Therapy during COVID-19: Moving to Telehealth

With the ever-rising COVID-19 pandemic case numbers across Victoria, it’s more important than ever that we all take steps to protect ourselves and the larger community from the spread of this virus, as well as other colds, coughs, and ‘flus that can be common at this time of the year.

You, as the client, need to feel empowered to take the steps that keep you and your family safe.
Hopscotch and Harmony are committed to helping you do this by moving 100% to Telehealth across both the Geelong and Melbourne practices while we are in Stage 3 or 4 restrictions. 

Telehealth services will continue until the COVID-19 situation stabilises. Unfortunately, as we know, this is taking a lot longer than any of us had thought or hoped for!

New to Telehealth services?

We sometimes hear concerns from parents that they do not think their child will be able to engage in therapy over Telehealth. It might reassure you to know that Telehealth is an evidence based way of providing services to members of the community. 

If you are considering Telehealth services but think your child might struggle, please remember that we can offer an array of options:

  1. Shorter (i.e. 25 minute) sessions. For clients accessing their sessions under the NDIS, 25 minute sessions are approved by these insurers. For clients paying privately, these sessions are costed at 50% of your usual fee. If you usually claim a Medicare rebate, this means that, even without a Medicare rebate available, the session fee is less than your usual out of pocket expense. 
  2. Parent appointments for very young children, or those with special considerations or additional needs to help strategise and work with your child’s clinician on how best to support your child between appointments.
  3. Split appointments, where a portion of the clinician’s time is spent with the child, and a portion working with the parent.
  4. If you receive NDIS funding, your clinician may be able to help you with your child’s progress by assisting with the creation of resources for your home or at school instead of providing a direct Telehealth service. This can assist with your child’s therapeutic needs and goals.

Telehealth often gives clinicians and children an unusual opportunity of being able to work within the child client’s own space, within their comfort zone, and on issues that commonly impact them at home.

One common concern that parents can have is that their children struggled (or are struggling with) remote learning. This can sometimes lead parents to believe that their child will also struggle with  Telehealth sessions, or that they won’t get much out of them.

It’s really important to remember that your child’s sessions with a therapist should look and feel VERY different to school lessons, and your child’s clinician has a range of options to make your child’s session engaging, fun, and helpful. It’s also really important to remember that even where attended face to face, sessions in the clinic don’t look or feel like ‘normal’ (i.e. pre-COVID) appointments at the moment!

​Masks, eye protection, physical distancing requirements, hand sanitising, lack of wait rooms, and the necessity to clean and sanitise all rooms, toys, and therapeutic tools between clients mean that our sessions would look very different to what our regular in-clinic sessions are like. In fact, Telehealth often gives the clinician and your child MORE freedom and ease with which to connect and work together. 

What if Telehealth isn’t right for me or my child?
For the vast majority of clients, Telehealth services will be an appropriate therapeutic modality.  
If, in the rare instance, your child’s presentation means that Telehealth services are just not right for them, it may mean waiting until Stage 3 and 4 restrictions are behind us. Unfortunately due to a very high demand of clients currently requesting Telehealth appointments we are unable to reserve your spot and there may be a wait when you are ready to return. 

At present, Medicare will continue to offer a rebate for Telehealth sessions until the end of September 2020. Should this change and affect your rebates for Telehealth, we will be in touch to discuss.

Whilst we hope to see you back in the office sooner rather than later, this may take longer than any of us had wished for. In the meantime, please consider Telehealth services as an evidence based alternative to face-to-face appointments to protect you, your family, your clinician, and the community at large.

Stay safe and warm and we look forward to seeing you soon!

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