April 2020 News
Update from the Office of Mental Health Services
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
The Office of Mental Health and Support Services continues to be a resource for Academy students, and we are attempting to do so through many avenues.
- Please continue to visit the Self-Care resources page on the Academy website for support, and we will work to keep this updated with additional resources.
- I am available to assist in identifying providers in your home area to connect with for counseling and mental health support.
- The OMHSS will now have the option to provide telehealth to Academy students with consent from the legal guardian of the student (or a student age 18 or older). Below you will find information regarding what this entails and the process to begin telehealth.
Benefits and Risks of Telehealth
Telehealth refers to providing psychotherapy services remotely using telecommunications technologies, such as video conferencing or telephone. One of the benefits of telehealth is that the client and clinician can engage in services without being in the same physical location. This can be helpful in ensuring continuity of care if the client or clinician moves to a different location, takes an extended vacation, or is otherwise unable to continue to meet in person. It is also more convenient and takes less time. Telehealth, however, requires technical competence on both our parts to be helpful. Although there are benefits of telehealth, there are some differences between in-person psychotherapy and telehealth, as well as some risks. For example:
- Risks to confidentiality. Because telehealth sessions take place outside of the therapist’s private office, there is potential for other people to overhear sessions if you are not in a private place during the session. On my end, I will take reasonable steps to ensure your privacy. But it is important for you to make sure you find a private place for our session where you will not be interrupted. It is also important for you to protect the privacy of our session on your cell phone or other device. You should participate in therapy only while in a room or area where other people are not present and cannot overhear the conversation.
- Issues related to technology. There are many ways that technology issues might impact telehealth. For example, technology may stop working during a session, other people might be able to get access to our private conversation, or stored data could be accessed by unauthorized people or companies.
- Crisis management and intervention. Usually, I will not engage in telehealth with clients who are currently in a crisis situation requiring high levels of support and intervention. Before engaging in telehealth, we will develop an emergency response plan to address potential crisis situations that may arise during the course of our telehealth work.
- Efficacy. Most research shows that telehealth is about as effective as in-person psychotherapy. However, some therapists believe that something is lost by not being in the same room. For example, there is debate about a therapist’s ability to fully understand non-verbal information when working remotely.
If you are interested in beginning therapy or consultation via telehealth please follow these steps:
- Review this consent form, get appropriate signature, and return via email to mcwallpe.
- When sending the consent form, please include the following information for communication purposes if needed during telehealth: Student phone number and email and parent/guardian phone number and email.
- Once necessary paperwork is received, I will send an email with your scheduled appointment time. You will also receive an email with a link for the virtual appointment via WebEx. Please view link and make sure this will work for communication purposes. If unable to utilize WebEx, then a phone session can be completed.
- If telehealth is not clinically indicated for your need or your need could best be served through another resource, that information will be communicated to you and your family.
Please note that we want to continue to support all students and assist in meeting their needs. Please let me know if there are any questions. Feel free to contact me via phone at 765-285-5483 or email mcwallpe. I will be available to answer calls and schedule appointments M-F 8:00-5:00.
Dr. Mindy Wallpe