New Directions Psychology

Telehealth

Psychological services for people in rural and remote areas

In the 2017-18 Federal Budget, the Australian Government announced funding to enable Australians living or working in rural and regional Australia to access psychological therapy via video conferencing by expanding the Medicare ‘Better Access’ initiative. This new scheme is referred to as telehealth services.

What is Telehealth?

A telehealth service is a psychological therapy service that is delivered via video conference, which requires both a visual and audio link be established between a patient and their treating allied health professional. Telehealth services can be delivered by suitably qualified allied health professionals, including clinical psychologists. Under the new Medicare items of the Better Access initiative:

  • eligible patients can access up to seven of ten consultations through video conferencing,
  • one of the first four sessions must be delivered via face-to-face consultation, to facilitate a personal connection with the health provider.

Am I eligible?

You are eligible to access Telehealth services if:

  • you meet criteria for the Better Access initiative: your doctor has assessed that you are suffering from a mental disorder and would benefit from a structured approach to the management of your treatment needs,
  • you reside in Modified Monash Model regions four to seven (MMM 4 – MMM 7)
  • are located at least 15 kilometres by road from the eligible telehealth provider.

To find out if you live in an eligible area, please enter your post code into this interactive website: MMM Locator

For further information for referrers regarding Telehealth, please see links below;

For further information for clients regarding accessing Telehealth, please see link below;


If you are in crisis or have a mental health emergency and require immediate assistance:

Phone the Ambulance Service - 000
Visit your local hospital emergency department
Call or visit your local mental health service
Contact your local GP