Responding to COVID-19 | Telehealth
What is Telehealth?
The Center for Connected Health Policy defines telehealth as “Telehealth is a collection of means or methods for enhancing health care, public health and health education delivery and support using telecommunications technologies.” Given the current public health emergency, telehealth has become an essential way to provide mental health services.
Definitions and Evidence-Base
Here we highlight MHTTC training and technical assistance products and resources related to telehealth, as well as a compilation of telehealth resources from other reputable organizations.
MHTTC Upcoming Events:
Clinical Innovations in Telehealth: Providing Culturally Relevant Telehealth Mental Health Services for Latinos during a Pandemic
National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC
June 2, 10-11am PT / 1-2pm ET
Series takes place every Tues 10-11am PT / 1-2pm ET through 6/9/2020
June 9, 10-11am PT / 1-2pm ET
MHTTC Products and Resources:
Due to the need for many mental health providers to transition to online service delivery as a result of COVID-19, this webinar will provide general guidance on the use of telehealth services. In particular, this webinar will focus on providing recommendations for adapting common Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tools (e.g., repeated assessment, homework tracking, etc.) for use with clients via telehealth. Special linguistic and cultural considerations for providers of Latino clients will also be presented throughout the webinar.
Clinical Innovations in Telehealth | Global MHTTC
Clinical Innovations in Telehealth Learning Series is a weekly online series targeting high-priority clinical issues for providers using telehealth. Experts in clinical care and telehealth devote the first segment of each hour-long session to a specific topic, then address questions submitted by registrants.
- Session 1: Telehealth and Suicide Care - includes slide deck and FAQ
- Session 2: Telehealth and CBT for Psychosis (recording coming soon!)
- Session 3: Telehealth and Health Disparities (recording coming soon!)
This brief identifies issues to consider when conducting mental health services and supports through telehealth with culturally diverse communities and provides strategies to ensure that the national Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards continue to drive efforts towards culturally competent care. Now available in Spanish!
Amid the current COVID-19 social distancing and stay at home orders many behavioral health providers have quickly shifted their primary interactions with clients to remote engagement. For some, this means using video conferencing software to simulate an in-person meeting. However, for many people access to a computer or tablet and reliable internet service is not available. For these individuals you may need to engage with them primarily, or solely, through the phone via voice calls or texts. This tool will provide information about strategies for quality engagement with clients using the phone.
This guidance can be applied to your work during the COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as when engaging with clients who may live in remote, rural, and otherwise difficult to access areas. Please note that it is best to talk with your agency's administration to determine any potential issues or concerns with providing remote services, including, but not limited to, HIPAA compliance, reimbursement, and authorizations.
Recently, the New England MHTTC held an online discussion session led by Reid Plimpton, MPH and Terry Rabinowitz, MD, DDS. In this session, they discussed telehealth from a provider's perspective.
Looking for the silver lining: Resolving our ambivalence about using MI in telehealth? This webinar will discuss and help you to:
- Recognize the differences between using MI face-to-face or via telehealth
- Discuss solutions to common barriers
- Prepare to use/improve your use of MI in the resolution of ambivalence via telehealth
This is a recording of the Native Youth Telehealth Initiative Webinar, which took place on May 14, 2020. The recording begins at slide 12 of the presentation. Dr. George Baston, MHRD, Ed.D CTE, and Natasha Peterson, BS, covered how to implement telehealth using the “Let’s Talk Interactive” platform and opportunities to collaborate with the National American Indian and Alaska Native MHTTC.
An opportunity to participate in our Native Youth Telehealth Initiative, and receive intensive technical assistance, is announced in this webinar. Application information is given at the end of Dr. Baston's presentation. Six sites will be chosen from the applicants.
The focus of this webinar is to provide the support and information that teachers, supervisors, BCBAs, therapists and other professionals supporting youth during Co VID 19 have been seeking. The challenges that Co VID 19 poses to clients and students will be discussed. Strategies for reaching and supporting clients via telehealth platforms and teaching students through the virtual classroom will be identified and discussed. The main focus will be on supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and autism during this difficult time. Individuals across the Autism Spectrum have specific needs and profiles that will be discussed and the supports and strategies needed to address their specific strengths and weaknesses will be explored.
The Northwest MHTTC and the Behavioral Health Training, Workforce and Policy Innovation Center of the BHI are partnering to present an 8-session telehealth learning series for behavioral health providers across the continuum of behavioral health care in Washington State in response to COVID-19. The webinar series will meet twice weekly for four weeks and will address a variety of topics related to telehealth, including operational and administrative issues (such as billing), equipment and technology requirements, and strategies to provide effective clinical care.
- Session 1: Telehealth Nuts & Bolts Kick-Off - recording and Q&A
- Session 2: Telehealth: Myths and Facts You Need to Know - recording and Q&A
- Session 3: Telehealth Billing and Reimbursement and Q&A
- Session 4: Introduction to Digital Health: Getting Started and Safety Planning and Q&A
- Session 5: Creating a Clinical Workflow for Telehealth
- Session 6: Telehealth and Substance Use Disorders
- Session 7: 42 CFR Part 2 and HIPAA
- Session 8: Telemedicine with Children and Adolescents
Telehealth Adapted Motivational Interviewing (MI) for Latino Populations | National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC
The current worldwide public health emergency has prompted many mental health providers to adapt to an online method of service delivery. In response to the changes demanded by COVID-19, this webinar will provide general guidance on the integration of Latinx cultural values and motivational interviewing principles via telehealth. Specifically, this webinar will focus on providing strategies for adapting motivational interviewing through a culturally affirming lens to enhance engagement and facilitate change.
Recording coming soon!
The Pacific Southwest MHTTC’s new handbook is written for licensed behavioral health providers who are working to transition to telehealth care. In this time of rapid change, clinicians need quick, accessible information on telehealth basics and best practices. Developed in consultation with mental health providers in our region, this guide includes tips and checklists, research-informed considerations, and more resources.
Presenter Jonathan Neufeld, director of the Great Plains Telehealth Resource and Assistance Center, provides an overview of telehealth issues for behavioral health providers as they rapidly transition to virtual delivery of services and supports. Topics covered include definitions, modalities, and basics of delivering psychotherapy and other specialty mental health services. Journey Mental Health Center, based in Madison, WI, has rapidly expanded telehealth services to meet the needs of consumers across a wide array of settings and levels of care. This presentation highlights the considerations that were incorporated to promote safe, secure telehealth experiences. Journey team members Thomas McCarthy and Lisa Lizak presented a case study about the agency's shift to virtual services.
Hosted by the Mountain Plains MHTTC and the Mid- America MHTTC and ATTC, this weekly online series is for providers who are unfamiliar with telehealth. Our Technology Transfer Center (TTC) Network specialists will devote the first 20 minutes of each hour-long session to a specific topic, then address questions submitted by TTC Tuesday registrants. Recordings of the 20-minute presentations are posted below. FAQs for the whole series can be found here.
- Session 1: Telehealth Basics - recording and FAQ
- Session 2: Telehealth Billing - recording and FAQ
- Session 3: Telehealth Tools - recording and FAQ
- Session 4: Children and Adolescents - recording and FAQ
- Session 5: Telehealth Troubleshooting - recording and FAQ
This fact sheet is a summary of the information shared in the SMI Advisor Webinar titled Telepsychiatry in the Era of COVID-19. The fact sheet covers the telepsych regulation changes that are currently in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, and covers equipment, platforms, and license information that may be helpful to mental health clinicians during this time.
This presentation provides a brief overview of best practices and strategies for telesupervision: clinical supervision provided via video or phone. Participants learn how to shift the frame of supervision and lay a clear foundation for expectations. Presenters address best practices for communicating through tele-modalities to ensure that supervisors can recreate nuanced communication practices akin to in-person approaches. This session explores ethical and legal considerations across a range of topics, from informed consent to managing crises that arise in supervisees’ clinical encounters. The context of the current global pandemic is woven in throughout the training.
The purpose of this four-webinar series is to disseminate information and discuss applications of person-centered tools available to help engage and activate individuals with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders in person-centered treatment and services.
- Part 1: Landscape of Digital Peer Support Services Across the Globe
- Part 2: Implementation of Digital Peer Support in Your Organization
- Part 3: How to Co-Design Digital Peer Support Programs for Your Organization
A public health crisis can cause distress for all involved, including providers of behavioral health services. Attending to your personal well-being during this time is just as important as supporting the individuals you serve. Providers are encouraged to be aware of the toll that working with others in distress can have on their own mental well-being.
We are all experiencing a great deal of personal and professional change in the current environment. One of our many transitions is the shift to remote work and digital platforms. As our field quickly moves teaching and learning activities online, we offer this resource for designing and delivering effective and engaging digital learning.Developed by the Pacific Southwest MHTTC, this resource is structured as a workbook for facilitators. It includes tips, examples, and reflective questions for those who are leading online professional development and other group learning events. This guide provides technical and interactive strategies and approaches to virtual learning to support the mental and school mental health workforce.
In response to requests, we also recently provided two study sessions for us to explore the guide’s content together. Each session covered different sections of the guide.
As peer support specialists seek to quickly and effectively offer digital peer support across the United States, it is important that they — and their organizations — know the practical aspects of using digital peer support to deliver support services. Hosted by the Central East MHTTC, this presentation covers topics including the latest scientific developments on digital peer support and presents guidelines and emerging best practices to support service users through remote and telehealth technologies.
Other Telehealth Resources From Reputable Organizations:
Center for Connected Health Policy, National Telehealth Policy Resource Center
- COVID-19 Related State Actions
- Telehealth Coverage Policies in The Time of COVID-19
- Coronavirus and Telehealth: The New Federal Law and Policy Hurdles That Remain
National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights
Telehealth for Mental Health
American Psychiatric Association and The American Telemedicine Association
Best Practices in Video-Conferencing-Based Telemental Health
California School-Based Health Alliance
School Telehealth Webinar Series | May 14, 19, 21, 27
Center of Excellence for Protected Health Information (CoE-PHI)
Telehealth and Privacy: Federal Guidance for SUD and Mental Health Treatment Providers
Webinar May 20 at 11am PT / 2pm ET - Understanding SAMHSA and OCR Guidance for Telehealth SUD & MH Services, and Update on the CARES Act
Center for Practice Innovations at Columbia Psychiatric, New York State Psychiatric Institute
Telehealth Tips: Managing Suicidal Clients During the COVID-19 Pandemic
National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
Strengthening Faith Community Connectedness During the COVID-19 Pandemic
National Telebehavioral Health Institute
Bibliography Telemental Health
Northeast Telehealth Resource Center
Telehealth Resource Webliography for COVID-19 Pandemic
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Using Telehealth to Identify and Manage Health And Substance Use Disorder Conditions in Rural Areas
- Virtual Learning Collaborative: March 30-June 21(Biweekly video conferences are scheduled Thursdays at 12-1pm ET): Getting Started With Telemental Health for SMI- Virtual Learning Collaborative
- Pre-recorded Webinar: Telepsychiatry in the Era of COVID-19
- Pre-recorded Webinar: Using Telepsychiatry for Serious Mental Illness: An Introduction
- For patients: How to Prepare for a Video Appointment with Your Mental Health Clinician
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Treating Suicidal Patients During COVID-19: Best Practices and Telehealth
Zero Suicide Institute
Telehealth and Suicide Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS)
Peers Supporting Recovery From Mental Health Conditions
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicare Learning Network
Great Plains Telehealth Resource and Assistance Center
Telehealth Start-Up and Resource Guide Version 1.1
National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers
COVID-19 Telehealth Toolkit
National Council for Behavioral Health
Resources and Tools for Addressing Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Rural Health Information Hub
Rural Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders Toolkit
COVID-19: Policy Announcements
American Society of Addiction Medicine
COVID-19 Supporting Access to Telehealth
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Medicare Telemedicine Healthcare Provider Fact Sheet
***Institute for Innovation and Implementation, University of Maryland School of Social Work
COVID-19 Telehealth Medicaid Expansions: A State-by-State Guide (roll-over map; updated daily)
Office for Civil Rights, Department of Health and Human Services
Notification of Enforcement Discretion on Telehealth Remote Communications
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Telemedicine and Prescribing Buprenorphine for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder
U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration
Use of Telemedicine While Providing Medication-Assisted Treatment
National Resources for Telehealth Information
SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline is standing by 24/7 to support you during the pandemic & beyond. Toll-free, multilingual, & confidential support services are available to all residents in the U.S. & its territories. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained counselor.