The expansion of access to telemedicine in the state under Gov. Charlie Baker’s emergency regulations to slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 has highlighted its role in delivering timely and safe health care to patients when a face-to-face appointment is not needed and possible.
River Valley Counseling Center, part of Valley Health Systems that includes Holyoke Medical Center, is among the many behavioral health providers that has been able to add telehealth appointments with its therapists at this time as a result.
Alexa Mignano, director of the counseling center’s school-based clinical services and a licensed mental health counselor at the master’s degree level, was asked about the impact.
What kind of response have you had to initiating therapy/counseling remotely with established clients?
About 50% of clients responded immediately to continuing their services through telehealth, and with each passing week, we are getting more and more clients on board. There are a number of factors that might contribute to clients accessing telehealth, so we are steadily working through those issues and removing barriers.
Have you had many calls for new intakes wanting remote counseling?