Shift to Telehealth
In light of the recent escalation to stage 4 restrictions – which strongly emphasise the requirement to reduce outside mobility and interpersonal contact, and to conduct work from home where it is possible to do so –
Psychology sessions during this lockdown period will shift to telehealth
The escalation of restrictions, and continued high number of reported Covid positive cases, underscore an increased risk of community transmission, and as such it is becoming increasingly more difficult, impractical, and unsafe for psychologists and clients to meet in person at this time.
Many health professionals are currently utilising telehealth as a mode of engagement, and the feedback from psychologists and clients to date, suggest it to be an extremely effective alternative.
Telehealth sessions are conducted via online video platforms such as Zoom, Skype and Coviu – or via telephone if a preference for this is indicated.
The psychologists and clients who have conducted sessions via telehealth over the past few months feel that it is a highly effective and acceptable alternative to in-person consultation. Data have been collated and summarised by Nexus psychologist Amelia Twiss in this blog article:
Just as is the case for in person sessions…
- Medicare rebates are available for psychology sessions with a valid Mental Healthcare plan.
- The Government will provide 10 additional Medicare subsidised psychology sessions for Victorians subjected to stage 4 restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This will allow a total of 20 psychology sessions to be Medicare rebated with a valid Mental Health Plan between now and 31 March 2021.
More information about rebates can be found on the link below
Private Health Fund Rebates
The majority of Australian health funds have agreed to provide coverage for teleconsultations provided by psychologists, from Monday 30 March, during the COVID-19 outbreak.
This is subject to the following conditions:
- The patient is undergoing an existing course of treatment, and has seen the psychologist providing the teleconsultation over the past six months, or
- For new patients, the telepsychology service has been recommended by their general practitioner, and
- The service is delivered before 30 September 2020, and
- The service is undertaken in accordance with Australian Psychological Society guidelines
This is a significant step in ensuring that clients can continue their treatment during this particularly difficult time.
Staying Present and Mindful
The current situation we are all facing is very difficult- there are a lot of things going on that are uncertain and out of our control.
In these times it can be good to focus on some of the things you can control like your breath.
We have link below of a recording of a short breathing exercise by Annette Marlow who is our Nexus Wellness coordinator.
Breathing Exercise by Annette Marlow
Taking care of your mental and physical health is now more important than ever, as the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 brings increased stress and anxiety. It’s easy to feel out of control and get caught up in the pressures of life – from adapting to all the changes occurring in the world. However simple steps, like taking a short moment out of your day to focus on your own mind and body, can help to reduce stress.
Nexus has been offering remote mindful movement sessions via Zoom, facilitated by Nexus’
Wellness Coordinator and Mindful Meditation Teacher Annette Marlow.
- 15 mins, mindful movement chair stretches
What is Mindfulness?
- Mindfulness encompasses the psychological process of becoming fully present in the
- Aware of your current surroundings, sensations etc.
Why is Mindfulness important during COVID-19?
- Reduce stress and tension
- Keeping in control during covid
- Increase happiness
- Most people live sedentary lives, sitting at disks all day for work etc.
- Focus on bodily sensations – connects the body with the mind
- Increases self-control, facilitates mindfulness
If you’re interested in hearing about our Mindfulness programs, Contact 03 9500 0751 or submit a request here to register your interest.
- Tips for Getting Through The COVID-19 Marathon – This Way Up
- Maintaining Employee Engagement During COVID-19 – Australian Psychology Society (APS)
- Managing Hazards to Employee Mental Health During Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Australian Psychology Society (APS)
- ‘FACE COVID’ How to respond effectively to the Corona crisis – Dr Russ Harris
- Managing Your Mental Health Online During COVID-19 – (eMHprac)
- I Cannot Control (So, I can let go of these things) – TheCounsellingTeacher.com
- Face Covid – @jessicatwigg
- COVID-19 Self Care: Tips From The World Health Organization – NPR
- How teenagers can protect their mental health during coronavirus (COVID-19) – UNICEF
- Mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak – LifeLine.org.au
- Mental health and COVID-19 – HeadtoHealth.gov.au
- Work and your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak – HeadsUp.org.au
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mental Health Information and Support – MentalHealthCommission.gov.au
- Helping You Take Care of Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic – This Way Up
- Keeping your mental and physical wellbeing in check – Annette Marlow, Wellness Coaching
- Managing Lockdown Fatigue – APS