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In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Family Service Center of Galveston County is providing telemental health services as a means to continue serving children and families during this time of social distancing. Family Service Center therapists completed an extensive training in telemental health provided by the ZUR Institute to gain competence and foundational skills to conduct counseling services virtually. We recognize the heaviness of the current times brought on by COVID-19 and our therapists are looking forward to finding ways to support you and your family. Please contact either our Galveston or Texas City office to get connected to therapy services!
WHAT IS TELEMENTAL HEALTH?
Telehealth refers to clinical services provided with technology. Telemental health is an alternative to in-person, traditional therapy or counseling, where a therapist conducts sessions through digital means such as a computer or phone. This allows individuals and families to receive therapeutic services from the comfort of their own home.Telemental health is an excellent alternative to in-person counseling allowing individuals and families to obtain assessment and treatment for their mental health.
According to the American Telemedicine Association and research on telemental health, there is no evidence that any specific group presenting with a mental health concern will not benefit from – or will be harmed by – mental health services provided through video or phone sessions. Several large, high quality, research studies support the effectiveness of telemental health.
WHAT IS NEEDED FOR SUCCESSFUL TELEMENTAL HEALTH?
We want your experience using telemental health to feel as close to in-person therapy as possible. Here are some tips to help strengthen your experience:
Dependable internet connection (Recommended internet speed: Ping value of 50 ms or less, download speed of 10 Mbps or greater, upload speed of 5 Mbps or greater. To check your home for the strongest internet connection, utilize this link: https://www.speedtest.net/)
A smartphone or computer with a web camera
A quiet and private space to ensure privacy and confidentiality
IS TELEMENTAL HEALTH A GOOD FIT FOR YOU?
The most important factor when deciding whether to pursue telemental health is your comfort with technology. Your feelings and attitudes about technology will likely determine how comfortable you will be engaging in this type of therapy. If you have ever done a FaceTime, Skype or Zoom call, you will find telemental health very similar. Check out our Doxy page to learn more about our video therapy services.
CAN CHILDREN DO TELEMENTAL HEALTH?
Absolutely yes! However, it is important for parents to consider the following:
Focus: Will your child be able to remain engaged for a 30-50 minute therapy session either through video or the phone?
Your Availability: Is the parent able to be in the home with the child during sessions? Is the parent available for frequent check-ins and family work?
Child’s Comfortability: Does your child have difficulty talking on the phone or through video?
VIDEO THERAPY: WHAT IS DOXY?
If you are interested in video sessions, Family Service Center utilizes Doxy.me for video therapy appointments. Doxy is a HIPAA compliant telemental health platform which means our meetings will be secure and protected unlike using Skype or Facetime.
Doxy only works with Chrome, Firefox, or Safari so please be sure to join therapy appointments using these web browsers. Each therapist at Family Service Center has their own Doxy account with their own personalized wait room. On the day of your first appointment, your therapist will send you a link to their virtual therapy room either through email or text (whichever you prefer). After you click the link, it will take you to your therapist’s virtual waiting room where you will be prompted to type in your name so your therapist will be notified of your arrival. Here is a video to help walk you through the check-in process using Doxy.me.
If you have any additional questions regarding Doxy, please do not hesitate to reach out to your therapist. If you are interested in counseling services through Doxy, please call our office to set-up an intake. We look forward to meeting with you virtually!