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Community Health Education Highlights August September 2021

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Michigan hospital official delivers powerful remarks about patients who won’t get COVID vaccine

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Calling all Aunties and Jingle Dress Dancers

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Behavioral Health Frequent Questions

How do I access behavioral health services at this time?

The Sault Tribe Behavioral Health program has been operating with limited staffing in order to reduce contacts for the past several weeks due to the COVID-19 crisis.  With proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment, i.e., masks, gloves, etc.) and social distancing measures in place, we have been able to bring in more staff and operate our phones from 8am until 5pm.  To access services at this time, simply call the main Behavioral Health phone number, 906-635-6075.  Leaving a detailed voicemail may be necessary at times if you call after hours or if you call when our staff is presently serving other clients.  Please remember to clearly state your name and phone number on all voicemail messages so we are able to return your call.  Regarding children, it will be necessary for therapy work to continue by telephone or telehealth therapy only due to the challenges presented by social distancing.        

How have services changed during COVID-19?

There have been many changes to behavioral health services around the nation during this pandemic.  Most notable is the rapid transition to telephone contacts and/or telehealth therapy contacts in place of face-to-face sessions.  After you call for an over-the-phone screening, an orientation/intake packet will be sent to your home.  We will provide a stamped envelope for you to return the signed forms to our office. When we receive the forms, a therapist will contact you to initiate telephone and/or telehealth therapy services, also giving you a chance to ask questions so you are as comfortable as possible with the process. For urgent situations, please call our main phone (906-635-6075) and a clinician will conduct a phone triage to determine your needs and how best to resolve them.  If you are in crisis, please call Hiawatha Behavioral Health (1-800-839-9443) or report to the nearest hospital Emergency Department.

Tell me more about telephone sessions and telehealth therapy sessions.   

During the COVID-19 crisis, insurers have altered requirements so that telephone and telehealth therapy contacts are billable.  This is subject to change at any time. Telephone contacts are simply done over the phone, audio only.  Telehealth therapy consists of audio and visual components so clients will need access to a laptop with camera, desktop computer with camera, or smartphone for telehealth therapy services.  Either method of contact requires a short adjustment period on the part of clients, but we are finding that these methods can be effective. We are working to develop the proper protocols and PPE to conduct face-to-face contacts in the near future.  However, at this time we continue to encourage telephone and/or telehealth therapy services offered remotely.  This is a very safe option as clients are able to receive the service in the safety of their home.

What is the timeframe like to get into therapy services, telephone, telehealth, or otherwise?

Due to the anticipated surge in demand for behavioral health services, there may be a waiting period before therapy services can begin.  If you are interested in services, you are encouraged to complete a phone screening promptly to begin the process.

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