MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT FOR AUSTRALIANS AFFECTED BY THE 2019-20 BUSHFIRES

This Government measure aims to support families access tailored support they need to recover from the effects of the 2019-2020 bushfires. 

The following support is applicable to Sensational Kids OT services:

  • Better Access Bushfire Recovery Initiative: Bushfire affected individuals and families and emergency response personnel will be eligible to receive Medicare rebates for up to 10 psychological therapy sessions through GPs, psychologists and other mental health professionals (this includes registered OT’s which SKOT and our Parenting Coaching services are). 
  • Better Access Bushfire Recovery Telehealth initiative: Individuals, families and emergency response personnel who cannot easily access mental health professionals in person, will be able to obtain counselling and support through video telehealth services, with Medicare rebates – this service will be best supported through our Parent Coaching Service and can be booked online here

Who is eligible? 

Anyone affected by the fires is able to access these services. You do not need to have suffered a financial loss as a result of the fires to access these services. 

How do the new Better Access Bushfire Recovery Medicare-funded face-to-face sessions differ from current arrangements? 

Currently, people need to have a GP mental health treatment plan and a diagnosed mental health condition to access the existing Better Access initiative. However, the Government has removed these restrictions for the new Bushfire Recovery items. To access the new Medicare rebated items you do not need to have a diagnosed mental health condition, GP referral or mental health treatment plan. This aims to ensure people can quickly access these services. Under this measure, people affected by bushfires are able to self-refer to an eligible allied mental health provider. The new items are available to all people living in the community and there is no age restriction. Individuals who currently access services under the Better Access initiative and were directly affected by the bushfires will be able to access the additional 10 sessions under the Bushfire Recovery items. 

What is the Better Access Bushfire Recovery Telehealth initiative? 

People affected by the bushfires, who do not have access to face-to-face Better Access Bushfire Recovery Sessions, are able to claim rebates for video consultations. You do not need to have a diagnosed mental health condition, GP referral or mental health treatment plan. Services can be delivered by allied mental health professionals who are eligible to provide Medicare services under the Better Access initiative, that is:  Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers. 

How much will Better Access Bushfire Recovery face-to-face and telehealth sessions cost? 

Consultation fees charged by health professionals are determined by the provider or practice. Only a portion of costs is covered by Medicare. 

Please contact us to discuss our current fee schedule and what rebates you may receive.

How long will the Better Access Bushfire Recovery services be available? 

The services are available for two years until 31 December 2021. People can access the immediate counselling and GP bushfire telehealth items now. People can access the full package of services from 17 January 2020.

Contact Information 

If you have any questions in respect to how Telehealth Parent Coaching can support your needs please email roshelle@sensationalkidsot.com.au

For all general enquiries please contact info@sensationalkidsot.com.au