How to Access Affordable Telehealth Therapy When You Live in Rural Australia

Mental illness affects people from all areas and walks of life. While everyone deserves to live a happy and healthy life, not everyone is able to access affordable and effective mental health help. However, Telehealth is trying to change that.

The Telehealth initiative is designed specifically for people who live in rural or remote regions of Australia, where accessing professional psychological services can be difficult. It brings experienced psychologists right into your lounge room by allowing you to connect via video chat. If you’ve ever used Skype or FaceTime to speak with a friend or family member, it’s like that – but it’s designed to get your mental health on track.

Here’s what you need to know about this service…

If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression or any other mental health problem, Ok To Talk can help you find a great psychologist. Get started using our fast and FREE online service today! 

What is Telehealth?

‘Telehealth’ is an initiative that helps people from rural or remote areas of Australia access professional and affordable psychological services from the comfort of their own home. Rather than having a face-to-face appointment with a therapist, Telehealth allows clients and psychologists connect via videoconference for their sessions. Eligible people can access up to 10 subsidised Telehealth sessions per year with a Mental Health Treatment Plan, significantly reducing their out-of-pocket cost.

How can Telehealth benefit me?

For people who find it difficult to access therapy due to their location, Telehealth is a game-changer. The truth is that mental illness is rife within rural or remote regions of Australia. For people in these areas, their nearest psychologist may be hours away. Telehealth is designed to help eligible individuals access the professional services they need to take care of their mental health!

Another great thing about Telehealth sessions is that they are just as effective as in-person therapy. You will receive the same type of professional help as someone who attends a face-to-face session, it will simply be far easier for you to access.

Am I eligible for this service?

To be eligible for Telehealth services, you must:

  • Have a Mental Health Treatment Plan.
  • Live in a rural or remote area.
  • Live 15km+ from the psychologist.
  • Be in Australia for your sessions.

If you’re unsure whether you would be eligible, don’t worry! When you use our free online matching service and put in your town or suburb, we can let you know whether Telehealth is an option. If you’re already travelling long distances to see a psychologist, you might even be able to switch to Telehealth sessions.

How much will it cost?

With your Mental Health Treatment Plan, you can access up to 10 subsidised therapy sessions per year. This means you will only pay a portion of the total session fee, making it much more affordable. In some cases, it is possible to have your Telehealth sessions bulk billed, meaning you will have no out-of-pocket cost. Your eligibility for bulk billed sessions will depend on your financial situation and whether your chosen psychologists offers it as an option.

If you are not eligible for Telehealth, you can still choose to do therapy remotely via video link. In this case, however, you must pay the session fee in full. The good news is that Telehealth fees are usually the same as face-to-face sessions. It’s important to know that fees do vary between psychologists, so you should always check what their price is after the Medicare rebate. But don’t worry too much ­– Ok To Talk’s online portal can filter psychologists based on how much you can afford to spend. We can help find the right help for you, no matter your budget.

If want to learn more about Mental Health Treatment Plans, check out our blog.

What will I need for a Telehealth session?

To take part in Telehealth therapy, you will need access to a few important things:

  • A quiet, private space to use for your session.
  • A smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer with a camera.
  • Headphones with an in-built microphone so you can communicate clearly with your therapist.
  • A reliable broadband internet connection.

It’s normal to feel a bit nervous or unsure of how to approach a Telehealth session. This is why it’s a great idea to do a ‘test call’ before the session. Not only can this test-run calm your nerves, but it can help iron out any microphone or camera problems you might have before your session. Someone from our team can even help you do a ‘test call’ to ensure you don’t waste any valuable session time ironing out any issues. This way, you will be ready to go as soon as you connect with your psychologist for the first time!

If you’re struggling with mental illness of any kind, Ok To Talk can help you find a great psychologist. Get started using our fast and FREE online service today!


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