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COVID-19 Resources

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COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is a global pandemic that has shut down much of society, including many schools. The stress associated with this virus may understandably increase worry and anxiety in our students, staff, families, and communities. At the National Center for School Mental Health, we want to support you as you protect your health and the health of those around you. To that end, we have accumulated resources and tips for you to use and share with others in your networks. We will continue to update these resources as we learn more.

General Resources

School Support

Mental Health & Stress Management

Students & Families

Technology to Support School Mental Health

School closures, along with policies and guidance on physical/social distancing, have required a shift in school mental health practices globally. Technology offers many tools and strategies to support these changing conditions and to promote the well-being of our students. The NCSMH is working to support the evolving landscape of school mental health in the context of COVID-19, including how to leverage technology. Below are resources to assist you and your team in preparing for leveraging technology to support school mental health with your students, families, and colleagues.

Policies

 

The resources below can be used to support a multi-tiered system of supports through technology; the resources are organized by tiers.

Mental Health Promotion (Tier 1)

Health and Wellness

  • EVERFI’S online health and wellness resources are designed to teach students to make healthy choices in a safe environment.

Social Emotional Learning

Early Intervention and Treatment (Tiers 2 & 3)

General Telehealth Guidance

Training

  • Telepsychology Best Practices 101 Series”: The APA is currently offering this training series free of charge. This series contains 2-hr webinars that introduce the learner to the ins and outs of tele-psychology.
  • Key Developments in Medicare Telehealth Options During COVID-19”: The National Association of Social Workers is conducting a webinar, scheduled for March 23rd 1-2pm EST, that will provide an update on guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on enhanced telehealth (including teletherapy) options for Medicare beneficiaries during the current COVID-19 public health emergency. The webinar will provide: a detailed overview of CMS’ guidance, implications for licensed clinical social work practice, implications for commercial insurer telehealth reimbursement, suggested resources on telehealth and teletherapy. Register here.
  • A Practical Guide to Providing Telepsychology with Minimal Risk”: This 3-hour seminar from the National Register of Health Service Providers provides expert guidance on practice, regulation, and risk management of telehealth.
  • "Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19": SAMHSA compiled this document with MHTTC resources, including the recorded webinar "Substance Use Disorder Services in the Days of a Pandemic: You Need A Bigger Boat!", and the upcoming webinars "Changing the Conversation about Mental Health to Support Students During a Pandemic" and "Changing the Conversation About Mental Health - How do we Come Back to the New Normal?"

Telehealth Platforms

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. As such, covered health care providers may use popular applications that allow for video chats, including Apple Facetime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts Video, or Skype. This notification is effective immediately. In the announcement, OCR provides a list of some vendors that represent that they provide HIPAA-compliant video communication platforms and that they will enter into a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA).

Other options to consider:

Public-facing video communication applications should not be used in the provision of telehealth by covered healthcare providers. This includes Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitch, TikTok, and other similar applications.

 

Internet & Cellular Data

Some home internet and cellular service providers are improving their data plans, temporarily providing free internet, or temporarily waiving fees so more people can access quality internet without disruption at this time. Learn what your provider(s) are doing: