Bataclan shooting survivor Emma says psychological telehealth is a lifeline that must stay

Emma Parkinson was 19 in 2015 when she was shot in the Bataclan terrorist attacks in Paris.

She spent much of the pandemic alone at her home in Australia and her trauma and mental health issues made it very difficult for her.

Australia’s subsidized telehealth sessions with her usual psychologist made a huge difference to her.

“Poor mental health runs in the family, and I’m a trauma survivor; [psychological care] is really necessary for me to participate normally in society and part of it is having access to a psychologist … it just gets you up to a normal baseline where healthy people function,” she told Wendy Tuohy of the Sydney Morning Herald. “As somebody with mental illness you’re especially vulnerable to shocks and to being profoundly affected by external things like the lockdown … I had no face-to-face contact with anyone and I found myself thinking really dark thoughts often.”

Emma is now fighting for the continuation of telehealth benefits.

Eighty-nine people were killed in the Bataclan attack.

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