transmitted or stored in the process of telemental health-based service delivery. Computer or smartphone hardware can have sudden failures or run out of power, or local power services can go out. Interruptions may disrupt services at important moments, and your provider may be unable to reach you quickly or using the most effective tools. Your provider may also be unable to help you in-person. There may be additional benefits and risks to telemental health services that arise from the lack of in-person contact or presence, the distance between you and your provider at the time of service, and the technological tools used to deliver services. Your provider will assess these potential benefits and risks, sometimes in collaboration with you, as your relationship progresses.
Assessing Telemental Health’s Fit For You
Although it is well validated by research, service delivery via telemental health is not a good fit for every person. Your provider will continuously assess if working via telemental health is appropriate for your case. If it is not appropriate, your provider will help you find in-person providers with whom to continue services. Please talk to your provider if you find the telemental health media so difficult to use that it distracts from the services being provided, if the medium causes trouble focusing on your services, or if there are any other reasons why the telemental health medium seems to be causing problems in receiving services. Raising your questions or concerns will not, by itself, result in termination of services. Bringing your concerns to your provider is often a part of the process. You also have a right to stop receiving services by telemental health at any time without prejudice. If your provider also provides services in-person and you are reasonably able to access the provider’s in-person services, you will not be prevented from accessing those services if you choose to stop using telemental health.
Your Telemental Health Environment
You will be responsible for creating a safe and confidential space during sessions. You should use a space that is free of other people. It should also be difficult or impossible for people outside the space to see or hear your interactions with your provider during the session. If you are unsure of how to do this, please ask your provider for assistance.
Our Communication Plan
At our first session, we will develop a plan for backup communications in case of technology failures and a plan for responding to emergencies and mental health crises. In addition to those plans, your provider has the following policies regarding communications: The best way to contact your provider between sessions remains the same as the standard informed consent. Please note that all textual messages you exchange with your provider, e.g. emails and text messages, will become a part of your health record. Your provider may coordinate care with one or more of your other providers. Your provider will use reasonable care to ensure that those communications are secure and that they safeguard your privacy.
Our Safefty and Emergency Plan
Please see standard informed consent and following those guidelines in case of an emergency.