Video consults make mental health services more accessible

Friday, 16 August 2019

Pictured: Dr Qusai Hussain from Cyber ClinicDr Hussain from Cyber Clinic

South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network has funded Cyber Clinic to provide a secure online platform for video mental health consultations as part of the already existing Accessible Psychological Intervention (API) services.

Founder of Cyber Clinic, Dr Qusai Hussain, explains why accessible mental health services are important, and tells us a bit more about video consultations.

In nutshell, explain what your role is?
I am a Forensic and Clinical Psychologist, Managing Director of Psylegal and the Founder and CEO of Cyber Clinic.
What really defines me professionally is my passion for increasing access to mental health services for all Australians.

What has been your background/experience to date?
I began working as a criminal defence lawyer 20 years ago to help people. I found myself at the pinnacle of my profession realising that so many of the people that I defended needed help long before they reached the criminal justice system.

I worked in hospitals, prisons and local communities to help people turn their lives around.

After studying and acquiring my Doctorate of Forensic Psychology in Melbourne, I started my practice, Psylegal Psychology, where myself and a great team consulted extensively with the legal community to reduce the incidence of the mental health problems in the legal industry.

What influenced the decision to create Cyber Clinic?
Working in both the medical and legal sectors in Australia for the last 12 years has made me realise two things: mental health professionals keep our communities strong and save lives, but accessing expert help can be a lot harder than it should be.

What does it mean to you to be working with SEMPHN?

The partnership with SEMPHN means Cyber Clinic has the opportunity to provide more help to Australians, when and where they need it. 

I want to make sure that no one feels alone no matter where they are in our vast and beautiful country.

Why should GPs refer patients for video consultations through Cyber Clinic’s platform?
It eliminates geographical barriers for patients and is simple to use, so is great for consumers who are unable to attend a face-to-face session due to not being able to access transport.

Video consultations can also be beneficial for consumers who may experience anxiety around attending a face-to-face session, or for consumers who are time poor.

As well as this, accessing API services via video consultation can reduce wait time between referral and the consumer having their first consult with a mental health practitioner.

The Cyber Clinic app allows for secure and encrypted video consultations. The app also provides feedback to clinicians on how patients are tracking in a clinical sense as well as their relationship with the practitioner. This feedback can then be used by the practitioner to help ensure treatment is meeting the consumer’s needs.

How can GPs refer?
Referrals can be made by calling SEMPHN’s Access & Referral team on 1800 862 363 (which features a GP-priority line). For referral forms, click here.


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