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  • Michael Romeo

An important update

Hi,

Our whole world is changing every minute. In this time of adjustment, we are all experiencing enormous amounts of grief, fear, confusion and uncertainty about what our future holds. I cannot begin to imagine how these changes are affecting you, but I am here to support you the best I can.

I am writing this update to let you about the changes I need to put in place to continue working with you. For the time being, due to COVID-19, I will not be being working from Psychology Matters and will no longer be offering face-to-face/ in person appointments. I will be working online, consulting via phone or video-chat (telehealth).

I am working as quickly as I can to contact everyone about these changes. In order to make sure everything is running smoothly; I will need to re-shuffle appointments this week. If I need to do this with your appointment, I will give you as much notice as I can.

Below is an FAQ that I have created which I hope will answer your questions you may have. If you are unsure of anything, please email me at admin@mromeopsych.com.

You will have noticed that you have been receiving sms messages from me from different numbers each time. This is because of the online SMS system I use. You can reply to any of the sms numbers and I will receive it. When you reply, can you please include your name, so I know who is responding.

Thank you for your patience and understanding whilst I set up my new practice. Until we meet again (online), please stay safe, stay healthy, and put into practice some of the strategies that we have talked about in our sessions. There are a lot of online resources available to support you. Please visit any of the following links:

https://www.psychology.org.au/COVID-19-Australians

https://mindspot.org.au/coronavirus

https://www.lifeline.org.au

This one is a great resource for online support and finding out what people are doing to stay mentally and physically well:

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/coping-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

Sending you peace

Michael

Q: What is Telehealth?

A: Telehealth means online video or telephone consultations. It allows me to work flexibly with appointment hours. The experience is like connecting with family, friends or business contacts using programs such as FaceTime or Zoom. The software that I will be using to do this with you is called Coviu https://www.coviu.com

Q: What do you I need to do telehealth therapy?

A: You will need access to a quiet, private space; a device,

i.e. smartphone, laptop, iPad, computer, with a camera, microphone and speakers; and a reliable broadband internet connection.

Q: How do I make appointments with you?

A: At this stage, I am setting up a new office phone number and some other options as far as booking - such as an online diary etc. For the time being please make appointments with me when you are consulting with me, alternatively contact me at admin@mromeopsych.com

Q: How can I get in contact with you?

A: As above. I will advise you asap regarding my office number. In the meantime, please contact me on admin@mromeopsych.com

Please note: I won't be using email as an extension of therapy/counselling - so please limit your email contact with me for logistical things like appointment bookings, an agenda of things that you want to cover in a session, or requests for reports.

Remember: I am not an emergency service. If you are in crisis, please contact a support number listed at the bottom of this message.

Q: Do I need a Mental Health plan if I want to bulk billed?

A: Yes. Please organise a Mental Health Plan before our appointment.

Q: I am already on a Mental Health Plan, does this mean I will have to get a new one to access Telehealth?

A: No. If your Mental Health Plan has not expired, you can use it for bulk billed appointments.

Q: I am on NDIS, will I be covered for Telehealth?

A: Yes, your NDIS will cover you for the appointment fee

Q: I have DVA, Work Cover or Victims Service will that cover the cost of my appointments?

A: If you have DVA you will be able to access Telehealth Bulk-Billed. Unfortunately, I am not a Work Cover or Victims Services provider therefore appointments will be billed at the same rate as Private Health Insurance appointments.

Q: Do I need to pay for my appointments if I do not have a mental health plan?

A: Yes. The rebate you get back will depend on what your Private Health Insurance will cover you. Beyond that, it is up to you as to how many appointments you will like to pay for without a rebate.

Q: How many telehealth sessions do I get?

A:

Medicare: If you have a Mental Health Plan, you get 10 sessions per calendar year (January to December). Please note, this is only in place until September 2020. I will update you about if this is extended.

Private Health: If you are paying privately you can have as many sessions as you wish

NDIS: You can have as many sessions as your plan allows you to have.

DVA: You can have as many sessions as your DVA will cover you.

Q: What do I do when I have an appointment

A: At the time of your appointment, use this link to enter the waiting room:

https://mromeopsych.coviu.com/room/@michaelromeo

Every time, you go to this site, Coviu will ask you for your name, surname and ask you to take a selfie. This will allow me to identify you and then let you join me.

PLEASE NOTE: You do not have to enter your full name or a photo when you log in to Coviu. Just type in your first name and the initial of your surname. If you don't want to take a selfie, then take a photo of your dog, cat, plant, rug, favourite celebrity etc.

From there it will put you into a waiting room and I will connect with you when I am ready.

Q: Is Telehealth private and confidential?

A: The software I will be using is Coviu. Coviu is endorsed by the Australian Psychological Society as it’s Telehealth provider of choice.

#1 Coviu is a peer-to-peer system – this means that video calls are encrypted end-to-end, making it more secure than traditional systems like Skype etc.  Encrypted data is only transmitted between you and me – not intercepted or stored on a server so data cannot be recorded and controlled by a non-Australian entity.  Coviu’s high level of security is compliant with the Australian Privacy Policy and legal requirements about handling medical data.

#2 Coviu does not require you to sign up. You simply click the link to your consultation room which you will receive and you can enter the consultation by simply taking a snap-shot photo and inputting their first and last name so you can easily confirm it you enter the consultation. This can be done via a browser tab on desktop or via the Coviu app on a mobile or tablet.

#3 Once our session has started, information (video or files) is shared only between you and I.  All data is encrypted, and no information is retained by the Coviu system

Q: I am not techno-savvy, please help!

A: Don't worry! Send me an email or an SMS (when I have this setup) and give me as much notice as you can BEFORE our appointment, and I will help set you up.

Q: What if I am having internet or technological problems at the time of our appointment?

A: Don't worry. If we can't do online/video, we can have a phone session instead.

Q: Will you be offering face-to-face/ in person appointments again?

A: This will depend entirely on a number of things such as the Lockdown laws and the containment of COVID-19 etc. As of the 30th of March 2020, I will only be offering Telehealth appointments until further notice. This will mean, I will no longer be working out of Psychology Matters. Everything to do with appointments etc will go to me directly via email at admin@mromeopsych.com until I have a phone line.

Q: Can I still do EMDR with you?

A: Yes. The wonderful thing about EMDR is that we are not limited to eye movement work. A major part of my EMDR practice is using bilateral sound. I am looking at other options for eye movement EMDR, for example www.easy-emdr.com

I hope this has answered some of your questions. If you are unsure of anything, please email me at admin@mromeopsych.com

Support lines:

If you are needing urgent mental health support, please call:

The Mental Health Line 1800 011 511

Suicide Callback Service 1300 659 467

if you or at immediate risk of harm please call 000

Phone counselling support:

Lifeline Australia

www.lifeline.org.au

13 11 14

beyondblue

www.beyondblue.org.au

1300 22 4636

Kids Help Line (for people under the age of 25)

www.kidshelp.com.au

1800 55 1800

1800Respect

24 hours to support: sexual assault, domestic or family violence

https://www.1800respect.org.au

1800 737 732

Mensline Australia

www.mensline.org.au

1300 78 99 78

Parent Line NSW

http://www.parentline.org.au

1300 1300 52

9am - 9pm

Drug and Alcohol Support

ADIS 1800 250 015

Stimulant Treatment Line (STL) 1800 10 11 88

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