All of our psychologists are now accepting appointments for telehealth, which can be arranged as either video sessions or over the phone. The vast majority of our currently scheduled clients have made the transition to telehealth contact from face to face. We’re glad to say the feedback has broadly been very favourable from our clients and psychologists alike.
Following the Australian Government’s quickly updated arrangements for Medicare rebates and telehealth, our telehealth sessions can generally operate quite similarly to before within the Medicare system. GP referrals are still required, although these can now be obtained over the phone or via video call with your GP. Payments are generally equivalent to our previous face to face session arrangements, although there are some specific variations that continue to be clarified. Our admin staff can provide details for your specific circumstances. Private health insurance rebates may apply for those seen outside of the Medicare system.
We understand that face-to-face sessions through Workcover, TAC, NDIS and other organisations will continue through telehealth contact under usual payment arrangements.
The changes in arrangements for Medicare sessions have evolved so rapidly and in a step by step fashion, that we have had to alter feedback about our payment arrangements each week. Thanks for your forbearance in understanding what might at times have seemed like confusing or conflicting messages in the meantime. Our well staffed admin team continue to update their understanding of current arrangements on a daily basis.
We will continue to expand our online services and social media offerings over the coming months. We will announce these innovations on the Chris Mackey and Associates Facebook page and our monthly newsletter. An early example is our new podcast, Lockdown: Character strengths and silver linings, which describes core strategies from positive psychology that might help us cope with living in relative seclusion over coming months.
We anticipate providing a range of telehealth groups to help people manage with current increased challenges. These might include groups for parents, those who’ve lost their jobs, employers, those who are socially isolated, or those suffering from particular types of psychological problems, including anxiety about COVID-19. We will develop groups according to identified need and interest. You can indicate your interest as well as view a list of possible groups by clicking here.
In the meantime, please check out our resources page, which has a wide range of free mental health tips, handouts and videos on topics we typically discuss with our clients. Videos are also available on the Chris Mackey Psychology YouTube channel.
During this unprecedented period of social distancing, we are committed to offering a range of services to alleviate distress and foster an optimistic outlook through these difficult times. We really believe that as individuals, families and as a community we are likely to discover a number of unanticipated benefits, or silver linings, from adapting to the new challenges we face.
We have compiled a list of helpful links with some positive websites to help you through some of the tougher times, mental health resources that we’ve found to be most useful and articles specific to the current crisis, please feel free to check them out or pass them on to someone who may benefit.
Watch a short video on the topic below
Principal psychologist Chris and Digital Media Manager Rowan have also started a podcast about applying the themes of positive psychology to the challenges we’re all facing. It can be accessed at the podcast page Lockdown: Character Strengths and Silver Linings.