FAQ

From time to time, obstacles arise that prevent us from becoming the individual, partner, parent or friend that we strive to be. The practitioners at Chinwag are here to help you manage these obstacles. We are committed to assisting you to know your goals and will work with you to identify the pathways to assist you understand yourself better and manage your difficulties. Our practitioner team consists of dedicated, highly experienced individuals who treat a wide range of concerns – whatever your needs, we are here to help.

At Chinwag, our intake team are available to answer any queries you may have, and take the time to understand your needs so we can match you with the practitioner best suited to you.

Some individuals seek help from a Chinwag practitioner after feeling that therapy with previous practitioners has been unfulfilling or even unsuccessful. For others who have not sought help yet, they contact Chinwag when they feel they can no longer cope on their own.

We are available to help you manage and resolve a wide range of concerns, some of which include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Relationships
  • Stress
  • Eating disorders
  • OCD
  • Anger management
  • Addiction
  • Life transition
  • Academic or work performance
  • Learning difficulties
  • Fertility difficulties
  • Weight management

It is not uncommon for people to feel their concerns ‘aren’t bad enough’ to warrant seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist, or that they will feel ready to see one ‘if things get any worse’. If you are considering seeing a Chinwag practitioner, it is important to understand that our services are not solely for people struggling with serious mental health concerns. In fact, some individuals feel that most aspects of their life are under control or even thriving, but require an outlet or means of improving in certain areas – for example, in their work performance, relationships, or stress management.

Therapy can help individuals tackle any emotional barriers that may be preventing them from functioning at their best. Many individuals find that therapy can be utilised to increase positive emotions and skills (e.g. forgiveness or compassion) as a means of ongoing self-growth. Therefore, even if you do not feel anything is seriously wrong, seeking advice from a psychologist is a chance to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

Contact us now for a discussion: our intake team is focused on taking the time to firstly answer any queries you may have, and then help you decide which practitioner is best suited to your needs.

A telehealth appointment may be needed due to availability to see a psychologist or psychiatrist in your area, when there’s no psychologist or psychiatrist located locally, the practitioner does not specialise in the area you’re needing help with.

Your appointment can be via telephone or via video conference however our practitioners highly encourage you attend your appointments via video.

If you are connecting via video to our practitioners, our team will assist you with a test appointment prior to your first appointment with the practitioner, this way you know how the system works and we can address an concerns you have.

Your patient can phone 1300 CHINWAG to make an appointment.

GPs can also phone our team to discuss individual patient needs. We are available 8am to 7pm AEST Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm AEST Saturday.

GPs should send the patient’s referral and mental health treatment plan via email to intake@vcps.com.au

Medicare provides rebates for Australians wishing to have a telehealth appointment. You will need to make sure that you have a valid GP mental health care plan or referral to a psychiatrist. In order for this to be valid we need the following information on a mental health care plan/ referral:

  • Our details (Chinwag)
  • The practitioners details
  • Number of sessions available to the client

Our intake team will let you know of which clinicians offer concession prices and also will help provide affordable bookings to patients who need help due to financial difficulty.

A mental health care plan is a plan for people with a mental health concern. If you have mental health issues, your general practitioner (GP) can write out this plan. The plan identifies what type of health care you need, and details what you and your doctor have agreed you are aiming to achieve. It may refer you to mental health provider, such as a psychologist.

Medicare will subsidise up to 10 sessions per calendar year to see a psychologist via Chinwag. Anyone living in lockdown zones of Melbourne will be allowed an additional 10 sessions a calendar year as part of the COVID19 plan.

You may be entitled a maximum of 40 Chinwag telehealth appointments per calendar year under a GP care plan (Mental Health Care plan, an Eating Disorder Plan or a COVID19 additional sessions plan).

You are able to see a Chinwag psychologist without a Plan in place, as often or as many times as you and your treating Chinwag psychologist see’s necessary, however medicare will not offer a rebate without a plan in place.

If you have a Chinwag psychiatrist referral, Medicare will subsidise how ever many appointments necessary per calendar year until expiry date of the referral, unless your referral is indefinite.

No, you do not need a Mental Health Care Plan to access our Chinwag services although you will not be able to obtain Medicare rebates for your consultations. To some of our clients this is a preferable method as it alleviates the need to visit a GP to obtain a Mental Health Care Plan.

We can customise Chinwag for organisations to help service employees and offer telehealth critical incident response through video conference as well as group debriefs, this is only a very small amount of options available through our portfolio. Chinwag also can help with management workshops, preventative workshops for employees to develop mental health coping mechanisms as well as deliver sleep workshops

Chinwag can become an important mechanism within your school giving students the opportunity to utilise Chinwag services within a confidential room within your school or within the student’s home to help with any personal or school related issues.

No, you are able to utilise Chinwag for a range of psychological services without the need of visiting a GP although you will not be able to obtain Medicare rebates on your consultations.

If you wish to see a Chinwag Psychiatrist, we are required to have a GP referral in place.

A maximum of 40 sessions can be subsidised through Medicare with a valid GP care plan. A plan can be any one of the following:

  • A mental health care plan (10 sessions per calendar year)
  • Additional COVID19 sessions plan (A client can be eligible for an additional 10 sessions per calendar year if they live in the lockdown zones of Melbourne)
  • An eating disorder plan (40 sessions per calendar year)

Medicare will subsidise ongoing sessions per calendar year if a referral is directed to a Chinwag psychiatrist. Unless the GP has labelled the referrals as indefinite (no expiry date).

Chinwag does not provide an interpreter service, however we do have practitioners who are able to consult in a wide variety of languages. Please check with our team about the current languages available.

Currently we do not offer group sessions through Chinwag but if you have a certain enquiry about this topic please send your email to intake@vcps.com.au and we can forward it over to our management team to properly advise.

If you are a practitioner wanting to deliver services via video conferencing, we would love to hear from you. Please contact our team on 1300 244 692

There is no limitation to what you are able to see a Chinwag practitioner about.

Please visit the Why are you here page of the web site to see some of the things we regularly assist with.