Tuesday, 16 June 2020 12:16

Optus continues with Virtualpsychologist to support regional communities Featured

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Optus is continuing its relationship with text-based counselling service Virtualpsychologist, first introduced to provide wellbeing and mental health support services during bushfires in rural and remote parts of the country, and now with the Covid 19 pandemic crisis.

Optus says the Virtualpsychologist offers rural and remote communities the chance to redeem the appropriate number of sessions based on individual clinical need.

For post-paid and prepaid customers who don’t have plans with text allowances included, Optus has announced it has enabled free text rates to ensure they have the resources in place to access support.

Virtualpsychologist is delivered by qualified mental health professionals, offering a select range of text based psychological and counselling support services to individuals and those in rural and remote settings irrespective of their mobile carrier.

Optus Head of Regional, Marcus Grimes said, “It’s certainly been a challenging few months with restrictions in place on top of recovering from the devastating bushfires, causing people to feel more isolated from their support networks. Not having regular access to sufficient mobile data to stay connected adds to this existing challenge.”

“As a critical service provider, we recognise that having connectivity in place during this time is essential and want to ensure our customers are aware of the mental health and wellbeing support services that are available to them.

“For our customers in rural and remote parts of the country, taking advantage of the Virtualpsychologist text-based services is available whenever they need by simply sending a text.”

In February this year, Optus partnered with the Virtualpsychologist service to bring text-based counselling to some of the bushfire affected towns across regional Central NSW as part of a two week roadshow which offered support for communities facing hardships during their recovery.

“We are grateful to be continuing our relationship with the Virtualpsychologist and furthering our joint efforts across regional Australia, ensuring even those living in some of the most remote parts of the country can access their valuable services,” Grimes added.

Dervla Loughnane, Virtualpsychologist Chief Executive Officer said, “Taking care of mental and psychological wellbeing has never been more important than it is now, with many Australians needing support in some way.”

“Often the hardest decision is to pick up the phone to connect with people. Many people say that phone or face to face services are too confronting, embarrassing, inconvenient or simply not available. Our Virtualpsychologist service offers a safe and private space, providing all styles of counselling for different situations over text.

“Our service is available at any time and accessible within areas of mobile coverage, so individuals have direct access to support whenever and wherever they need it most.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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