As the world grapples with the ripple effects of Coronavirus, many of us are left feeling frightened and confused. It’s a natural response to feel afraid in extraordinary times like these. If you feel like your mental health has been severely affected it’s important to know that there are many services that are available to you right now.

In our previous post, we mentioned how Scott Morrison has funded $1.1 billion dollars into Medicare, mental health, domestic violence packages meaning that there are plenty of services to help Australians manage during this difficult time.

As of Monday 30 March 2020, bulk-billing is now available for online and over-the-phone appointments with eligible mental health services.

Additionally, many private health insurance will also now cover one-on-one psychology teleconsultations.

First, get a Mental Health Care Plan from your Doctor

In order to get a mental health care plan you need to book an appointment with your GP either in person, or via a telehealth appointment (most GPs are offering these during this time). Tell them about the mental health issues you’ve been experiencing and they will help you find a mental health professional. You can read more about this in our other blog post How to Get a Mental Health Care Plan.’

When you speak to your doctor, they will probably ask if you’ve found a mental health psychologist or professional to see.  You can request a certain mental health professional or go on your doctor’s advice. It is important to spend a bit of time researching to find someone that suits your needs. If you decide to change after a couple of sessions that OK, but you don’t restart your ten sessions with the new mental health professional. Remember just because a psychologist is popular does not mean that they are necessarily right for you. Use Radiant or google the person, we recommend reading as much information as you can about the professional and what their approach will be like.

A Mental Health Care Plan is still required to claim from medicare during the COVID-19 crisis, and its always a good idea to have one anyway before you see a psychologist.  A doctor will be able to understand your needs and offer any medication if required.

If you are currently in isolation and need to see a doctor you can video call any eligible doctor, nurse or mental health professional and be covered by Medicare. People in vulnerable groups can additionally see a health provider via telehealth for a non-COVID-19 matter if they have seen that provider face-to-face at least once in the previous 12 months.

Secondly, find a Radiant mental health professional who I can talk to online, via zoom, skype, or phone

Here is a link to our Radiant mental health professionals who are available online and can claim via medicare.  They can help you right now: online medicare mental health professional support

Some points to help find the right professional for you:

  • Use the filters to shortlist on what you think are the most important criteria to suit your needs
  • Read the detailed profiles. Is there someone you feel you could connect with?
  • When you contact the professional, please ask questions, such as how it the session will work? what are the costs? Are there are any gap payment after the medicare rebate?

We believe that its worth spending some time to find someone who maybe the right match for you.

Where else can I access other telehealth services?

Beyond finding a Mental Health Professional on Radiant, below are some other telehealth services across Australia you can connect with right now:

A new phone service released by Relationships Australia NSW, Time 2 Talk is a free service for people experiencing any number of difficulties during COVID-19 that could be relating to their families, households, their personal situation or work life and just want to talk to someone.

Call: 1300 022 966

The helpline offers you the option of having a phone or video call with a GP during afterhours. Eligible patients are referred to a video call by a registered nurse. You can use your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer to speak to them.

Contact: 1800 022 222

Lysn provides psychology & counselling via video or phone no matter where you live.  This service is a paid for service.

Click: welysn.com/

Call and book an appointment and a telehealth coordinator will arrange your consultation. You’ll then receive a call back from a doctor, psychologist or specialist at an appointment time of your choice. This service is a paid for service.

Contact: 1800 870 711 (within Australia) or +61 2 9308 9400 (International).

Alternatively, you can also use the map locator on the Australian Government’s Doctor Connect website to see if Telehealth is available in your area.

Where can I seek urgent mental health support?

As most of us have had to dramatically alter the way we live, it’s important that we know where we can seek immediate mental health support. Here are some 24/7 crisis lines that you can call at any time of day. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Emergency 000
If you or someone you are with is in immediate danger, please call 000 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.

Beyond Blue
Talk to a trained mental health professional any time of the day or night. Calls are confidential. They will listen, provide information and advice and point you in the right direction to seek further support. 1300 22 46 36

Lifeline
24-hour crisis support telephone service. Lifeline provides 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services.131 114

Kids Helpline
A telephone counselling support line for children and young people ages 5 to 25 and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1800 551 800

NSW Mental Health Line
A mental health professional will answer your call about mental health concerns for you or someone you are concerned about, including children, teens, adults and older people. 1800 011 511

Suicide Call Back Service
National services that provides free 24/7 phone, video and online professional counselling to people who are affected by suicide.1300 659 467

For more please visit NSW Government Health website.

We are aware this is a highly stressful time and want to do our best to support you, please don’t hesitate to reach out and get the help you need. We are all in this together and want to help you through.

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