15 December 2021
Latest Update on Actions - Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The team at Melbourne Psychology & Counselling (MPC) will continue to provide psychological therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. We adjust the way we work in line with the latest Victorian Government public health requirements. Below are current measures we are taking to comply with current rules:
1. Continuity of care via telehealth or face-to-face during lockdown periods.
Psychology is a permitted industry for the provision of health care. In 2022 we will continue to offer telehealth sessions or in-person sessions for vaccinated clients. Please consult with your psychologist if you think your situation qualifies for in-person sessions.
We request that clients that usually see their psychologist face-to-face make use of telehealth sessions to maintain continuity of treatment rather than cancelling their appointments. The effectiveness of treatments can be impacted by multiple disruptions. MPC strongly recommends treatment continue via telehealth to maintain efficacy. Please contact your psychologist if you are unable to switch to telehealth sessions to discuss alternative arrangements.
2. Telehealth sessions now permanent.
Telehealth psychology sessions with a Medicare rebate are available to all clients as an alternative to face to face sessions. Please discuss which is right for you with your psychologist.
3. Attendance for in-person sessions (masks, QR code, vaccinations)
Under Victoria’s Roadmap Step 2, routine psychology services may be offered. However, telehealth services continue to be the preferred first option for care delivery wherever clinically appropriate. In-person sessions can go ahead so long as the following safety practices have been followed:
Clients and psychologists must wear a face mask for in-person psychology sessions. There are exceptions for clients in some circumstances. Please consult with your psychologist to discuss this further.
Anyone who enters the premise at MPC is required to check-in using the QR code posted at the front door, or hallway entrance, or to use the sign in book.
Vaccinations of Health Workers and Staff
All health workers and staff of MPC have had their full COVID-19 vaccinations.
Vaccinations of Clients
From 29th October, clients who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination will be asked to show evidence of being fully vaccinated (or valid medical exemption) for COVID-19 prior to attending face-to-face appointments. Clients who do not wish to show evidence, or who are not fully vaccinated, can continue to access psychology sessions by telehealth. MPC will review this policy in future with a focus on maintaining accessible and safe services for all our clients and staff.
4. Attendance at the Clinic when unwell
As per our previous guidelines, clients are asked to change to telehealth appointments if they, or anyone in their household, are awaiting a COVID-19 test result, or have any symptoms of illness, including:
shortness of breath
loss of smell/taste
4. 10 additional mental health care sessions available again in 2022.
Clients who have used up their regular 10 sessions under the Better Access Medicare scheme are able to once again access an additional 10 sessions in 2022. These sessions are designed to focus on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health. You can discuss your eligibility for these sessions with your GP or psychologist.
Finally, our team is working hard to continue to provide psychological care for our clients and community during this time. We understand that frequent changes of the rules and changes can be challenging. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.
The team at Melbourne Psychology & Counselling (MPC) is committed to continuing to provide psychological treatment to our clients and local community during this very difficult time.
Dr Claire Ahern & Dr Christine Raab
Directors - Melbourne Psychology & Counselling
December 15 2021