Summit Counseling Center Adds Tele-Mental Health via VideoTherapy and Telephone to Meet the Mental Health Needs of Our Community During COVID-19 Outbreak

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HIPAA-Compliant Telephone or VideoTherapy to Provide Face-to-Face Remote Clinical Care.

"Summit Counseling Center is implementing innovative ways to continue providing the best care possible for our clients," David Smith, Executive Director

While our national and local communities work to contain and mitigate the coronavirus (COVID-19), The Summit is hard at work adapting their ways of doing daily business so that they can continue to serve clients through this difficult time. “We are continually monitoring the situation and taking extra precautions for the health and safety of our clients, their families and our staff while also implementing innovative ways to continue providing the best care possible for our clients,” says David Smith, Executive Director at Summit Counseling.

Serving Our Clients Remotely
“During this time of heightened precautions and anxiety surrounding close contact with others, we realize that in person counseling might not be an option for some of our current clients and others in need throughout the community,” says Smith. Over the past week, The Summit has fast-tracked technical resources and additional training so that each of their therapists will be available to provide Tele-Mental Health via HIPAA-Compliant Telephone or VideoTherapy. The VideoTherapy platform is accessible via the internet using desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone devices. This technology provides for face-to-face clinical care remotely, allowing both clients and clinicians to practice social distancing and uninterrupted therapy throughout this pandemic event.

Serving Our School-Based Clients
In addition to their 5 community locations, The Summit currently partners with Fulton and Dekalb County School Districts to provide school-based mental health services in 28 local schools. “We are seeing a rise in our students’ stress due to the academic and social disruptions and increased anxiety surrounding the current unknowns caused by COVID-19,” says Smith. During the current school closings, The Summit has adjusted schedules at their facilities, allowing each of the school-based therapists extended office hours at the satellite office location closest to their school(s). School-based clients will also have the option to receive Tele-Mental Health services.

Serving Younger Clients
The very nature of Play Therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach primarily used to help children ages 3 to 12 explore their lives and freely express repressed thoughts and emotions through play. Our Play Therapist are meeting together as a team and are currently part of nationwide online group that will be discussing best practice for play therapy as we move into the VideoTherapy world. They will be evaluating their clients, case-by-case to determine if the child is a good candidate for VideoTherapy or if Parent Coaching via VideoTherapy is a better fit.

DBT Skills Classes
At this time, our DBT Skills Classes will continue to meet in person. However, we are in the process of establishing a remote group alternative for those who must stay home. If you plan to or believe you may need to attend groups remotely, please contact our office at 678-893-5300 to opt into our VideoTherapy services.

Coping with COVID-19
The Summit is in the process of updating our website to include a page devoted to COVID-19. This page will be used to update our communication to our clients and the community and will also be a resource to help our community cope in this new world of COVID-19. Visit our website at SummitCounseling.org for more information.

About The Summit Counseling Center
Since 1990, The Summit Counseling Center has been a trusted community partner; bringing hope, healing, and restoration to children, teens, adults, couples, and families. Through their partnerships with local community organizations, The Summit serves North Atlanta at 33 locations, including 28 local public schools where there is a therapist onsite. To learn more about The Summit Counseling Center, their school counseling services, and how they support communities, visit http://www.summitcounseling.org

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Cathy Murphy
Summit Counseling Center - Atlanta
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