Community West has been monitoring the rapidly changing conditions of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and implementing new procedures and protective measures in order to protect all of our community members. After much consideration and deliberation, Community West leadership has determined that all clinical programming will be provided virtually through telehealth software. By offering telehealth services, not only can our current clients remain in treatment, but we can also admit and support new clients—not just locally but throughout the state of California—in a safe way.
What are telehealth services?
Telehealth services are online video conferencing platforms that create a virtual mirror of onsite groups and individual sessions. Our clients can still see the faces and hear the voices of their peers and treatment team, in real time, creating an immersive therapeutic experience.
What are the benefits of Telehealth Services?
By using telehealth services, we can support clients and families during a difficult time while providing effective treatment for the issues that initially brought them to our program. Challenging life circumstances, such as these, can exacerbate mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and OCD. Furthermore, while social distancing is the best protective method against the Coronavirus, long periods of isolation can create additional impairment, mood fluctuations, depression and anxiety symptoms, and feelings of hopelessness and fatigue. By participating in online programming, we can address these issues as they arise, continue to move treatment goals forward, and keep our community grounded and connected.
Clients and families can also gain immediate access to our Trauma and Resiliency, OCD and Anxiety, and Foundations programs, including clients and families who previously were not able to participate at Community West due geographical restrictions. Our programs retain the same services and level of clinical expertise that they did prior to the threat of COVID-19. Mental health treatment is not something that should be delayed, especially during a time of crisis. Online offerings ensure that our clients need not suffer while they are waiting for onsite programming to return.
Are there any risks to participating in telehealth services?
Telehealth programming marks a distinct change in the way that clients and families traditionally participate in a therapeutic program. We understand any anxiety and/or concerns about virtual services and welcome both current and prospective clients and families to reach out to us to discuss these fears. Additionally, Community West will carefully assess any new clients to ensure that they are an appropriate fit for a virtual program, and will refer out, if we don’t feel we are the best option for care.
Here is some information about the way Community West will employ telehealth services:
- The period of online programming will be a temporary measure until at least April 30th and may be extended beyond, if necessary. Our goal is to return to onsite programming as soon as it safe for everyone and we will stay in close contact with our community to update everyone as things progress.
- During this period our physical office will be closed, with all staff working remotely during normal business hours. Please know that our virtual services will continue to meet the daily hourly programming required for both PHP (full-day) and IOP (half-day) levels of care.
- Telehealth services will be offered through our HIPAA compliant Zoom package. As a backup, we may need to utilize Facetime and Skype. The President has announced an emergency directive that allows health care providers to use these platforms under the threat of Coronavirus COVID-19 to ensure that services are delivered to those in need. (Get more information about the Department of Health and Human Services’ Notification of Enforcement Discretion for telehealth.)
- We ask that our families and clients continue to observe the confidentiality policies that they agree to upon admission. We require that our clients, families and staff observe the strictest confidentiality with regards to their health information and the health information of others when we have in-office programming. We insist that this agreement remain during this period of online programming and that there is no way for other household members to eavesdrop or even unintentionally view or hear programming. Any failure to adhere to our confidentiality policies may result an immediate discharge.
- All local clients will be transitioned back to in-office treatment as soon as possible.
Clients and families who are interested in Community West’s mental health programs, should reach out to our Admissions team, either by telephone: 310-990-0988 or by email: [email protected]. We are currently accepting statewide referrals for our telehealth programs, of clients living throughout California, who would not normally be able to attend our onsite programming due to geographic limitations, so that we can support as many clients and families as possible during this time of transition.
Our programs address a variety of primary mental health challenges for adolescents and young adults who are struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety, OCD, trauma, mood disorders, personality disorders, relational issues and family conflict, with each client receiving a minimum of one individual session for each day that they are in treatment, as well as daily groups, experiential activities and family therapy. Reach out today for more information. We’re here to help.