The novel coronavirus pandemic has resulted in many changes to the way that we live. As a result of measures designed to keep the community safe, many healthcare services are currently not offered in a face-to-face format. Instead, some providers have been delivering services via telehealth, and there is growing evidence that counselling via telehealth can be very effective.

Telehealth is defined on the Australian Government Department of Health website as “the use of telecommunication techniques for the purposes of providing telemedicine, medical education and health education over a distance.” (Australian Government, 2015). Put more simply, telehealth involves the use of technology to deliver health related consultations and services to people that are not physically present at the place that the service is offered. This might involve speaking to a practitioner over the telephone, skype, zoom, or other communication services.

What does this mean for UQ With You?

Instead of having to attend the UQ campus to receive counselling and/or support, clients of the ‘UQ With You’ Telehealth service will be able speak to a student therapist from your home using a communication device such as your telephone, smartphone, tablet or computer. As well as protecting your health, this can make it easier to fit counselling into your schedule, and you won’t need to worry about transport or parking. Many clients also find it easier to open up about what is troubling them from the comfort of their own home.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is an audio and video-conferencing platform currently being used by a wide variety of organizations to conduct conferences, meetings and appointments while remaining at home. This platform requires access to an internet enabled device such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. For full use, a microphone and web camera are required.

Most of our clients find that zoom is a great way to get the benefits of face-to-face counselling sessions from home. However if you aren’t comfortable using zoom, or you don’t have a suitable device, telephone counselling sessions are also available.

Before your appointment, we will provide you with all the information and guidance you need to log in to Zoom for your first session. It is not necessary to have a pre-existing Zoom account, and using this platform is free for our clients.

What can I expect from an appointment with the ‘UQ With You’ service?

Following your initial expression of interest via the website, a student therapist will contact you via telephone to conduct an intake interview. This will involve a few extra questions designed to help match you to a student therapist within the service that is best able to meet your needs. During this initial call, the student therapist will also organise a time and date for your first appointment. If you are unable to use Zoom for whatever reason, please let us know during this initial telephone call and we will discuss alternative arrangements.

Following this initial contact, you will receive an email from the service including a link to join a scheduled zoom meeting at the time of your appointment. On the day of your appointment, we recommend that you find a quiet, private place in which you can use your device. If it is low on battery, ensure that you have your charger and access to a power point.

Click this link in the email to join the meeting room five minutes before your scheduled appointment. If you are able to, please ensure that you have your web camera and microphone enabled. Your student therapist will join you in this virtual meeting room to conduct your appointment. If you haven’t successfully joined the room by five minutes past your appointment time, we will phone you to help you connect. 

For more information on the zoom platform and how to use it, please see the tutorial video below.