Therapy is most effective face-to-face, but during the COVID-19 pandemic telehealth is the preferred alternative wherever possible.
A telehealth therapy session is one held by a video call or phone call. Typically you would be at home.
There are privacy concerns about some of the commercial offerings for video calls, such as Skype and Zoom, being insufficiently secure, and that the commercial operator can “snoop” on the video or audio of the call.
To minimise this risk, The Talk Shop does not use Skype and Zoom. Instead, we use Jitsi Meet for our sessions, hosted on our own secure servers, with end-to-end encryption.
Booking or changing to a telehealth appointment
When you call us to book an appointment, or change an existing appointment to telehealth, you will be asked if you’ll be able to use telehealth (see below).
Video calls are preferred, as they are closer to a normal face-to-face session.
An initial appointment will at the moment normally be booked as a telehealth session. Your Clinician will review the suitability of telehealth for your therapy, and we will let you know if it is not suitable.
When your Clinician is making your next appointment, you and your Clinician will of course already know if the next session will be via telehealth or not.
Medicare: As at Monday 6 April 2020, bulk-billed and Medicare rebatable sessions can be held via telehealth (instead instead of face-to-face), where suitable.
TAC, Workcover, NDIS, DVA and similar: have specific criteria for when they will pay for telehealth.
Self-funded: If you will be fully paying for your session yourself (so not bulk-billed, nor claiming from Medicare, TAC, Workcover, NDIS, DVA or similar), there are no restrictions – you can choose telehealth at anytime
More information in Telehealth Session Eligibility.
Using telehealth: What you’ll need for your telehealth session
What you’ll need on how you’ll be joining your telehealth session:
- Video call telehealth session, using a smart phone or tablet
- Video call telehealth session, using a PC and webcam
- Voice only (phone) telehealth session
Getting your referral and other paperwork to us
Normally you would bring any paperwork with you to give to your Clinician in person. But if your first session is telehealth, or you have new paperwork (such as a new referral), another way is needed.
Paperwork you will usually need to get to us includes:
- Mental Health Care Plan (required for Medicare funding, needed before the first session)
- Referral from your doctor (required for Medicare funding, needed before the first session)
- Any other relevant paperwork
You can get your paperwork to us by any of:
- Scan and upload the paperwork to our secure upload portal (email firstname.lastname@example.org for a link to it)
- Using a regular scanner and PC
- Using your smart phone or tablet, with a scan-to-PDF app such as Adobe Scan or Genius Scan (both free in the App Store and Google Play)
- Fax the paperwork to 1300 224 669
- Mail the paperwork, but make sure to allow a few days for it to get to us:
The Talk Shop
PO Box 400
Diamond Creek VIC 3089
To ensure your privacy with a telehealth session:
- Your Clinician will want to make sure they are speaking to you before they say where they’re calling from
- Use only first name or initials when prompted for a name in the video call (nothing is ok too, but it helps your Clinician to have something there)
- We don’t include your name in the video call link
- For telehealth by phone, we call you – that means the call won’t appear on your phone bill