In just four days, all Outreach Counseling Centers successfully transitioned to 100% telehealth, allowing OCM therapists to provide mental health treatment ‘virtually’ during this pandemic – which is crucial for the hundreds who rely on these services.
“We are seeing many experiencing a feeling of increased mental or emotional strain brought on by the changes and the uncertainty of this pandemic. It can be an incredibly isolating time for people,” comments Brian Lux, Director of Clinical Services. “Enabling sessions to be done virtually was critical.”
New creative interventions have emerged as the new medium of teletherapy. Therapists are being introduced to family members who have become supportive voices and expand client’s coping options. Julia Guest, Bilingual Therapist at WYFS shares, “It seems like some clients are doing better during this lockdown. Yes, many of them miss their friends, but their symptoms for anxiety, depression, ADHD and others is not interfering with their life as often as before.”
Heather Anderson, Counseling Program Director at Wheaton Youth Outreach noted, “Some clients are excited to show me where they live, or to meet their children before the sessions, so this is giving us another way to connect to what is happening in our client’s lives. One of my elderly shut-in clients has learned how to use her cell phone and tablet to participate in sessions and shared how she is re-learning the accordion while sheltering-at-home.“
Achieving this success has only been possible because of the tireless commitment, flexibility, compassion, and service of the therapists and counseling team. We are blessed to have them as part of the Outreach family.