Virtual Psychology providing relief from the rising mental health challenge

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Experts are warning that the mental health of Australians is deteriorating, with data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealing that more than two in five struggle with a mental health issue in their lifetime.

Amplar Health CEO Dr Andrew Wilson said, “It’s alarming but what concerns clinicians even more is that those who need support can’t access professional help.”

An Australian Psychological Society survey of more than 1,400 members examined the impacts of the pandemic on private, public and not-for-profit psychologists and found a record number are now unable to see patients.

“One in three can no longer take on new clients, before the pandemic, only one in 100 had closed their books to new patients,” said Dr Wilson. "In addition, I'm hearing reports that those who do manage to get an appointment are still facing a 12-month waitlist- that rings alarm bells.”

Amplar Health, in partnership with MyHealth, has launched a new virtual psychology offering. It has been rolled out across all MyHealth GP clinics, with more than 250 applicants registering in just three months. Importantly, 70 per cent of patients who have already engaged with virtual psychology have made an appointment for a second or subsequent session.

MyHealth CEO Dr Hadrian Lee said, “Virtual Psychology is great for a lot of patients, not only can they finally get access to a psychologist but they can also have treatment in the comfort of their own space.” He added, “It helps to alleviate some of the pressure we are seeing on mental health professionals, provides GPs and their patients with a greater choice of specialists through a simple to manage process.”

Dr Andrew Wilson added, “Australians want increased access, choice and control in healthcare delivery and we’re going to provide it.”