22 March 2020
Thank you for checking in on our latest COVID-19 update. First of all, just another reminder that we have temporarily moved our services online and we are no longer in the physical building of our normal place of practice.
We are now through the initial crisis of transitioning from actual to virtual therapy services and are pleased to advise that our Telehealth services are now up and running successfully. This means we are conducting all our sessions either online or by telephone. We are now conducting online sessions through a secure platform called Coviu. This is recommended by our professional body and is government approved to ensure your privacy and confidentiality.
You do not have to download anything with Coviu. We will send you a link via your email and when you click on the link, it will take you into our virtual therapy room. We will send this link to you earlier on the day of your appointment. If it doesn't appear in your inbox, check your junk mail as it may have diverted to there. You will need access to a camera and sound on your computer. Please ensure you have privacy prior to your session so that you can focus on what you need to without any distractions.
Medicare rebates for Telehealth sessions are now available to everyone who has a Mental Health Care Plan. For new or ongoing referrals, your GP can now refer you through Telehealth Psychology, which is the equivalent to having a MHCP for Telehealth services. Bulk billing is available for those considered in a vulnerable population. We will also consider discounts for those who have lost income and are suffering financial hardship. Please let us know if you are affected.
Private sessions are also available as before and some private health funds are now allowing rebates for Telehealth sessions. You will need to check this with your private health insurer.
We understand this change is still uncomfortable for some. However, we are happy to report that most people who have experienced it are adapting well. Those who are not accustomed to technology and use of computers are preferring the phone option and this seems to be going well too. So please allow yourself time to adjust to doing things differently for a while. You may be surprised at how easy and user friendly it is. We have had some great feedback and some are really enjoying the experience of being in the comfort of their own home and in their own space.
So, what do you need to do if you need to access a Telehealth session? Just call our main number as before to make an appointment. Our receptionists will be able to answer any questions you may have and find you a suitable appointment time. They will also give you directions about how to proceed with accessing your online or telephone therapy session.
Please remember to remain calm at this time, practice mindfulness, make time for some light exercise, do some nice things, keep your sense of humour and stay connected with your loved ones. We sincerely wish you and families good health and well-being and trust things will return to normal in due course.
Warmest regards, Wendy and Anne