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Mental health & wellbeing (Psychology)


Patients at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) may see a psychologist as part of their care. Psychologists help patients understand and manage the thoughts, attitudes, feelings and behaviours that may improve recovery from injury or illness.

Clinical and Health Psychologists help patients and their families cope with the stress of being in hospital, adjusting to poor health or disability, managing pain, preparing for procedures, and dealing with grief, depression, trauma and anxiety.

Neuropsychologists assess cognitive (thinking) difficulties that affect certain abilities such as memory, problem-solving and reasoning.


Psychologists provide a specialist service to inpatients and outpatients of the Royal Adelaide Hospital Burns Unit. Our psychologists can help burns patients with:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Body image
  • Poor sleep and nightmares
  • Distressing memories about the trauma
  • Managing persistent pain
  • Strained relationships with loved ones
  • Coping with staring and negative comments
  • Return to work issues.


Cancer Services Psychology provides a specialist service to inpatients and outpatients at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. There can be a waitlist and we triage according to patient needs. Common reasons for referral include:

  • Adjustment/grief and loss issues
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Depression
  • Pre transplant assessments
  • Medical phobias
  • Body image, confidence and self-esteem concerns
  • Coping with treatment
  • Sleep problems
  • Making choices about treatment
  • The impact of the disease on themselves and others.

There is a specialist psychology service for patients of the Youth Cancer Service SA/NT (patients aged 15-25 years).

Cystic Fibrosis

The Cystic Fibrosis Psychologist helps people living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) manage emotional and psychological difficulties and make changes to their lives that help them feel better and achieve their goals. The psychologist will often work with a person with CF about:

  • balancing the demands of treatment with achieving life goals
  • anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, helplessness
  • stress management
  • grief, loss and change
  • persistent worries, fears and phobias
  • sleeping problems
  • addictions
  • coping with transplant
  • chronic pain or discomfort
  • family and relationship concerns
  • eating and body-image.

Endocrine and Metabolic Service

A psychologist is currently running a group program on stress management and weight loss for this service as part of a research project. For further information, please contact (08) 8222 5520.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Service offers psychological screening and support to outpatients to help address the psychological and emotional issues that are common in IBD. Common challenges for people with IBD include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Managing symptom flare-up
  • Poor coping
  • Pain management
  • Fatigue
  • Social/communication issues
  • Medication adherence.

Psychological screening is available to patients at clinic appointments and can be discussed further with the consulting gastroenterologist or psychologist on the day. Psychological support options will be discussed based on the results of the screening measures.


The Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) Neuropsychology Service provides psychometric assessment into suspected brain changes/injury and cognitive impairment. Assessment may include attention and concentration, speed of information processing, learning and memory, as well as more complex skills such as problem solving, reasoning, and planning.

A Neuropsychologist's opinion may be sought for:

  • diagnosis and differential diagnosis
  • mental capacity and issues related to guardianship
  • strengths and weaknesses profiling
  • rehabilitation planning
  • development of tailored cognitive strategies

The Neuropsychology service does not conduct assessments for medico-legal, educational or National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) purposes.

The duration of assessment typically ranges between two to four hours. If an assessment can be completed a report will be provided to assist in the patient's ongoing management.

For more information

Please view the CALHN Neuropsychology outpatient service web page.

Psychology Consult Service

The Psychology Consult Service (PsyCS) provides a specialist assessment, treatment and consultation service to inpatients of the RAH (excluding the clinical areas listed above).

Common reasons for referral to PsyCS include:

  • Difficulties coping with a recent traumatic event
  • Sadness or depression
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Grief or loss
  • Anger, irritability or frustration
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness and despair, numbness, being overwhelmed
  • Difficulties coping with pain or painful procedures
  • Persistent sleep problems (including nightmares)
  • Feeling a lack of control or independence
  • Concerns with body image.

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