Thanks to increased Medicare rebates from 1st July 2023 – Gap payments are reduced and your share of the total payment is reduced

Thursday Night Men’s Group – Expressions of Interest Sought

A potential Men’s Discussion/therapeutic Group

A few weeks ago I was preparing a few blogs and other things for “International Men’s Health Week” (the 30th of these) from 10th to 16th June which (by the way) has been described as an “…annual event [that] aims to raise awareness of preventable health problems that disproportionately affect men and encourages them to seek help.”  Part of this had been looking at a few related things from a few places like, the “Man UP” tv series shown on the ABC a few years ago (and funded by Movember).  You can (by the way) watch the whole series of three episodes via the hyperlink above. Here’s the Trailer or Teaser for the series.

I’m also reminded of the Australian film of a few years ago “Men’s Group”  described on the Internet Movie Database as “Six strangers meet up every week to talk, finding they are not alone with their issues. Secrets are revealed as their friendships grow but when tragedy strikes, they realize that it is up to them to take responsibility for their own lives.” (Please note this is not the British comedy “The Men’s Group”)

The Australian movie, is available to watch via at least one streaming service, apart from Kanopy (the free service via your public library or university). Through which I also watched “About Men – A Portrait of a Men’s Support Group”.

This got to me thinking again about the possibility of running a bloke’s discussion/therapeutic group myself.

What would be covered in the discussions?

This would be up to the participants, and there would be the usual expectations that it’s a non-judgemental setting (i.e. not a place for the “ism’s”*, or “ist’s”*) and what’s said in the group, stays in the group, with the exception of emergency situations (threat to self or others).  For those expressing an interest, there would be a brief email poll with a few suggestions, and a place for “other” to put in your own suggestions or ideas.

(*Ism’s = Racism, Sexism, Heterosexism, etc, or Ist’s = Sexist, Racist, Misogynist etc.)

Some potential things to discuss in this non-judgemental confidential setting could be; Depression; Anger; Self-esteem or self-worth; Looking after your mental health; Developing a balance between home and work life; Ways of developing positive relationships with other blokes, to name a few.

Some “food for thought” or suggestions could be found via some of the books I’ve reviewed on my blogs in the past, like “Rob Mills and “Putting on a Show: Manhood, Mates and Mental Health”, or “Male Order: Manning Up In The Modern World” by Richard Clune. Or in more recent times “Bright Shining: How Grace changes Everything” by Julia Baird. There’s also the blog I wrote about “Tradies, FIFO Workers, “Golden Handcuffs”, and Mental Health” as a few suggestions.

Admittedly, this would be a bit different to the groups I’ve co-facilitated before, namely a Domestic Violence (DV) group, and an Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) group at Karnet Prison Farm, but otherwise not too different from what I’ve done before.

I know that Medicare allows for rebates for group therapy (for up to 10 sessions in a calendar year) of 6-10 people of $33.60 per person (from 1st July 24,) for a session of 90+ minutes. You’d need a GP Mental Health Care Plan from your GP to get this. Cost per person would be $75/session Medicare rebate of $33.60 = $31.40 gap, with the fee based on my costs (venue hire, my fees, refreshments and other overheads).  The APS recommended fee is $117 per person, i.e. way below the recommended fee. Basically, you’d pay me a fee, taking into account the costs described above, I’d put the claim into Medicare on your behalf, and shortly afterwards (usually within a day or so) you’d get the $33.60 into your bank account.    

Practicalities:

  1. The group would be held fortnightly on a Thursday evening and require 8-10 guys to be both financially viable and eligible for Medicare rebates;
  2. The venue would be relatively close to my Huntingdale office, (although an alternative location could be arranged if most participants live/work in another area and a suitable venue could be found).
  3. Cost per person ($75) is based on what my overheads would be (venue costs, my fees and other practicalities, e.g. tea/coffee, printing of handouts etc) Please note: Because of the small numbers of participants and overall costs there can be no concession rate.
  4. Medicare rebate would be for a 90minute+ group session (item No 80122 – $33.60 rebate), i.e. a $41.40 Gap, between what you pay and what you get back from Medicare.
  5. Time would be 6pm-7.45pm~ with a 10/15 min break about halfway through.
  6. If you are interested, send an email to info@hpcch.com.au to; a.); Confirm your interest; b.) Tell me what sorts of things you’d like to cover; c.) Ask any questions you may have.

Remember, this group would give you the opportunity for therapeutic work, in a group setting. This would be a win-win situation, by doing therapeutic work with a group of other guys, (i.e. getting the benefits of insights of other guys, along with the psychologist) at a lower cost than a one-to-one setting.

If you may be interested, please complete this survey.

I look forward to hearing from potential participants.

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