Further information to assist you regarding novel coronavirus COVID-19
The safe management of COVID-19 in our community is an evolving situation. Our priority is the care and wellbeing of our clients, our staff, and the local community. To support this, we will adhere to evidence-based advice and recommendations we receive from the Australian Psychological Society and the Australian and Queensland governments.
We will aim to update our website if any significant changes occur to our 'business as usual' practice. You can also contact our helpful reception team for further advice regarding our services.
What COVID-19 prevention strategies are you using?
Many people have already experienced COVID-19 and it will remain within our community. We are continuing to use various strategies to help reduce transmission. The best strategy is to stay home if you feel unwell. We can offer you a telehealth session via phone or video call. Also, we can provide options to reschedule if you are unwell but have already confirmed your attendance. Our team benefits by staying well - we prefer to postpone a session rather than become unwell and be unable to work for several days.
To maintain the health and safety of our clients and our team, we continue to offer hand sanitiser throughout the practice and there are HEPA grade air purifiers in every room.
How can I access a psychologist using telehealth?
Health services, including psychology services, are able to provide services through telehealth options. Telehealth sessions can be provided via telephone or videochat (e.g. via FaceTime, Skype or Zoom platforms organised by your psychologist). Telehealth sessions are eligible for Medicare and private health rebates (just like face-to-face sessions).
Any session can be arranged as a telehealth session. Please advise our reception team before your scheduled appointment and they can provide assistance.
More information about Telehealth sessions can be found on this tip sheet from the Australian Psychological Society.
Am I eligible to use telehealth for my session?
Telehealth options are available for any client. There are specific billing and rebate requirements for Medicare rebates, private health insurance rebates, and NDIS.
Anyone with a valid Medicare rebate plan (e.g. Better Access Mental Health Care Plan, Helping Children with Autism, etc.) can claim for Medicare to rebate a telehealth session.
If you will be making a claim using private health insurance, providers have agreed to rebate individual (one on one) psychology telehealth consultations. Please check with your individual health fund to confirm your rebate eligibility.
You can also choose to not use either Medicare or private health rebate schemes. For those individuals, the standard session rate will apply.
Clients with NDIS funding are able to access psychological services as per their plan using telehealth services where suitable.
I'm not sure telehealth would suit me / my child
For some people, we recognise that it may not be a suitable option due to the person's age / developmental stage, if they have a disability, if they have difficulties accessing a safe and private space to speak, etc. You have the option of face-to-face sessions in person or via telehealth. However, we ask that clients only attend in person if they are feeling well.
It is completely understandable to be hesitant to use telehealth for psychology sessions. However, telehealth services have been used successfully for many populations, including children and persons with a disability, and we encourage you to learn along with us in trying this alternative approach.
For many people, accessing telehealth consultations can provide opportunities to be innovative and adaptive. Telehealth has been used to support rural and remote communities and special populations for many years with similar effectiveness as face to face sessions. There are some practical considerations that need to be planned to help ensure the session goes well. These can include:
having access to a laptop, phone or tablet that has a working webcam/camera and audio function
- having the hardware (e.g. laptop, phone, tablet) charged with software updated
using headphones where possible to reduce noise and maintain confidentiality
finding activities for siblings to do so they do not distract the child during the session
More information about Telehealth sessions can be found on this tip sheet from the Australian Psychological Society. Please contact us with any specific questions regarding your situation and how we can help you to prepare for your telehealth session.