Nov 17, 2020 6:07 PM

High Plains Mental health moves to telehealth in light of COVID

Posted Nov 17, 2020 6:07 PM

High Plains Mental Health Center

Effective Wednesday, High Plains Mental Health Center will transition most service delivery to a convenient telehealth model that allows most clients to receive care from the comfort and safety of their homes.

The 20 northwest Kansas counties served by High Plains Mental Health Center have seen an unprecedented surge of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, and we are committed to doing everything possible to ensure the health of our clients, communities and staff.

When possible, clients will receive therapy and medication services virtually via telephone or Zoom videoconferencing. We understand that, in some cases, in-person care is needed and our staff will make those arrangements on a case-by-case basis. Certain medication services will continue to be provided in-person at our Hays Main office, and services will continue at Schwaller Crisis Center and Westside Alternative School in Hays. Our 24/7 Crisis Hotline will always be available at 1-800-432-0333 and emergency screenings will continue in our communities as usual. When possible, staff will be working remotely from home but will remain dedicated to our high standards of professional and compassionate care.

In recent weeks, High Plains has unfortunately seen an increase in positive COVID-19 cases and additional quarantines due to potential exposure. Additionally, in some northwest Kansas counties, contact tracing responsibilities have been shifted to the state government due to overwhelmed county health departments. That sometimes creates lengthy wait times for contacts to be notified, making it difficult to take appropriate safety precautions to protect our clients and staff from potential exposure to the novel coronavirus. We also understand acute care hospitals in the region are experiencing capacity issues, adding to our level of concern for northwest Kansas.

At this time, we do not know how long these changes will continue, but it is likely telehealth will be our primary service delivery platform until at least early next year. Staff will continue to work in cooperation with our county health departments and local medical officials, and will closely monitor COVID-19 positivity rates and trends across northwest Kansas. We will resume regular services as soon as we feel it is reasonably safe to do so. Clients are encouraged to contact us at (785) 628-2871 if they have questions or concerns.

Patients and communities should rely on the excellent telehealth service delivery system we have developed to meet all needs. We plan to provide the same level of service through intensive work by our staff and we will seek feedback from clients for each service provided to ensure their needs are met. In summary, we need to protect our staff so they can remain healthy and continue to provide important mental health services to our clients and communities during this unprecedented local crisis. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we work together to keep our communities safe. As always, we will be “Here for You.”