Cook Counseling Center moving to a tele-therapy model of care

From: Cook Counseling Center

In an effort to protect the health and safety of our undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and staff, as well as to provide mental health services to students, effective March 23, 2020, Cook Counseling Center will be moving to a tele-therapy model of care.

On March 20, Cook Counseling Center will contact all current clients who have scheduled appointments to confirm whether the student would like to keep that appointment. Clients must respond to that email within 48 hours to confirm their appointment times with their therapist. Appointments will be cancelled if the student does not respond by 12 noon on March 23, 2020. Any new clients, or clients who do not have a currently scheduled appointment, can call in to request a tele-therapy session as described below.

To access a telephone consultation, new clients should call 540-231-6557 and request to speak to the triage clinician. This clinician will ask for the student name, VT student number, email, phone number, and the nature of the request. Students in crisis will be referred to the Crisis Consultation Team (described below). The triage clinician will schedule a tele therapy appointment with a clinician. The triage clinician will email a copy of the informed consent to the student. The assigned clinician will call the student at the time of the appointment. The clinician will work with the student to identify coping resources, possible local referrals, and help the student resolve the current issues. At the time of the consultation, the clinician and client can determine whether another appointment is appropriate.

The Crisis Consultation team will be available to students who are experiencing a mental health emergency, have no respiratory symptoms, and can physically come into the McComas office for an in-person meeting. The Crisis Consultation team can also work with a student through phone or Zoom. Only walk-in crisis consultations will be face-to-face. All other therapy or consultations will be tele-therapy.

All other services to the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, the Maryland-Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute will transition to phone or tele-therapy sessions. Students can email these clinicians or call 540-231-6557 to set up a phone consultation time.

Psychiatric clinicians will contact the student if a phone consultation is needed rather than an in-person visit. The psychiatry nursing staff can also assist with refill requests.

The center is working to establish access to a secure and confidential platform for tele-therapy. This will take some time. Until there is an appropriate platform, all contact will be made by telephone.

Cook Counseling Center remains dedicated to meeting the needs of our students. We will be accomplishing this goal by delivering services using a different mode and clinicians will work with clients on current concerns. We understand this is a very stressful time. We want to be able to help all Virginia Tech enrolled students who need support, as well as protect the health and safety of all Hokies -- students and staff. The Cook Counseling Center website will be updated frequently to include more resources.