HELPPRO ENCOURAGES INDIVIDUALS AND MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS TO USE TELEHEALTH SERVICES

LEXINGTON’S HELPPRO ENCOURAGES INDIVIDUALS AND MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS TO USE TELEHEALTH SERVICES DURING CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY

 

“Therapist Finder” Service Waives Listing Fee for Therapists

 to Help Meet Client Needs During the Crisis

 

HelpPRO®, an online therapist finder service based in Lexington, is encouraging individuals already in mental health treatment, and those newly in need, to use telehealth and online therapy support options available from many therapists and other mental health providers during the coronavirus emergency.

 

“HelpPRO has been connecting patients with therapists who offer online counseling sessions for several years now, but never has this service been as critical as it is today. Those already in counseling need an alternative to in-person visits in order to continue their treatment. And the coronavirus epidemic is likely to trigger a new wave of people requiring and seeking mental health support, whether that’s due to the loss of a loved one, fear of contagion, despair about our world today, or even cabin fever. Mental health providers must be available in greater numbers than ever before, and accessible via a variety of ‘virtual’ means,” said HelpPRO President William Blout, LICSW.

 

Many of the mental health professionals listed in HelpPRO’s therapist finder offer counseling services via phone, videoconference, email and text, as a replacement or supplement to traditional in-office appointments.

 

“It is tempting for people in need of therapy to resign themselves to making do, given the shelter-in-place directives in place in many states now. I encourage those people to reach out and find the support they need now, rather than suspending or foregoing treatment. As a therapist myself, I know that virtual sessions can be extremely effective. Videoconferencing in particular offers a useful face-to-face connection that many clients find comforting and effective,” said Blout.

 

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which enforces Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) regulations, has temporarily suspended the rules requiring healthcare providers to use HIPAA-compliant technologies when providing remote telehealth services. This means mental health providers can use non-HIPAA-compliant “secure” video platforms including Zoom and Skype to conduct videoconferencing sessions with patients.

 

To increase the number of therapists available to the public in this time of extreme stress, HelpPRO is waiving its normal $150 annual premium listing fee. Mental health professionals can register at www.HelpPRO.com/COVID19.aspx and use promotion code COVID19 (not case-sensitive) to receive the free service for 12 months.

 

HelpPRO is a “therapist finder” that provides patients with free access to a searchable database of social workers and other mental health professionals, countrywide. Through the HelpPRO.com website, individuals can connect with therapists for traditional, in-office counseling as well as telehealth and online options including phone, videoconference, email and text. The service is free for those seeking a mental health professional. Users can search for therapists based on many factors including location, specialties, payment options (e.g. health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare), accessibility/availability, languages spoken, and specific populations served, e.g. transgender or entertainment industry employees.

 

Providers pay a nominal annual fee to be registered, at a rate considerably lower than most other online therapist finders. Providers include clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, neuropsychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists, and substance abuse and addiction counselors.

 

HelpPRO partners with 25 organizations including the Autism Society, National Association of Social Workers, Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the MS Society, which regularly refer clients. HelpPRO is based in Lexington, Mass., and is the original online therapist finder, having been founded by William Blout in March 1995.

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