Why have Virtual Reception?
Using off-site Virtual reception services enables me to provide you with highly professional and skilled reception without having to train and retain staff myself. As a solo practitioner, it would be hard to employ more than one person; with the service I use, you and I get the benefit of a whole team of reception and office staff, with many years’ experience. Also, your privacy is absolutely ensured as you are certain not to bump into my staff in the street.
Why have CCTV?
It serves as a part of the security system for use after hours. The camera in the consulting room does not operate during the day.
What is my experience?
I completed my medical degree at the University of Queensland in 1999. I commenced work in the field of Psychiatry in 2001 and obtained my specialist Fellowship in 2010. Four of my 16 years in the field have been working with Child and Youth, including in the ‘headspace’ model. I have had significant involvement in undergraduate- and postgraduate teaching, with a previous position as Lecturer with the University of Tasmania and a current appointment as Senior Lecturer with UWA. My work up to this point has been largely in the public sector, in hospital and out-patient clinics. I have experience in working with Indigenous people in regional WA, Queensland and NSW. I look forward to working with you.
What can I expect when I visit?
Usually, a first assessment is a meeting with you lasting about 50 minutes. Sometimes, an assessment takes longer and may even happen over a couple of appointments. I'm keen to establish the goals of your treatment so that we're all working towards the same outcomes.
Whatever is discussed in the consulting room is confidential; the only exceptions to this are if you or somebody else is at immediate risk. I’ll normally write to your GP after our meeting, as your GP is the centre of your health care team and it’s important they know what’s happening in our work together. Please let me know if there are things we discuss that you don’t want included in a letter to your GP.
I take a patient-centred approach to my work. This means that you are “in the driver’s seat” of your health care; my role is to provide opinion on what kind of issues are affecting you, and what kind of things would be helpful for you. In general, the decisions about your health care are yours to make. I take a wholistic approach and a broad view on your situation and difficulties, including such things as social wellbeing, physical health, work and vocational satisfaction, and your sense of place in the world. Often, getting the basics right is more important than which medications you’re taking. There are often several choices of treatment, with differing benefits and risks. I will give you information that will help you make a decision.
I can work with you in a number of ways: I can see you once or twice in a year and give your GP a guide on how to work with you over that time; I can see you a small number of times to ‘point you in the right direction’ in terms of how to think about your issues and where to access the most suitable help; or I can see you regularly, say every month or two. We can discuss these options when we meet.
I do not specialise in court reports. If a lawyer has suggested you come to see me, I ask that you tell me this this at our first meeting, or preferably the Receptionist when you ring to make your first appointment. I am here to help people with their mental health issues, not their court issues. There are other psychiatrists who specialise in medico-legal reports.
All Australian-trained psychiatrists are trained to work with people in both the younger and older age brackets. I have done some years of work with children and adolescents. I am willing to see young people; although there may be some times where a specialist Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist is better suited to your needs. For example, I do not prescribe stimulant medication to children.
There are some great resources online to learn more about psychiatry and mental health problems. A good place to start is www.yourhealthinmind.org.au - this has been put together by my professional organisation, the Royal Australian and NZ College of Psychiatrists. As well as information online, there are some sites you can access “do-it-yourself” therapy, either on your own, or with the guidance of your health professional. We can talk about these when we meet. Please beware of seeking medical advice from “Dr Google”, as there is a lot of inaccurate and biased information online. The sites I’ve suggested are reliable sources of information.