Frequently Asked Questions
In response to COVID-19, some headspace centres are adjusting their service delivery to incorporate online and phone counselling (telehealth).
What is telehealth?
Telehealth allows you to talk to a headspace counsellor through a phone or video call rather than seeing them in person. The headspace counsellor will listen and help you with strategies to get through tough times.
What can I get help with?
During times of uncertainty, like COVID-19 you might feel overwhelmed with what’s going on around you. headspace can provide advice if you feel isolated or worried, or if you are struggling with the changes in your home, school or work. Our counsellor will listen and provide strategies for any mental health challenge you are experiencing.
Why are headspace centres transitioning to online and phone services?
We’ve taken this step to ensure the safety of young people, their family and friends, and staff working in our headspace centres due to COVID-19.
How do I make an appointment?
Call your local headspace centre to make an appointment. Visit https://headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/ to get the phone number and find out more information about your local centre.
What equipment do I need for my appointment?
You will need a laptop, tablet or mobile and internet connection for online video appointments. Your Centre will let you know if you need a specific App, and can work with you to overcome any barriers like data, credit or internet access. If you prefer chatting over the phone, then just a mobile or landline. It’s a good idea to test your equipment 15 minutes prior to your appointment to prevent any delays.
Try to find a quiet place in your home or even outside in the yard.
What information do I need to share in the appointment?
You can share whatever information you are comfortable to. Accessing phone or online appointments doesn’t mean you need to share any more or less than you feel comfortable to. Ensuring you feel safe, and that you trust the headspace worker and the platform remain our highest priority. Ask any questions you might have in relation to privacy, or confidentiality and your headspace worker can help.
Do I need a GP referral?
Contact your local Centre and they can advise you.
Do I need my parent’s permission?
You can generally make decisions on your own about your treatment but in some cases we may need a parent or legal guardian to give consent for you to access a particular service (e.g., if you are under a certain age). If you would like more information about our consent process, please speak to a headspace worker.
What if my family are at home?
Try to find a quiet place, preferably one by yourself, where you feel comfortable chatting and won’t be as distracted. If you can’t find a space inside maybe even your backyard. If you are comfortable let your family know you are on a call and ask for some space. If this feels too much, please let your worker know so that they can support you to figure out how best to manage this.
Are the online and telephone services confidential?
Yes, headspace is committed to protecting your privacy. When you talk to someone at headspace nothing said or written can be passed on to anyone outside the headspace team without your permission.
There are a few exceptions, such as if we are concerned about your safety or the safety of someone else. In these instances, the headspace worker will try to talk to you first about what needs to happen and what additional supports you may need to help you be safe.
Is phone and online as effective as in-person counselling?
Yes, phone and online counselling services is an effective way of supporting young people to understand and manage their mental health issues. In fact, headspace has provided mental health support to young people online and via the phone for over 10 years.
Phone and online counselling (telehealth) sounds strange, what if I’m not comfortable with it?
For some people, it can be strange at first, however your counsellor will help you feel comfortable and become familiar with the process. Phone and online services can be a positive experience, as people may feel less self-conscious. If you’re not comfortable, let your centre know. Once they understand your challenges they’re much better placed to address them and support you to access sessions in a way that works for you.
What if I want more online supports?
headspace has a range of ways that young people can connect digitally. Have a look around the website to see what’s available: group chats, interactive resources, supportive online communities, and lots of great mental health resources.