How Rehab and Mental Health facilities can operate during the national pandemic.
As the coronavirus continues to cause widespread panic, anxiety, stress, and depression, there is a growing cause for concern on the impact it will have on the health and wellbeing of American citizens. It is projected that substance abuse and mental illness will be at an all-time high. It goes without saying that essential businesses like addiction rehab and mental health facilities will be instrumental in helping to treat this influx of individuals.
Though these essential organizations will be open to assist those in need, extra precautions need to be taken in order to keep their staff, patients, and communities safe. Here are some ways rehab and mental health facilities can operate during the national pandemic:
Post Emergency or Hotline Information
It is highly recommended that you add emergency and hotline information for those in need on your company websites and social media pages. These should be emails and phone numbers that people can call to seek help. Advise anyone who believes they’re struggling with addiction or mental illness to call before coming into the facility.
Setup Phone or Video Consultation/Intake Processes
For individuals who want to seek treatment, start with a phone or video consultation and intake process to reduce in-house traffic. During consultations, discern whether the patient would be best served with inpatient or outpatient care.
Use Virtual Platforms for Therapy
Both mental health professionals and dual diagnosis treatment centers would be wise to utilize virtual platforms for therapy as often as possible. Having virtual individual and group therapy sessions using video conferencing software and chatrooms is highly advised. This helps to reduce contact between patients and staff while also providing those enrolled in outpatient treatment programs to get the help they need from home.
Educate and Equip Staff
Protect your in-house medical and support staff at all costs. This is best done by educating them on safety measures and equipping them with the right supplies they need. Hold regular meetings to provide relevant updates on the coronavirus outbreak, instruct staff on how to practice social distancing and how to safely put on and use protective gear such as masks and gloves.
Rehab and mental illness facilities should have their premises regularly sanitized throughout the day to prevent the buildup of germs and bacteria. You should also make sure that bathrooms and common areas are fully stocked with soap, hand sanitizer, or sanitizing wipes for added protection.
Screen Incoming Patients
To protect your staff and the current patients at your rehab facilities, incoming patients should be screened, and if possible, tested for COVID-19 before allowing them to enter the general population. Should you suspect that someone does have the virus, separate rooms where they can be safely quarantined should be utilized.
Keep an Eye on Existing Patients and Staff
Daily checks should also be done on existing patients and staff. If at any time, someone displays any symptoms of illness, they should be asked to go home or quarantined within the facilities to prevent the virus from spreading.
Provide Digital Resources to Your Target Audience
The panic centered around the coronavirus right now will deter some people who may need your services from coming in for help. There are also lots of people with undiagnosed addictions and mental illnesses who may be looking for sources to aid them during this difficult time. Rehab centers and mental health facilities can help ease fears and reduce symptoms of these audiences by providing digital resources online.
Post helpful articles to your blog, use infographics on social media, or create videos teaching online followers topics like signs of addiction, symptoms of mental illness, stress-reducing techniques, sober living advice, avoiding triggers, etc. With all the fake news and inaccurate information being reported today, it is imperative for reputable organizations to counteract with fact-based content.
The world is a very scary place right now and it has without a doubt created panic and fear in the minds of many. As people struggle to survive during these difficult times there are sure to be many that fall victim to substance abuse and/or suffer from mental illness. Addiction treatment centers and mental health facilities can do their part now to help others by following the advice provided above.