PsychMed is committed to providing services for all South Australians.

There is a shortage of psychologists and other mental health professionals in rural areas, and rural and remote South Australians frequently experience challenges in accessing mental health support.

Our new telehealth and visiting services will connect more rural and remote South Australians with clinical psychology services, meaning people can receive support in their own communities.


Which services will be provided under telehealth?

Initially our free Gambling Help services will be available to rural and remote South Australians via telehealth (and visiting services).

PsychMed is working towards providing our other programs and services, including our suicide prevention, trauma, and alcohol and drug programs, to rural and remote South Australians via telehealth.

How does it work?

Our telehealth service will be run over free encrypted software called Cisco Spark.

Cisco Spark offers a similar user experience to Skype, but all calls are encrypted, offering a high level of security and privacy.

It is free to download on PC, Web, Android and Apple Devices.

What to expect in a telehealth consultation?

You can expect the same standard of care in a telehealth consultation as a face to face consultation. Your information will remain private and confidential, as with any consultation with a health professional. All calls are encrypted, offering a high level of security and privacy. You can choose if you would like to have someone with you in the consultation. The quality of the audio and video means that you can talk to the psychologist just as if were talking to them in person.

What are the benefits of telehealth?

Telehealth services reduce the need for travel, saving money and avoiding the need to take time off work or find alternative care for dependents or pets. Telehealth allows rural and remote South Australians to receive a service in their own community and remain connected to their local supports. Often telehealth appointments can be provided more quickly, avoiding the need to wait for a visiting service or arrange travel. There is now a large body of research evidence demonstrating that outcomes and practitioner/client satisfaction for telepsychology interventions are generally equivalent to traditional face to face interventions. Telehealth is already widely used across rural and remote South Australian health services, including mental health.

What are the challenges?

As with any technology, there may occasionally be minor connection problems, however with advances in videoconferencing technology problems like drop outs tend to be rare. There will be a backup plan, for example continuing the consultation via phone, in the rare case of any technology problems. Our visiting services will complement our telehealth services, to provide flexibility according to individual need.

What does it cost?

As with our face to face services, consultations via telehealth under the SA Intensive Gambling Help Service are free.

Unfortunately, Medicare rebates are not currently available for telehealth consultations with a psychologist under the Better Access program.

Visiting services

Our rural and remote services also include visiting and outreach services to rural and remote areas. Our visiting services will also be free under the SA Intensive Gambling Help Service.

We are currently working with local rural and remote providers to develop our visiting services schedule.

Referral information

How do I refer rural and remote clients to the telehealth/visiting service?

Referrals to the SA Intensive Gambling Help Service at PsychMed can be made by telephone, fax or on our online enquiry form.

Contact: SA Intensive Gambling Help Service (SAIGHS)

Ph: 8232 3333 (Direct Referral Line)

Fax: 8232 5277

Emergency and Crisis Resources

Rural and Remote Emergency Triage and Liaison Service (ETLS) – 13 14 65 (for country callers)

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Beyondblue – 1300 22 4636

Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467