When COVID-19 hit, CatholicCare began offering free telehealth services to ensure mental health and other essential supports were accessible to those in need during lockdown periods. Since April, we have delivered telehealth support to 2,608 clients across our family and relationship services.
As restrictions ease and we look to resuming a COVID-normal service, we must ensure that we are able to sustain our services for our community into the future. Hence, from 1 January 2021, we will be reintroducing fees for our counselling services and post-separation programs.
“But of course, for those experiencing financial hardship, there are payment options we can discuss to ensure they can continue accessing our support services,” says Kathryn Lyons, CatholicCare’s Senior Manager of Family Services.
“We are here for all people, and that means we want to ensure that everyone – regardless of their financial circumstances – can access the support they need.”
We know that access to professional, knowledge-based and compassionate mental health support is essential for our community during what has been a very challenging year for families and individuals. So from the beginning of 2021, our counselling services will be charged based on a sliding scale, as they were prior to COVID-19 – making for an affordable service where fees are dependent on clients’ income.
As per pre-COVID-19 times, there will also be a flat rate for those with a Concession or Healthcare card, and for students. “45% of the 885 people who accessed our counselling services from 1 April this year had a Healthcare card, so offering an affordable, accessible service is really important for our community,” says Kathryn.
From April 1 to December 15 this year we supported 885 people through our counselling services – 45% of whom had a Healthcare card.
If you would like to learn more about our counselling or post-separation services, view the links below:
Liz Gellel | Communication Coordinator