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Mental Health Support: Psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists

Which one do I talk to?

When we have conversations about mental health support, people might talk about seeing a psychologist, counsellor or psychiatrist. Maybe you’ve wondered what the difference is between the three professions, or if in fact there’s any difference at all? 

Here are some quick facts that might help select your mental health support: 

While psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists have different skillsets, they all focus on helping people have healthy minds and a positive sense of wellbeing.  

Psychiatrists: 

  • have completed a medical degree, so are able to prescribe medication if required.  
  • usually focus on helping people by diagnosing and managing mental illnesses. 

Counsellors and psychologists: 

  • are not able to prescribe medication, however they can work together with your GP if medication could be helpful. 
  • value your goals and insights, and work with you to help you achieve your desired outcomes.

Psychologists: 

  • have completed studies in human emotions, behaviours and thought processes. 
  • can assist clients with strategies to address complex mental health conditions. 
  • sometimes provide longer term support or address multiple issues. 

Counsellors: 

  • are trained to help people experiencing personal difficulties.  
  • help clients develop strategies to address issues and make more positive choices and changes in their lives.

Clear as mud? Not sure who to talk to? 

The Outback Futures team includes both trained counsellors and psychologists (mental health options which suit a wide range of clients) who have a wide set of skills and areas of expertise.

Our counsellors and psychologists have a caring, client-centred approach. This means we value each client’s goals and insights, and work with with you to help achieve the desired outcomes.

When you first connect with Outback Futures we’ll chat about your needs or concerns. We’ll then connect you with one of our team whose skillset matches your needs.  

It often takes courage to ask for support. The Outback Futures team can answer your questions and lead you through the process. Get in touch to have a chat and make an appointment (see details below).


If you’d like to find out more about Outback Futures telehealth, call or text 0417 703 729 to chat or make an appointment. Find our Upcoming Clinics here.

For 24/7 crisis support, call Lifeline 13 11 14. In an emergency or life threatening situation, please call 000.

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