In 2020 the Arcare Family Foundation supported Australia’s first National Telehealth Counselling and Support Service for residential aged care communities.

Due to COVID-19, there was an immediate demand for a telehealth service and a greater need for more creative mental health care delivery models for residential aged care.

The primary goal of the telehealth service is to provide and evaluate a free, accessible, scalable and useful mental health service to individuals living in residential aged care facilities, their families and residential aged care staff, using the telephone or video-conferencing.

This service is free for adults living in residential aged care facilities, and it is designed to help them cope with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress, all of which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions. This service is also available to the residents’ families and aged care staff. This service will be provided by postgraduate psychology, social work, and counselling students from around Australia under the supervision of experienced practitioners.

The National Telehealth Counselling and Support service has the potential to create hundreds of placement opportunities for postgraduate students from universities across Australia, educating the next generation of clinicians. Placements that focus on mental health in late life are rare in Australia.

For more information on this service or to access the service or refer someone else – please go to:

https://www.swinburne.edu.au/lss/psychology/pc/older-adults/telehealth-counselling.html