Being diagnosed and treated for cancer is extremely stressful. Our psychiatrist provides support for women who have been diagnosed with gynae-oncological cancer.
Our psychiatrist specialises in the emotional and psychological issues that follow the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This service is for women who are being treated through Mercy Hospital for Women (MHW) gynae-oncology services. All referrals must be made by a member of the MHW gynae-oncology team.
This outpatient service operates on Friday mornings.
Find us at:
163 Studley Road
Heidelberg Victoria 3084
For more information on getting here, visit Mercy Hospital for Women .
How can people get access?
The hospital is located across the road from Heidelberg Railway Station which is also a hub for multiple bus routes. There is limited street parking as well as undercover parking at the hospital which is charged on an hourly rate. Allow a total of two hours’ parking time for your first appointment and 60–90 minutes for follow-up appointments.
What to do before
Talk to your partner, a family member or a close friend before your appointment and tell them how you are feeling. You may ask them to attend the appointment with you. Write down a list of any questions you have. Please call us if you cannot make your scheduled appointment.
What to bring
- any letters detailing your past or current mental healthcare
- a list of all your past and current medications
- contact details for your GP
- contact details for your mental health clinician, if you have one.
What to expect on the day
On the day of your appointment, take the lift to level 6 at Mercy Hospital for Women (MHW). Please let our receptionist know if you are experiencing difficulties in the waiting area environment. We will do our best to respond to your needs.
Appointments usually run close to time. We will let you know if your treating clinician is running late due to an emergency call.
- you will have an hour allocated for your first appointment and 30–60 minutes for follow-up appointments
- usually, you will see the same clinician for all appointments
- your clinician will discuss with you their recommendations for ongoing care, including any recommended investigations and referrals to other specialists or support services.
What questions should you ask
By the end of the first appointment, your clinician will advise you on their recommendations for the best course to take. We aim to work collaboratively with you and discuss all the options available for your ongoing care.
You may want to ask questions such as:
- What is my diagnosis?
- What are the alternatives to your recommendations?
- What are the risks of your recommendations?
- What are the risks of not following your recommendations?
- Where can I obtain further information?
- What additional supports are available to me?
- Will you let my GP or current healthcare provider know about our appointment and your recommendations?
Together with your treating clinician, you will decide when it is time to be discharged. Your clinician will discuss with you their recommendations for your ongoing care.
After your stay, you may be referred back to the care of:
- your GP
- a private psychiatrist
- a mental healthcare provider
- another service if you require ongoing mental health care.
After you leave, we will contact the people you have nominated as being involved in your care. We will update them on your treatment and the ongoing options. We may also refer you to agencies that can provide additional support. This might include our Social Work Department, or agencies external to Mercy Health.
Opportunities to be involved in research
There are no current research opportunities. If you are interested in participating in research, ask your clinician whether there are any upcoming opportunities.
Who to call if you have concerns afterwards
For post-appointment care, you can call the gynae-oncology clinic on (03) 8458 4960.
For health professionals
We provide an outpatient service for any woman being treated through the Mercy Hospital for Women (MHW) Gynaecology-Oncology Department.
The focus of the Gynae-Oncology Psychiatry clinic is to assess and treat women who have been diagnosed with gynae-oncological cancer. The service is provided by a psychiatrist who has specialised in the emotional and psychological responses to receiving a diagnosis of cancer and its treatment.
Where possible we liaise closely with each woman’s GP, community mental health care provider and their gynae-oncologist and team.
Women may be referred if they are receiving treatment through MHW’s Gynaecology-Oncology Department. The referral must be made through the treating gynae-oncology team.
Please phone the gynecology-oncology outpatient service if it is a high-priority referral. We will prioritise your patient’s initial appointment or help you find appropriate interim services.
How to prepare the patient
To prepare the patient, please:
- discuss the range of emotional responses to a diagnosis of cancer and subsequent treatment
- discuss any concerns you may have for their mental health and why you recommend a referral to our service
- refer your patient to our website so they can prepare for their appointment
- tell your patient how to access urgent mental health care if their circumstances change and they cannot wait for their appointment.
What/when you should refer to us
Please refer to this service if a current patient of the Mercy Hospital for Women (MHW) gynae-oncology service requires support or psychiatric assessment.
What/when you should not refer to us
Do not refer to us if:
– your patient is not under the care of the MHW gynae-oncology service
– your patient is experiencing mental health issues requiring an urgent response. These should be discussed with the local area mental health service or the patient should present to their nearest emergency department.
Resources for you
Please see guidelines for health professionals to use to ensure psychosocial care of patients with cancer.
163 Studley Road
Heidelberg Victoria 3084
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