COVID-19 Mental Health Issues and Telehealth Services

By Alan Brandis, Ph.D.

The great fears and the great changes that are society-wide now are sure to affect many of us in ways that we may not be able to anticipate. We cannot meet in groups or attend outside functions such as school, church or synagogue, clubs, sports, movies, concerts, and all of the things that make life in America so wonderful.

Divorced parents who live in separate houses can't see their own kids. Some kids are being sent to live with others because their parents are healthcare workers, who don't want to take the risk that they might infect their own children. This Emergency has placed tremendous stress on many people, including through economic uncertainty. Kids can't see their own friends, can't play organized sports or go to parties. Seniors will not have a prom or graduation ceremony with their friends and families!

And although (community) school is out, now that we are all homeschoolers parents are probably more aware than ever of their children's issues with attention and distractibility, learning and memory, motivation and persistence that affect their educational success and, ultimately, may limit their success in the adult world.

Telehealth (visits by video conference, with many assessment processes by email or text) can help begin the process of figuring out the underlying causes of a child's difficulties in school, and in other spheres of life such as difficulty getting along with family and peers, low self-esteem, low motivation, anxiety or avoidant behavior, not working up to their potential, etc.

Almost all insurance companies are paying for psychotherapy sessions by video conference, at least during the National Emergency caused by the Covid-19 virus! (We expect that many will continue to allow this once the Emergency is over, but we must wait and see.)

AAPA can set up all aspects of your service (except for certain tests) by secure video conference on your phone or computer:

  • Initial call to set up the case, make first appointment, have us send forms to complete, etc.
  • Verify insurance coverage and determine your out of pocket cost
  • Conduct visits with parents, child and/or both by secure video conference
  • Perform many assessments by mail or by online tests
  • Discuss results and recommendations by secure video conference
  • Report results to physician and/or school for medication, extra help or accommodations
  • Referral to other needed services, such as Occupational or Speech Therapy

Please call (770) 953-6401, and press 0 for the Intake Coordinator. We will take care of things from there!