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Mental health treatment in the midst of a pandemic

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Counseling Center
​The Review​/THE REVIEW
​Due to the rapidly evolving situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, many university services needed to make adjustments, and mental health providers are no different.​

BY
​Senior Reporter

Due to the rapidly evolving situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, many university services needed to make adjustments, and mental health providers are no different.

Beginning on March 13, the university’s Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) cancelled all face-to-face meetings with students until further notice. In a statement released on March 23, CCSD encouraged students to continue calling the office for emergency help, but noted that they had technical difficulties with the phone lines.

Prior to the pandemic, many students would be referred off-campus if their counseling requirements fell beyond the scope of the services offered by the CCSD. As a result, many members of the university community receive services from psychologists and psychiatrists in the Newark area.

One popular source for mental health treatment for university students is Thriveworks Newark, located just off campus. Debra Thompson, the owner and clinical director, discussed her experience providing telehealth to students.

“We have converted 95% of our sessions to online telehealth services,” Thompson said. “We have been able to continue providing care for UD students and have picked up quite a few additional students since this crisis began.”

Because many students are being sent home across state lines, some are concerned that those out-of-state students would no longer be able to access mental health treatment. This is due to issues with insurance policies and state regulations.

“A lot of university students we treat are on university insurance, which has allowed us to conduct teletherapy across state lines,” Thompson added. “We’ve also heard from lots of other insurance companies that they’re relaxing their policies specifically due to COVID-19 to make things easier for everyone. We’re able to still provide medication and other treatment as well.”

Please call 302-831-2141 (or the UD Helpline after hours, 302-831-1001) if you are in need of emergency help or consultation, or text “UDTEXT” to 741741 for text support. For off-campus providers such as Thriveworks, please visit the CCSD’s Community Provider Database found on their website.

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