment, your needs, goals and actions, referrals and required treatment/services, and review date.   You or your doctor might suggest a referral to any of the following services; a psychiatrist; clinical psychologist, an appropriately trained GP or allied mental health professional for further management of your disorder.

Medicare benefits are available for up to twelve (12) mental health services per eligible patient, per calendar year, to help with the cost of attending these health professionals.

Mental Health GP Care Plan