VCPS is an integrated mental health practice partnering with relevant organisations to introduce an innovative telepsychology program designed to increase access to mental health services and enhance mental health promotion in rural and regional areas of Australia.

VCPS has established a collaborative approach to deliver a telepsychology based service model which:

  • Leads to increased access and effectiveness for clients requiring mental health services in rural and regional areas through the provision of telepsychology.
  • Delivers key messages around the prevention and early intervention of depression, anxiety and other related mental health conditions.
  • Assists local rural and regional health services to strengthen mental health service provision in the primary care sector.

VCPS practitioners provide counselling and psychology services using telehealth facilities, and the VCPS management and administration team facilitate all administrative processes, appointment making and financial arrangements.

Referral Process

  • The GP is usually the first point of contact for the client and the GP will prepare a mental health plan for the client, or alternatively, write a referral for psychology services.
  • The plan or referral will be sent to VCPS by the GP clinic via Fax or secure messaging.
  • VCPS contacts the client to book an appointment time for the client to consult with one of the VCPS practitioners. The VCPS intake worker will allocate a practitioner who is experienced in working with the client referred, taking into consideration the client’s age and presenting concerns.
  • VCPS will collect demographic information such as client’s date of birth, address and telephone number, and confirm location of service deliver.
  • VCPS will email or post to the client an appointment confirmation letter and a brochure outlining the service provided by VCPS. The brochure will also provide information on consent and confidentiality, and any benefits and limitations of a service provided via telepsychology.
  • The letter will confirm the date and time of the appointment, and location of where the client will receive the service delivery at their end.
  1. Option 1. Client has computer or device at home for video conferencing.
  2. Option 2. Client accesses a location such as PHN, health/community centre, GP’s rooms or local health agency which has a computer suitable for video conferencing services.
  • VCPS makes the booking into the VCPS practice management system.
  • If services are to be provided from GP or other location, VCPS confirms these details with the 3rd party.
  • On day prior to appointment, VCPS administration will phone the client to confirm the appointment time and test the computer connection at the client’s location if the computer they are using has not been used for this service prior.
  • On the day of the appointment, VCPS initiates the technical connection.
  • After the first appointment, the VCPS practitioner sends a letter to the referring GP advising that client has had the first consultation.
  • Client continues consultations with VCPS practitioner as required with similar processes undertaken prior to each consultation. After 6 consultations the VCPS practitioner writes a letter to the referring GP providing a treatment summary and recommendations as appropriate. If less than 6 consultations are required the client will be discharged and a letter forwarded to referring GP advising of details.
  • Clinical protocols and quality processes will be established, including identifying pathways if additional treatment is required.
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