Dear Access Institute Community,
We hope you and your families are safe and well during this challenging and stressful time. Access Institute therapists and staff are on the front lines of the mental health response to the COVID-19 crisis and have worked intensively to adapt our program and services to a rapidly changing world.
Access Institute remains fully operational during this critical time and continues to provide vital mental health services and essential support to hundreds of adults, couples, children, families, and seniors.
We promptly implemented measures to provide remote treatment sessions. Our HIPPA-compliant online platform enables therapy, case management, and medication sessions to continue via video chat. All administrative meetings, classes, and supervision sessions are now held remotely.
Many of our clinic patients have been laid off from work and are fearful about the economic future for themselves and their families. We have assured them that their treatments will continue even if they are unable to pay the sliding scale fee. For patients with anxiety or PTSD who are facing frightening isolation, we are providing more intensive support, including extra sessions. Our case management program also is connecting people to additional telephone support and crisis services.
In response to SFUSD school closures, our In-school Mental Health Program has shifted from on-site therapy to more expansive support for families. Therapists are checking in with our families and children via telephone. Even in the best of times these families endure tremendous stress, so providing them with advice, support, and connection to resources is critical to maintaining their emotional stability.
Our Elder Mental Health Program at the Bayview Hunters Point Adult Day Health Center (ADHC) has shifted to providing tele-sessions as the ADHC is now closed. These vulnerable seniors are now confined to their homes. Staff from the ADHC will be conducing home visits and our therapists will be providing therapy over the phone. In addition, our therapists are providing telephone support to seniors who do not participate in our mental health program, but receive services at the ADHC and related programs. We want to minimize confusion and isolation for all seniors who are now confined to their homes.
As you can imagine, with all the fear and uncertainty, this is an especially difficult time for our patients who already struggle to find basic psychological stability. Maintaining a connection to their support here at Access Institute is vital and is our top priority.
We are more grateful than ever for your support. Getting through a crisis like this means coming together in solidarity, and how we care for each other in the next weeks and months will be the measure of who we are as a community. I’m confident in the strength and generosity of the Access Institute community. That strength will ensure that we continue to provide essential care for those who are most impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic.
In peace and unity,
Bart Magee, Ph.D.