Is Online Counseling Right For You?
In an Emergency
◦ Your safety comes first!
◦ If you are considering suicide or if you or any other person may be in danger – don’t use this site.
◦ Call now 1-800-273-TALK (24-hour suicide hotline), call 911, or go to your nearest hospital.
◦ To reach a qualified counselor in the event of suspected child abuse you may contact the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child.
◦ “I am ethically bound to recommend any client that I deem inappropriate for distance counseling to face-to-face counseling.”
◦ Certain symptoms warrant face-to-face counseling. Examples of these are: posing a threat to harm yourself or others, having unstable medical or mental health conditions especially those that can quickly worsen (epilepsy, bipolar symptoms, schizophrenia, etc.), if you are being abused, if you require emergency care, and if you have no access to technology.
The main service provided through MENTALRENEWAL is videoconferencing. Thus, you must have a computer/device with internet access and a web cam – Ask yourself the following:
◦ Do you have a location to receive online counseling in a setting that allows for confidentiality?
◦ Are you comfortable with using video conferencing, telephone, or email as a means of communicating?
◦ Online technology (such as video conferencing, text, scheduling, and billing) which are HIPAA compliant and encrypted to the federal standard are used to protect your information. For you, this requires: setting up an account online and completing online forms. Downloading software is not required but your computer will need Adobe flash player, a web cam and high speed internet connection.
◦ Are you comfortable with trying to use online types of technology knowing that every attempt has been made to protect your privacy but no guarantee can be offered?
◦ It is recommended to use a hard line (phone plugged directly into the wall) in your home or office to eliminate potential problems with privacy, confidentiality, and/or interruptions.
◦ You will be sent registration forms via a counseling website that will require you to create a new password, sign off on agreement forms, and fill out a registration form. This is something that you can be walked through if needed, however, is this something you are comfortable with?
◦ There is the potential for technology breakdowns and interruptions. Are you willing to use the telephone for the remainder of the session in the event that this happens? Do you believe that the use of technology will cause you more distress than it will help you?
◦ If using counseling via the telephone: Are you willing to have an initial session in-person or via video conferencing, in order to verify your identity?
Insurance, Scheduling, and Intake:
◦ Payment is due at the time of the service and done online. Are you willing to pay the cost of the session at the time of service through an online process?
◦ Typically, insurance will not cover telemental health counseling (videoconferencing, telephone). However, as more insurance companies cover such services, a superbill/receipt is available after your session and can be printed through your online account and filed for out-of-network insurance reimbursement. All MENTALRENEWAL services are out-of-network at this time.
◦ Prior to the initial session you will be given information to set-up your client account as well as do brief assessments online. The preparation done prior to the initial session and the intake information gathered during the first session is vital to learn about you, your history, your needs, and care plan options for you.
◦ Scheduling is done online. Are you willing to personally book/change your appointments online?
◦ With all types of counseling services an emergency contact is required. Are you willing to provide one relative or friend that can serve as a private contact and helper in the event that you are in an emergency?