Mental health support

Returning home after ICU is a positive milestone. At the same time, returning home can be challenging for patients and families. Some people feel depressed and frustrated. Recovery might be slower than expected. Life might look different. Some patients will be managing a disability. Some may be grieving for the person they were before their accident or illness.

There are many professionals who can help support your mental health. Here are some of the people you can approach.

General practitioner (GP)

Your local doctor is a great first point of contact for mental health support. You may be eligible to see a psychologist or psychiatrist that are paid for by the government. Your GP can also create a mental health plan for you.


This professional is trained in the science of how people think, feel, behave and learn. A psychologist offers mental health support, advice and treatment.


This is a doctor who specialises in mental health. They can assess your situation and provide therapy. Psychiatrists can also prescribe medications to help. If you require treatment in hospital a psychiatrist will be in charge of this.

Social worker

Social workers have broad expertise in helping people with mental health problems. Social workers also help with other problems that can greatly affect mental health. For example social workers may offer help with accommodation and financial aid. Social workers also offer individual and group therapy.

Occupational therapist

These professionals understand how mental health affects our ability to participate in every day activities. Some occupational therapists are registered with Medicare to provide strategies to support mental health.

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This topic was reviewed by an intensive care medicine professional in July 2022.

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