By now you have probably heard how the government is extending ‘telehealth’ services across Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. This move is designed to enable people to access many of the healthcare services they need while they’re at home.
At Sydney City Psychology, we are also going ‘virtual’ – providing our services for managing anxiety and stress during the pandemic by video link or phone.
How telehealth works
Telehealth takes advantage of modern technology to provide health-related services to clients. For psychological services, it means you still get to work with your practitioner from your own home, either face-to-face over the internet or by telephone if you prefer.
Sessions by telehealth operate the same way as regular in-person sessions. We will still continue to use evidence-based care frameworks, with the aim of helping you gain the skills you need to respond to situations affecting your mental health.
The usual Medicare rebates for ten sessions also remain for clients with a mental health plan from their GP and if you fall into a vulnerable category you may be eligible for bulk billed services.
Benefits of telehealth for managing stress and anxiety
The telehealth method can even have some added advantages. This includes being able to have your sessions in your favourite chair or beanbag in familiar surroundings. You also have the option of setting up your space however you want – such as bringing your pet along, lighting candles if you wish, or having a cup of comforting tea nearby.
In a way it’s like having your psychologist visit your home – even if it is ‘virtual’!
Looking after yourself during COVID-19
In the meantime, and in-between sessions, there are things you can do to help yourself during the COVID-19 crisis – especially if you’re feeling more anxious than usual.
The Australian Psychological Society has provided some recommendations for this, including:
- Recognising that medical experts all around the world are working on the problem to bring this virus to an end.
- Sticking to fact-based scientific sources for information and avoiding sensationalist reports or social media posts.
- Maintaining hygiene practices such as washing hands and social distancing.
- Being open and honest with your children about what’s happening, using age appropriate language, while taking care not to overload them.
It’s also important to focus on good health through rest, exercise and good nutrition, and by maintaining connection with family members and friends online or by phone.
If you would like to know more about psychological services through telehealth for managing stress & anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch!