Jo bridges health gap with new psychology clinic
MENTAL health treatments are typically confined to generic forms of therapy, where someone sits on a couch, talks about their concerns and watches someone scribble in a notebook for an hour-long session, leaving with a full head and empty pockets.
HealthWise Queensland opened the doors to its clinic this week and the range of services and dedication to clients is proof that this idea is a misconception.
Clinical psychologist Jo Bailey was keen for a seachange and moved from Sydney to the stunning Coral Cove beaches.
Ms Bailey quickly realised the huge demand for health services in the region.
"In Sydney, I was working at a GP's office and appointments weren't necessary, you just walked in, sat and waited or you would walk down the road to the next one if they were really busy," she said.
"I was not aware of how difficult it was in regional areas until we moved to Bundaberg and I tried to make an appointment for my son, who is a type-one diabetic. Now I really appreciate the difficulty that the local community has in accessing health services.
"I rang 30 or 40 GPs and every single one told me that they were not taking new patients.''
The clinic will pay attention to children's learning disorders, cognitive testing and autism, as well as conditions such as depression, anxiety and drug and alcohol addiction.
Provisional psychologist Emma Slater said HealthWise also aims to assist with the gap in chronic pain and medication management.
While HealthWise will not replace a 24-hour crisis service, such as Lifeline, Beyond Blue and the emergency department, it is committed to being available to patients who are experiencing a crisis.
HealthWise Queensland is open from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and appointments are available most Saturdays. Visit https://healthwiseqld.com/
If you or someone you know is struggling, call Lifeline on 131114 or Beyond Blue on 13002246 36.