Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems’ (SVCHS) mental health and substance abuse therapists are now using telehealth technology to help people access counseling services.
In a community of limited access to health services, technology can be an amazing thing. In Southwest Virginia, transportation and medical symptoms themselves can keep people away from their health services. Through the use of audio visual connection or audio only, more patients of SVCHS are getting the help they need.
In addition to expanding services through telehealth in our primary care clinics, SVCHS received a grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) to hire a specific telehealth therapist. Richard Bare, Supervisee in Social Work, has been hired to provide telehealth counseling. Bare is an experienced therapist with over nine years in the field. This VHCF funded expansion of behavioral health services has made it possible for SVCHS to help more patients through the use of telehealth services. This is a good thing because COVID created havoc on people’s emotional health.
The COVID pandemic has led to increasing suicides, drug overdoses, and general mental health and substance abuse symptoms. There has also been a crisis in Virginia of difficulty accessing inpatient psychiatric services. People are hurting more and needing help. The patients of Southwest VA Community Health Services (SVCHS) are no exception.
Marcy Rosenbaum, LCSW, CSAC, and Behavioral Health and New Day Recovery Director says “Since the COVID pandemic began, SVCHS has seen increased numbers of referrals to their Behavioral Health and New Day Recovery services.” Referrals for Behavioral Health services come directly from SVCHS’s primary care providers. Ms. Rosenbaum says “We provide integrated care where PCPs and counselors work together to help people get well. This approach helps us provide a more comprehensive and holistic treatment experience.”
One good thing that came from the COVID pandemic is the necessity for telehealth services. Rosenbaum said “When people were told to stay away from each other, they needed therapy even more to help with issues such as isolation, anxiety, and grief from the loss of loved ones. COVID allowed for the decrease in regulations that limited telehealth services.” Now, SVCHS therapist see patients via telehealth on a regular basis. “Our patients at SVCHS’s clinics can now choose to see a therapist in person or through telehealth.” Either way, the therapist will always be in contact with the patient’s SVCHS medical provider to ensure integrated services.
If you would like to have a healthcare team that cares for your medical, emotional, optical, and dental health and offers a telehealth option, call SVCHS. You will start with a primary care provider who will help you access the rest of your integrated services.
Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems has locations in Saltville, Meadowview, Tazewell, and Bristol. For more information on SVCHS’ behavioral health care services, please call 276-496-4492.