It’s important for those suffering from mental health issues to consider the options they have available to them. From work-related stress to depression and anxiety, these conditions can make it much harder for people to carry on with their daily routine.

One common question which many individuals ask themselves is what the difference is between a psychologist and a psychiatrist – an important distinction for anyone suffering from depression or another psychological condition.

Here’s a breakdown of the difference between the two:


A psychologist specialises in non-medical treatment of psychological conditions. They assist people with both emotional and psychological conditions through counselling and therapy, but cannot prescribe medication.

As well as working with an individual, psychologists will work with other medical professionals such as psychiatrists and general practitioners (GP).


While a psychologist has been trained in psychology, a psychiatrist will have received a medical degree before specialising in mental health. This means they are able to prescribe medication as well as offering counselling and therapy.

When should those suffering from depression contact a psychologist or psychiatrist?

For those who suspect they might be suffering from depression, it’s important to seek help from a professional early. GPs can diagnose depression and recommend further services that are appropriate for your needs.

People who are diagnosed with a mental illness like depression that affects their ability to work will also need to consider making a total and permanent disability (TPD) claim against their superannuation fund. This claim allows injured or ill workers to receive a lump sum payout where they cannot continue with full-time employment and have been our of work for 6 months. Some funds require only 3 months before you submit a claim. It is vital to submit a claim with the required evidence.

To learn more about TPD insurance and to start a claim against your superannuation policy, make sure to discuss this with a compensation lawyer. They can advise on the best course of action for your situation. Time limits apply though so make sure to consult with a legal expert promptly following your diagnosis.