What We’re Doing About the COVID-19 Emergency
Welcome to virtual counseling
We have developed a 4 Level response protocol to the pandemic. You can view it here. With the recommendation for Social Distancing, our clinicians have been learning to help their clients via virtual mediums. Most of us are aware of Facetime for personal use, Discord for gaming and Zoom or Skype for business uses. There are apps made just for counseling. Doxy and Zoom are HIPAA compliant and can even support group counseling.
YFS preference is to use HIPAA compliant apps but the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and Oklahoma Department of Substance Abuse have lifted the HIPAA requirements. If the telephone, which is not considered HIPAA compliant, is the only way to provide service to a client, we can now do therapy over the phone.
Tuesday morning, with our adult clients who are Drug Court participants, we held our first AA/NA type recovery group. It went very well and the clients were all able to share and process what’s going on in their lives and what they are doing to remain sober.
The majority of our clinicians are embedded in the school systems. (Every Enid Public School facility has at least one licensed or under supervision therapist). With the EPS school closure, those therapists are working with their clients through phones, smartphones, tablets, chromebooks and computers. Whatever the client is comfortable with, we will use.
Confidentiality is the right of the client and it is also theirs to decide what works for them. We have therapy being delivered in bedrooms, cars and even parks.
We’ve encouraged our clinicians to reach out to all the parents and guardians as well. Family therapy is definitely needed as we all work through these anxious times and learn to adjust.We are also seeing clients in our main office on Oxford. For safety, our protocol requires any one entering the building to run a thermometer across their foreheads to make sure no one has a fever. They are then required to either wash their hands or use the sanitizer available at the front reception area. We will continue to have our office open as long as we have clinicians and clients in the building on a regular basis. YFS is considered to be part of the Critical Infrastructure.
Our kiddos (and adults) in our residential programs are just like the rest of us – going a little stir crazy. We welcome any games / ideas for teenagers who are couped up. Message us on Facebook if you have ideas.