Extra psychology sessions aimed at people affected by present COVID-19 restrictions appear to exclude some NSW cross-border residents at this stage.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the federal government would provide 10 more Medicare subsidised psychological therapy sessions "for people subjected to further restrictions in areas impacted by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic".
"These will be available for anybody who has used their initial 10 services in a lockdown area under a public health order, and that will of course apply right across Victoria, and if more areas in Australia were to face this, it would apply to them," he announced on Sunday.
The Border Mail asked the minister's office if the package, which totalled $7.3 million, also applied to NSW cross-border residents, for example in Albury, who had been affected by the border closure.
A Health Department spokesman said the measure was for people who were subject to public health orders restricting their movement within a state or territory or required to isolate or quarantine under public health orders.
"Where border zone residents have used their 10 individual sessions under Better Access, and are required to self-isolate due to the operation of this (border control) order, they would be eligible for the additional 10 individual sessions," he said.
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"Patients are required to undertake a review with their GP to access the additional 10 sessions.
"Eligible areas will be listed on the Department of Health's website and updated regularly based on the evolving pandemic."
Albury psychologist Jaclyn Smoker has written to her profession's peak body, the Australian Psychological Society, asking it to lobby that NSW residents in the blue zone have equal access to this support.
"Border zoned residents on both sides have been significantly impacted and should be able to access additional mental health services, especially in this area where access to funded services is scarce," she said.
Australian Psychological Society president Ros Knight said more opportunities to see a psychologist would be a relief for many clients.
"Psychologists are seeing an unprecedented level of demand on their services right now," she said.
"Many of our clients are quickly running out of sessions, and APS members have reported that more than half of their clients are likely to require more sessions than their mental health plans had allowed.
"We will continue to encourage the government to increase the number of sessions for all Australians who have a mental health care plan, regardless of location, as part of protecting and supporting the wellbeing of the community as a whole."