New telepsychiatry service Call to Mind launches with aim to give individuals in rural and remote areas of Australia better access to quality mental health care.
Not only do these regions of the country see significantly higher rates of mental health issues, they also have a shortage of health professionals working there to alleviate the growing crisis.
In a 2018 statement on mental health, the Australian Medicine Association specifically highlighted the pivotal role e-health and telemedicine solutions can play in addressing this lack of support and funding for mental health care.
Considering the conditions of the mental health crisis in the country, Call to Mind founders Ben Chia (psychiatrist) and Dave Carmody (advanced trainee in psychiatry) saw a need to better utilise modern technology to address the barriers to accessing quality care in rural and remote communities in Australia.
“Some people are using telehealth already, and industry bodies have recognised its potential, but no one has made these services streamlined and simple for everyone involved – for the public, for GPs and for psychiatrists,” Dr Carmody said.
“We wanted to create a supportive platform that meant doctors could focus their time and energy on providing care to those who need it most.”
Call to Mind is made up of a team of psychiatrists ranging in specialty and availability. Consultations are held on a secure video-conferencing platform at a time and place (home or GP office) that best suit individuals’ needs.
All initial psychiatrist consultations are bulk-billed for those living in eligible areas, with the option for ongoing private consults. The organisation hopes this is the first step in breaking down the barriers of availability, accessibility and stigma associated with mental health across the country.
To learn more about Call to Mind, visit www.calltomind.com.au
To see one of the Call to Mind psychiatrists for a telehealth appointment, ask your GP today about making a referral to Call to Mind.
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