In response to COVID-19, LSU Mental Health Service (MHS) will begin to utilize TeleMental Health (TMH) therapy sessions starting Monday, March 23. TMH therapy sessions will be brief 30 minute sessions as-needed to discuss current concerns, coping strategies to address those concerns, and when appropriate connect students with other local resources to help fit their needs.
Below are answers to some of the questions that you may have about TeleMental Health Services.
TeleMental Health is the delivery of behavioral health services using interactive technologies (audio, video, or other electronic communications) between a provider and student who are not in the same physical location. To connect with your provider, you need only a computer or smartphone and access to WiFi. Your TeleMental Health appointment will be scheduled for 30 minutes and the focus will be to check-in about safety and healthy coping.
Installing Microsoft Teams:
Starting Monday March 23, 2020 students will be able to use Microsoft Teams to connect wth LSU MHS. Microsoft Teams is available on desktop (Mac, Windows, Linux) and mobile (iOS, Android).
Signing in for your appointment:
- Visit the LSU Student Health Center Patient Portal, lsu.edu/shcportal
- Login with your MyLSU credentials
- Under Upcoming Appointments, there will be an option to “check in.” Read and digitally sign any required forms.
- Once you check-in, your provider will be notified you are ready for your session.
Tips for using TeleMental Health technology:
- It is important to be in a quiet, private space that is free from distraction (including cell phones and other devices) during the session.
- Use a secure internet connection rather than public/free WiFi.
- Be on time. If you need to cancel or change your tele-appointment, please contact LSU-MHS in advance.
- Prepare for a back-up plan to restart the session or reschedule in the event of technical problems.
- You can designate a phone number where you may be reached.
TeleMental Health services facilitate convenient access to treatment when emergency conditions limit availability of standard service delivery. Students can schedule a virtual appointment with their provider while abiding by current national recommendations for “social distancing” during the COVID-19 outbreak. We hope that this option assists students in balancing their physical and mental health needs.
TeleMental Health requires use of online video-conferencing technology which introduces confidentiality issues that are different from in-person sessions. Services offered through digital video-conferencing are protected to the greatest extent possible within the limits of digital and physical environments. That is, both provider and student should take responsibility to use secure internet connections and choose spaces that are private. It is also possible that relying on technology for service delivery may result in disruptions due to technical difficulties and thus a back-up plan should be discussed. TeleMental Health services are not suitable for students in crisis who are directed to the emergency resources listed in a section below for immediate evaluation.
LSU MHS offers TeleMental Health services using Microsoft Teams, a HIPPA-compliant video-conferencing platform. The interactive technologies used for TeleMental Health incorporate network and software security protocols to protect the confidentiality of student health information transmitted electronically.
Students who are in the current care of LSU MHS psychiatry may make requests for refills by calling 225-578-8774.
If you are presently in crisis, the following resources are available:
- ThePhone offers phone, text and chat options for 24/7 mental health support and crisis assessment.
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ to chat via message.
- Our Lady of the Lake COPE Team can assess immediate safety and determine if higher level of care, including psychiatric hospitalization, may be needed.
- Call authorities (9-1-1) regarding immediate safety risks.
As a safety precaution, students participating in TeleMental Health will be asked to identify an emergency contact in close proximity to their physical location.