Helping you access psychiatrists and psychologists
Call: 1300 617 685
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Will seeing a mental health professional help me?
This is probably the most important question to ask. A psychiatrist or psychologist can help establish whether you have a mental health condition. Even asking this question can be quite scary for many people as we live in a society where there is unfortunately stigma attached to mental health.
Your first consultation will generally be for 60-90 minutes. Your psychologist or psychiatrist will sensitively ask you to tell them your story, tell them about your life, and to describe the difficulties you are experiencing. He or she will then usually ask quite a lot of specific questions some of which may be quite personal. They may also ask you to complete one or more online questionnaires aimed at helping collect information that helps make sense of what is going on.
At the end of the consultation your practitioner will give you immediate feedback and tell you what they think is the matter, and what treatment might help. They may provide links to more information and ask you to reflect on their opinion. They will also write up their assessment and provide you with access to a copy via the patient portal. Once you are happy with it, and with your consent they will also share the assessment with your GP.
A one-off detailed assessment and plan maybe enough for you and your GP to work together on your recovery, or your practitioner may suggest, or you may request ongoing follow-up appointments which can be short term or longer term.
If you are seeking a psychiatry review to support an application for early release of Super to support IVF, then we recommend contacting our colleague Dr Justine Schelle at FertilityPsych who is an expert in this area and also offers telehealth.
2. Will telehealth be appropriate?
Definitely the next most important question. To use telehealth you need to have access to a reasonably fast internet connection (broadband, mobile 4G or NBN) and be comfortable using simple online video applications. Full instructions are provided and no special software is needed. The system is highly secure, and no registration is needed. The video consultation system works on PC's, MAC's, iphone/ipad and Android. You will need a webcam (PC or MAC) and we recommend a headset with a microphone.
For the consultation you need to be in a quiet and private place and be prepared to engage in a video consultation for up to 90 minutes. You need to be comfortable and relaxed and we recommend you have a glass of water and some tissues available. You are welcome to have someone else with you, who could be a relative, friend or your GP.
You don't need to be particularly technically proficient to use telehealth, if you can use e-mail and Skype/facetime then you will be fine. We have found that the easiest device to use is a tablet or iPad with handsfree type headphones.
3. When would telehealth not be appropriate?
By its very nature, telehealth is based on the patient and the doctor being at some distance from each other, and for the patient to be willing and able to safely engage in the consultation.
Patients who are at moderate or high risk of harm to themselves or to others are generally not appropriate for telehealth. This could include patients who are acutely suicidal, homicidal or intoxicated by alcohol or other drugs.
We do not provide an emergency service. Appointments need to be booked several days or weeks in advance and we are not able to provide an emergency response.
In an emergency situation (where someone is at immediate risk of harm) it is best to dial 000 or to attend the emergency department at your local hospital.
On the right are links to lifeline, suicide call-back, eHeadspace and BeyondBlue who may be able to provide immediate support if it is not an acute emergency.
We are consultant psychiatrists and psychologists committed to improving access to high quality mental health care in rural and regional areas of Australia.