DR ALICE LAM
YOUR PRIMARY CARE SPECIALIST
YOUR PRIMARY CARE SPECIALIST
Until recently, Australians have been able to access a maximum of 10 rebatable psychology sessions per year, under a GP Mental Health Care Plan.
As of 7th August 2020, the Australian Government has extended the number to include a further 10 sessions, subject to GP review and if public health orders (issued at any time from 1 July 2020 to 31 March 2021):
Note: These extra sessions are available until 31st March 2021.
If you are feeling stressed or anxious in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic, you are not alone. It is hard to get away from the constant media, ever-changing government updates and restrictions on our way of life. Reduced social contact, temporary closure of community hubs, worries about our jobs and our children's schooling are just some of the concerns that can affect our mental health.
Beyond Blue has some practical advice here including a link to a forum where people are sharing how they are coping during this difficult time.
In addition, the Black Dog Institute has a very useful page here with links to resources to help you look after your mental health. It includes guided meditations, relaxation techniques, and fact sheets including how to support and reassure young people. And they have even produced a customisable self-care plan which is full of tips and advice.
You can also phone the following services* if you need to speak to someone:
Lifeline Australia 13 11 14
A crisis support service offering short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
A free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25 years.
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
Mental health information and support for all Victorians
Eheadspace 1800 650 893
Online and telephone support and counselling for 12 - 25 year olds, their families and friends.
*List from Department of Health and Human Services, State Government of Victoria
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that cause the common cold, and more seriously illnesses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) is a new strain in humans, initially passed to humans by exposure to animals at the live animal market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China,
On 20 January 2020, Chinese authorities confirmed the novel coronavirus was spreading person-to-person. The first case in Australia was confirmed on 23 January 2020,
You can find more, including how to reduce your risk of exposure, who should get tested and what to do you if you feel unwell on the Department of Health website, the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services website or you can ring the
24/7 National Coronavirus Helpline on
1800 020 080.
For advice on who should self-isolate and how, check out this useful booklet here.
For up-to-date travel advice, you can go here.
If you are looking for your nearest Covid-19 testing clinics, here is a list of links from healthdirect:
Testing is recommended in people who display the following symptoms:
Fever OR chills in the absence of an alternative diagnosis that explains the clinical presentation
Acute respiratory infection that is characterised by cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or loss of sense of smell or taste.
The Australian Department of Health particularly recommends testing if:
iF YOU ARE NOT SURE, USE THE HEALTHDIRECT SYMPTOM CHECKER WHICH WILL HELP YOU DECIDE IF YOU NEED TESTING. IT WILL ALSO TAKE YOU TO A LIST OF GP'S WHO ARE SEEING PATIENTS WITH SYMPTOMS.
For daily Covid-19 updates, click here*
*Links to Department of Health website in new window
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United Nations COVID-19 Response@unitednations