The road back from depression

18 October 2021

In early 2018, Shane’s* mental health took a turn for the worse.

While he had experienced bouts of depression over the past seven years, he’d always been able to “snap out of it”. However, now it was as if something had shifted. His condition had become so severe that he couldn’t work, refused to leave the house and stopped socialising with friends.

He used to prioritise exercise and a healthy diet, but now Shane had stopped working out and started indulging in junk food. All he wanted to do was stay home and play video games. His condition became so severe that he had to take six weeks off work.

Shane was reluctant to seek help, and after experiencing unwanted side effects from his antidepressants, he stopped taking them. That was when Shane’s partner encouraged him to try Best Doctors’ Mental Health Navigator, hoping they’d confirm his diagnosis and recommend treatment options.

Mental Health Navigator is a program that offers access to a network of leading clinical psychologists and psychiatrists and is available to all MLC Life Insurance customers and their immediate families. Shane connected with Best Doctors by phone and video and was assigned a psychologist and psychiatrist. They diagnosed him with major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder.

The treatment recommendations included a new antidepressant medication that Shane hadn’t previously tried, plus a referral to a psychologist who specialises in acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness/relaxation therapy. The Best Doctors experts also recommended pathology tests, including bloodwork and an MRI of the brain, to determine if a physiological reason could explain Shane’s symptoms.

Shane shared the report with his doctor and started the recommended antidepressant medication. One month later, Shane said his anxiety had almost entirely subsided – he was able to leave his house and go back to working full time.

Three months after first contacting Best Doctors, Shane reported he was “feeling amazing” and motivated, and his mood was bright. He was working again and had even started his own successful roofing business.

Shane was also back to exercising regularly and eating healthily. All aspects of his life had improved, so he felt he didn’t need to continue the therapies recommended by Best Doctors. However, he was open to resuming them if he needed more help.

“I’m back to my happy-go-lucky self,” Shane said. “I want everyone who’s having problems to know about the Mental Health Navigator service – it’s been life-changing for me.”

“I’m now on the right medication and thriving,” Shane continued. “We all go through highs and lows, and now I’m in control. I thank my partner for pushing me and getting me onto Best Doctors.”

*Names have been changed for privacy

About Best Doctors’ Mental Health Navigator

Best Doctors’ Mental Health Navigator lets our customers and their loved ones* access a team of leading psychologists and psychiatrists to help them find the right diagnosis and treatment plan. This offers a positive course of action for those who feel their condition isn’t improving or that their current treatment isn’t working.

Mental Health Navigator helps people who:

  • struggle with stress, anxiety or depression,
  • are unsure about a diagnosis for a mental health condition,
  • don’t follow any treatment protocol despite being diagnosed with a mental health condition,
  • have a mental health issue but don’t see a mental health professional, or
  • ·need help understanding their mental health condition.

The Mental Health Navigator program achieves improved outcomes by:

  • having mental healthcare experts review and, when needed, modify diagnoses and treatment plans made by primary care providers,
  • providing members with a customised action plan that includes linking them with the best resources for their care,
  • coordinating with general practitioners, ensuring consistency of care, and
  • providing support for members as they navigate the mental healthcare system.

*See important information below for limitations

Mental Health Stats

1 Black Dog Institute

2 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: Mental health services in Australia. BEACH survey of general practice activity

3 Source: Best Doctors Mental Health Navigator case results AUS, updated September 2019

Important information:

Best Doctors is available to eligible MLC Life Insurance customers as well as their immediate families including children, parents, partner and partner’s parents. For mental health, it is only available if you are 18 years of age or over.

Best Doctors services are not available for acute care (emergency room) cases or dental conditions.

Best Doctors and MLC Limited do not pay the costs for medical treatment, travel, accommodation and any other associated costs.

Best Doctors isn’t insurance (including health insurance) and it doesn’t replace your relationship with your current doctor or medical specialist. MLC Limited reserves the right to withdraw the service at any time or to change the terms on which the service is provided to customers. If your insurance is held within the MLC Super Fund, the Trustee also reserves the right to withdraw the service at any time.


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