It is with a heavy heart that I announce I’m moving to telehealth-only for my clients for the foreseeable future. This only affects clients working with me (Sarah Olson). The other therapists are working on a case by case basis regarding teletherapy. Each therapist works with a different client population and has multiple factors to consider.
Two factors have influenced this decision for me. One is that Kansas school closings have created challenges with having childcare for my children ages 4, 7, and 9. Grandparents have been helpful but the total of this childcare does not equal the 37.5 hours per week previously provided by public school attendance. The other factor is social distancing. I finalized this decision after a day of working in my office and then coming home to read this article about a therapist and coronavirus. I’m the only therapist in the office who can take Medicare and I want to be extra mindful of not spreading infection to that vulnerable population. I also want to prevent the possibility of bringing illness home with me. In truth, I strongly considered not making this move. Sitting one-on-one in a therapy office, it is possible to maintain close to 6 feet of social distance and I have had clients be very mindful of any illness symptoms and cancel if they feel sick. Surfaces are being wiped down more frequently. These factors fit in with KDHE’s current recommendations about social distancing.
So, what does this mean? I’m reaching out to current clients to work on shifting appointments to telehealth whenever possible and working on alternative arrangements when that is not possible. Once that is finalized, I’ll determine if I have openings for additional client appointments.
I’ve been trying to find any positive in the current situation. One aspect is that the huge reduction in personal activities and obligations means that I can set appointments at times I normally wouldn’t have been able. For example, not having evening school events or Saturday sports has opened up therapy spots outside the traditional work day. I look forward to being flexible in order to meet the needs of my clients.
The current situation has increased our anxiety as a culture in unprecedented ways. There are so many unknowns about health, education, employment, finances…the list goes on. Social distancing is stressful and isolating. Please know that I, and all the staff at Horizon Mental Health, will continue to serve the needs of our community in all the ways we can. If you are a current client and need to discuss your appointment, please call the office at 785-740-4647 and leave a message with your therapist. If you are a potential new client, please call the office or email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.