The impacts of social distancing and fears of contracting COVID-19 can seriously affect our mental health. People who live alone, or in cramped conditions with many others, or have pre-existing mental health problems are particularly at risk of mental health issues. And social distancing, in some form or another, is expected to continue for several more weeks before we get on top of the problem.
Common mental health symptoms associated with physical distancing from friends and family can include:
Feelings of tension
Worry and dread
Irritability and anger
Feelings of isolation or loneliness
Low mood and pessimism
The Federal Government has sought to address these emerging issues by expanding the range of services offered by mental health professionals. This means that all Australians who are eligible to receive services under Medicare will now be able to access psychological and psychiatric services delivered via telehealth (i.e. videoconference or phone). The EastCoast Clinic will still offer face-to-face psychology services if this is your preference and you are not in one of the designated risk groups – that is, over 70 years of age, have a medical condition which makes you vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19, or are pregnant.
HOW TO ACCESS TELEHEALTH SERVICES
In order to access these telehealth services, you will need to obtain a Mental Health Care Plan and a valid referral from your general practitioner. Once you obtain these, please ring the Clinic on
(02) 9389 5630 for an appointment with one of our expert clinicians.