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  • Writer's pictureSTACY SHEPHERD

What is Telehealth and Why Should I Try It?

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is what we call a psychology session that is completed online. It’s very similar to doing a Facetime or Skype session except that the program we use is much more secure. The session is completed with a member of our team and is the same clinician for each appointment. We send you a link and you just click on it at the time of your appointment. If you have any difficulties, our admin team are available to provide support. Telehealth sessions can be done on most devices, including smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. All you need is a good internet connection and a quiet space. Some clients do their session at home or in their car if there is not a quiet space at home.

Many clients tell us that they are nervous before they try Telehealth but we often find that many clients actually prefer it after a couple sessions. This is because they do not need to travel to their appointment, which saves time. They can even do their session in their pyjamas if they want.

Why Should I Try Telehealth?

Given our rural setting at Broulee Psychology, it is very difficult to get psychologists in our local area. This is because psychologists have to train for up to 6 years at university, which is usually based in metropolitan areas. Often psychologists tend to remain in the city after their training. Rural settings have always struggled to get psychologists but more recently there is an Australian-wide shortage, even in the cities. This is due to increased demands following COVID19. While we continue to make every effort to recruit new psychologists to our team, this is an ongoing challenge.

One of the positives of COVID19 is that many rural practices took up Telehealth during lockdowns but also kept it going by bringing in city-based psychologists to provide ongoing Telehealth sessions to rural communities. Broulee Psychology currently has four clinicians who are based in metropolitan areas providing Telehealth. These clinicians are passionate about rural mental health and the unique challenges that we face as a community. They are hand picked clinicians by Stacy Shepherd, director and clinical psychologist at Broulee Psychology so we know that you are in good hands.

The shortage of psychologists in rural areas (and country-wide) means that waiting for a face-to-face session can take months. We know that this is not ideal and this is why we introduced Telehealth at our practice. Waiting for an appointment can lead to mental health symptoms becoming worse, sometimes even leading to hospitalisation.

Although many clients are hesitant to try Telehealth, we would rather they get the care they need rather than waiting endlessly on a waitlist for face-to-face appointments. Many clients remain on our waitlist for face-to-face sessions while they try out Telehealth – this is a great option that we are happy to provide.

What If I Don’t Like It Even After I Try It?

Gave it a try? Still don’t like it? That’s ok – our admin team can return you to the waitlist where you were or add you to it and make a note that you’ve attempted Telehealth. We will contact you once we have a face-to-face clinician available to see you. Often times your wait will be shorter as you’ve had some sessions in between. Another option is trying a different Telehealth clinician and we encourage clients to speak to our admin team to make sure they find the right fit. This is so important when accessing therapy, regardless of whether you are face-to-face or accessing Telehealth.

So if you’ve been having a tough time and you’re ready to get some support, give us a call today to discuss whether Telehealth might be a good option for you. Our admin team can walk you through it and get you ready to go. Our Telehealth clinicians currently have availability from NEXT WEEK! We look forward to hearing from you.

If you've been struggling during this challenging time, don't wait - seek help from your GP or a mental health professional. Working with a psychologist can help with implementing tools to help you managing this tricky transition. Broulee Psychology has clinicians with availability who are ready to support you.


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