Depression and Bipolar Clinic
The Depression and Bipolar Clinic provides a consultancy service to your GP, psychologist or psychiatrist to help manage your mental illness. Children and adolescents are seen by psychiatrists who are specialists in treating this age group. The Clinic does not take over patient management - this remains with the referring doctor.
Please note: The Depression and Bipolar Clinic is not an emergency service and cannot offer crisis intervention.
Aim of the clinic
The aim of the Depression and Bipolar Clinic is to:
- help confirm your diagnosis
- better manage your medication or psychological treatment
- help you return to a fulfilling lifestyle.
A consultant psychiatrist will undertake a comprehensive clinical assessment of your condition covering relevant medical history, family medical history, past mood episodes, current and past treatments, social factors, and any other information that may be relevant.
This assessment will take approximately one hour, giving a refined diagnosis, management suggestions (concerning medications and psychological treatment), and advice to help you return to a fulfilling lifestyle. Clinic specialists will write to your referring doctor following the consultation outlining suggested management options.
The Clinic does not take over patient management this remains with the referring doctor.
Please note: The Black Dog Clinic will not provide reports for Centrelink claims, legal purposes, academic exemption, or for insurance determinations.
Before attending the clinic we require a referral from your GP or psychiatrist. In order to make the referral, the treating health practitioner will need to complete our Referral to the Referral to the Depression & Bipolar Clinic form.
The referral should include your background as well as any previous personal experiences with mental illness as well as the specific advice (e.g. diagnosis, management) sought by the referring GP or mental health professional. Appointments cannot be made until we have your completed Black Dog Institute referral form.
Once we have received your referral, it will be screened by a senior psychiatrist and the clinic secretary will then call you to arrange a time for your appointment.
The referral can be faxed to (02) 9382 8510 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The MAP is an online questionnaire that will ask about a range of factors that may be relevant to your depression (such as anxiety, mood swings and stressful events). The MAP can be completed in the privacy of your own home as long as you have an internet connection. If not, the MAP can be completed at the Black Dog Institute in Randwick by appointment.
This questionnaire takes approximately one hour to complete. When completing the MAP, it is helpful to have a list of any previous treatments and medications and how effective this treatment was for your mood.
The information collected in this computer-based program, must be completed before your Clinical Assessment appointment, and it will be provided to your assessing psychiatrist.
A psychiatrist will undertake a comprehensive clinical assessment, where your history and current presentation will be reviewed. This appointment takes about an hour to complete. Following this assessment the psychiatrist will write a comprehensive report outlining their opinion and recommendations which will be sent to your referring doctor.
You will need to liaise with your doctor to implement these suggested strategies.
Appointments with an additional psychiatrist may be allocated to those who are referred by a psychiatrist and require a review of the diagnosis, a comprehensive review of the case and/or directions for better management of the patient.
On the patient forms that we send you before your appointment, you can elect to speak to a research assistant about studies that you may be eligible to participate in at the Black Dog Institute. By contributing your lived experience to our research, you will be helping us to create a mentally healthier world.