Veterans’ charity Mates4Mates has welcomed the extension of telehealth services until March 2021, after an announcement from the Federal Government.
Mates4Mates provides support and rehabilitation services to veterans impacted by service-related mental health issues and physical injuries, and their families.
The demand for psychology appointments has increased by up to 27% at Mates4Mates in some regions this year, with the pandemic adding to the toll of mental health on many veterans.
With the temporary extension to DVA and Medicare services, Mates4Mates can continue to provide much-needed telehealth services to veterans and family members.
Mates4Mates national clinical manager and clinical psychologist, Georgia Ash, said the extension to telehealth services was a lifeline to charities providing vital services to those impacted by the pandemic and other issues.
“This move will undoubtedly save lives as it enables mental health services, including Mates4Mates, to provide important clinical care to all Australians, no matter where they live,” she said.
“We know that this year, many people are dealing with additional stress and feeling more isolated. These things can exacerbate mental health conditions and increase the risk of suicide.
“Mental health issues can affect anyone at any time. Right now, many people are more vulnerable than ever, and we need to be there to support them.”
In addition to psychology appointments, Mates4Mates can continue to offer telehealth appointments with exercise physiologists.
“Many veterans who desperately need support for physical or mental health issues live regionally and can’t access face-to-face services, but now we know that we have funding to continue meeting that need until March,” Ms Ash said.
Veterans impacted by service can access Mates4Mates telehealth services with a DVA or Medicare GP referral. For more information and to book an appointment, phone 1300 462 834 or visit mates4mates.org.