Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Help over the phone

Rural Australians on Optus have a virtual ear on text

Optus customers outside of Australia’s major cities can send a message to a virtual psychology team if they yearn for listening.

Surviving amidst the self-isolation through coronavirus hasn’t been easy on everyone, and while life is gradually returning to a sense of normalcy, there are many still existing amidst some form of lockdown.

Across Australia, the coronavirus lockdown has affected everyone differently. If you had family to talk to, it might have drawn you closer, or even pushed you apart. However, if you have no one to talk to, staying alone might have been one of the more difficult situations you’ve ever endured.

Humans typically need other humans, and as we often crave the company of others, the concept of self-isolation can be quite difficult, specifically a long drawn out version of that.

If you crave human contact, you might have been able to converse with friends and family over the web, employing video calls and even the basic phone call, not to mention the regularity of a text message, but if you have little of that, it might still have been rather complicated.

Reaching out for a friend isn’t always easy, especially as adults, but Optus is hoping it can help some of its customers with a virtual friend of sorts.

It’s a friend that comes from Optus’ collaboration with a mental health service, VirtualPsychologist. The platform provides an opportunities for regular people to reach out to qualified mental health professionals over text services, sending a message to experts if they need someone to talk to.

VirtualPsychologist is a service that typically costs money, but thanks to the partnership with Optus has managed to have its service fee cut, provided you qualify for it in the first place.

If you’re an Optus customer curious about whether you can message for a bit of help using VirtualPsychologist, the free health support has been provided to customers living in rural Australia who have their home address registered outside of Australia’s big cities.

“As a critical service provider, we recognise that having connectivity in place during this time is essential and want to ensure our customers are aware of the mental health and wellbeing support services that are available to them,” said Marcus Grimes, Head of Regional for Optus.

“For our customers in rural and remote parts of the country, taking advantage of the VirtualPsychologist text-based services is available whenever they need by simply sending a text,” he said.

At Optus, the partnership has meant free texts for rural customers in both prepaid and post-paid on the Optus network, provided they live in rural or remote parts of the country. Even if you’re on a plan where text isn’t accounted for, however, Optus has said the free text rates for VirtualPsychologist apply, providing an opportunity to reach out and talk to a specialist if you need one.

You can find more information from Optus on this one if you’re looking to try it, or alternatively text VirtualPsychologist on 0488 807 266.

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