Our awareness of our emotional and mental health has grown over the last few decades. We now know trauma, stress and biologically based mental health issues have a significant impact on our physical health and wellbeing as well. There are services available throughout the life span, from Infant Mental Health through Geriatric Mental Health services. People can seek services for a wide variety of issues including attachment/bonding, healing from a trauma, grief, anxiety, depression, impulsivity, developmental disabilities and adjustment to difficult life events to name a few. If you or someone you know is struggling and not able to live the life they want or reach their potential there is help available.
With the use of technology, services are no longer limited to office visits. Telehealth utilizes HIPAA secure video conferencing and telephonic technology to increase access to mental health services. Clients have reported that they are more comfortable in their own home when receiving services and experience increased confidentiality by not having to enter an office and utilize a waiting room. Telehealth has solved transportation barriers. Some services and specialty treatments are not available everywhere. This has made previously unattainable service possible. Telemental Health services also increases flexibility. Telemental Health Services are not new, although it has grown exponentially since the Covid pandemic. Research has found that the outcomes are just as good and in some areas, better than traditional office based delivered services.
There are many telehealth options available nationally and worldwide. UCP of Maine employs Maine clinicians committed to serving the needs of Maine people. We understand the unique cultures of Maine, and the opportunities and challenges Maine people are facing. We know the resources available. We are here to listen, help you achieve your goals and live a healthy life. Our staff are trained in proven treatment approaches. At the center of all these approaches is respect, self-determination and dignity.
Is Telemental Health a good option?
- Is reliable transportation a barrier to attending counseling services?
- Do you have a chronic health concern and a need to limit exposure?
- Do you have limited mobility?
- Do you live in an area with limited therapy resources?
- Would you be more comfortable in your own home?
- Do you have the ability to have a safe and confidential space for your sessions?
- Do you have stable internet, and a smart phone, tablet or lap top?
- Are you comfortable with technology or willing to learn?
- Telemental health can be utilized to complement in person sessions i.e. when illness or transportation is a barrier to in person sessions.
- Are you willing to utilize telemental health to complement in-person sessions i.e. when illness or transportation become an occasional barrier to in-person sessions.
- If you have limited internet access, would consider telephonic telemental health?
When is Telemental Health not a good option?
- If there is no safe and confidential space available (If there are a lot of people in the home who might enter the room or if you “thin walls” for others to overhear.)
- If there is active Domestic Violence in the home.
- If you have thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else.
- If your symptoms are severe or life-threatening
- Careful consideration needs to be given to treating Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Personality Disorders and Addiction online.
- When a trusting relationship has not been built with client and or parent and the virtual platform is the barrier.
- If caregiver is not available to emotionally and physically support child during session.
- If you are uncomfortable discussing sensitive topics, such as traumas, using technology and per to meeting directly with another person.
- If you are unable or unwilling to meet consistently in a private location, such as your home.
Tips for successful Telemental Health Sessions
- Find a private space free from distractions, and makes you able to freely express yourself without being overheard or seen by others. This location should be private and away from other, ideally with a closed door if others are in the home.
- Get in the right mind frame for the session. In traditional office based therapy, people often do this on the drive to the office or in the waiting room. With telehealth it is helpful to be in the space ahead of time to mentally prepared. For children doing telehealth, it is helpful to give them several prompts ahead of time to ease them into the transition to session and to make sure they have any materials or toys useful for the session. Some children, especially younger children or children with impulsivity may need caregiver support throughout the session.
- Check your connectivity. If Wi-Fi is not working you can switch to data if available. We have found that utilizing an Ethernet cable vastly improves the connection. If you are in a household with multiple electronics it can be helpful to turn off other technology utilizing the Wi-Fi during the session i.e. other smart phones, tablet, smart TV, Google Homes/Alexis, and gaming systems.
- Be comfortable. Wear comfortable clothing; sit in a comfortable chair, cozy up with a blanket or your pet. We want you to create an environment where you feel most comfortable to open up about what is important to you.
- You can wear earphones during session to increase you confidentiality and improve the quality of sound.