We Are Here for YOU…During COVID-19 and Beyond:
VPC is pleased to offer our services virtually with a secure and confidential Telehealth platform. Keeping client/patient safety in mind this is the ultimate social distancing approach to healthcare. We are committed to providing services to you (children, youth, adults, couples) and to help you to continue addressing your mental health needs and address any further concerns regarding this time of uncertainty.
What are Telehealth counselling services?
Telehealth services from VPC include most regular face-to-face services that are offered at VPC and offer a convenient way to connect patients with our clinical team through online video conferencing technology or telephone. It is important to note that this service is only for non-emergency related mental health issues, family and relationship issues, general wellbeing and self-care.
What is VPC’s experience with telehealth services?
VPC has been providing counselling and psychological services for over 10 years. VPC has strict telehealth policy, guidelines and patient consent for the ethical use of technology and client care. WE are committed to research-based patient safety and ethical protocols.
VPC takes your privacy very seriously. Here are answers to your most frequently asked questions regarding the privacy and security of virtual care as well as other things you may want to know about virtual care.
Are my health records secure with virtual care?
When using VPC’s telehealth, all data is encrypted. Our telepsychology system is a gold standard system for telepsychology which is under HIPAA compliance.
What can I use VPC’s Telehealth services for?
My regular counselling and psychological services: this can include individual sessions for adults, youth, parents and couples. For parents or couples, just ensure you are at the same location when starting the video conferencing call. For phone sessions we can use a 3-way conference calling which doesn’t require you to be at the same location.
VPC’s Telehealth services should not be used for:
It’s difficult to facilitate Play Therapy with children as a primary therapeutic medium. However, your child therapy clinician can still make sessions child-focused and interactive. The child therapist will likely give parents directives on how to prepare your child for their virtual video session.
Acute / emergency issues such as: Suicidal behaviour/Self-harming are not deemed suitable for telehealth service delivery.
Can I use VPC’s telehealth services when I am travelling?
Absolutely! You have access to VPC’s telephone or video call services wherever you have internet and even if you are travelling outside of BC as long as you are a permanent BC resident.
Can my child also access their mental health care sessions via Telehealth?
The short answer is Yes! Whether virtual sessions are appropriate for your child does depend on their age, how verbal they are, how motivated they are to receive counselling services and what the goals of the treatment are.
If in doubt, talk to your child about how comfortable they feel about beginning or continuing their care at VPC digitally, and feel free to reach out to their VPC clinician via email to discuss the goals of the treatment and the digital interventions that could be effective for your child.
In general, children and youth are more comfortable interacting digitally than we are. The feedback that we have received from our child and youth clients about virtual sessions has been overwhelmingly positive.
The youth we have spoken to have indicated that they are not impacted by the difference in eye contact available over camera, the occasional technology blips or restricted body language; in the way that adults may express concerns about the switch to Telehealth treatments.
How I can prepare for my Telehealth treatment session:
- Make sure technology is charged and functional at least 15-mins prior to my appointment- don’t forget to check your wifi connection!
- Ensure that I am in a quiet, secure location where I cannot be overheard or interrupted
- Have a secondary method of contact we could reach you at, such as an alternative phone number in case the video drops.
- Ensure you’ve signed and emailed all the telehealth consents forms prior to your session starting.
- Patience with some of the technical difficulties is required… sometimes using humour can help!
- Be sure to close email and any applications that give you notifications.
- Put your computer on a hard/stable surface so it doesn’t move around so your clinician can focus on you without movement.
- Feel free to have pen and paper for session note-taking.
- Your child’s therapist may also suggest that drawing, craft supplies fidgets or other therapeutic items are available to your child for their session.
How do I pay for telehealth services?
You can pay for Telehealth services by credit card. Our VPC admin team will assist.
Stay safe! Remember we are all in this together!