Telehealth launches to strong demand

In the first six weeks of offering telehealth across community mental health services, Raphael Services and alcohol and other drugs services (DAWN and SWCADS), St John of God Social Outreach has supported 76 percent of clients using telephone and secure videoconferencing technology.


That equates to almost 2,500 episodes of care that were provided to vulnerable people, enabling them to access vital support from their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A further 773 face-to-face sessions were held where physical distancing and other protocols were strictly observed.

St John of God Social Outreach CEO, Sue Cantwell said the high uptake was testament to the importance of services remaining accessible and responding to changing circumstances by giving clients the option to access quality care and treatment from their own home.

“Telehealth provides access to care and convenience at a time when people need it most, enabling them to continue self-isolating to reduce the risk of exposure to and spread of COVID-19,” Sue said.

“Social Outreach moved quickly to introduce telehealth and I’m immensely proud of all of our caregivers for upskilling and adapting to this new way of supporting clients and ensuring they deliver the same, high level of compassionate care in a virtual context as they do in person.”

Horizon House and Casa Venegas are also beginning to use this technology to keep connected with clients who have transitioned out of our accommodation houses to ensure we can continue to support them with wrap-around support services beyond our walls.”