Mental health is an essential service, and throughout these uncertain times, Young Minds Psychology will continue to be available to support you and your family. However, the way we go about this is different depending on different levels.
As a health service provider, vaccination passes are not required. However, I am fully vaccinated as per the Ministry of Health guidelines.
At all levels, if you or someone in your household feels sick or unwell, please stay home.
Orange, Red, and Level 2
Telehealth and virtual appointments are the preferred option according to guidelines by the Ministry of Health and the NZ Psychology Board. In person sessions are possible, provided there are no respiratory symptoms, or contact with others who have been unwell, visits to any locations of interest, and a health & wellness check is included as part of your therapy reminder.
Social distancing of 2 metres will need to be observed. The therapy room is large enough to accommodate this, however this will impact close-range therapy such as play-based therapy for younger children.
Infection prevention control measures will include cleaning and disinfecting surfaces between sessions, and in order to reduce risk of possible transmission, toys and fidgets will be removed from the rooms.
You are welcome to bring along your own toys or fidgets, and a water bottle or keep cup.
As per the Ministry of Health guidelines, masks are mandatory for people over 12 years old.
Levels 3 & 4
At Levels 3 and 4, the Ministry of Health guidelines recommend that we stay home if possible. If you are happy to carry on with online sessions, we can continue our therapy virtually. Alternatively, we can postpone these until we are able to see each other in person.
Teletherapy & Telehealth
Teletherapy has been around for a long time - but it was COVID-19 that brought it to the forefront. Children and families still need supports, even if we all have to stay at home. At Young Minds Psychology, we try and make it as easy as possible for you: you click a link from your email, and it opens up in your browser. It's as easy as that - no apps, or downloads, and most importantly, it's secure.
A lot of parents are concerned about how their kids may engage, or how effective teletherapy is compared to in-person sessions. The reality is that in the digital age, our young people are very comfortable with talking virtually. For some children, it may simply mean shortening the sessions to maintain their attention. If you are not sure whether teletherapy is appropriate for your child, please check in, and we can discuss any concerns you may have together.
However, there are some things that can make teletherapy more successful:
Find a secure space that's quiet and able to be private. A bedroom, or any room away from noise where the door is able to be closed is good. Headphones can help with privacy and distractions.
Check your internet connection, and if it works well in that space.
Bring toys - for younger kids, or those who fidget a lot, have some toys on hand to play with and keep their hands busy (eg, fidgets, colouring pencils).
Log in to the virtual appointment ahead of time to make sure everything is working.