The Wright Institute Clinic Launches COVID-19 Support Line

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wright Institute Clinic has launched the COVID-19 support line. The support line is offering eight free counseling sessions via video conferencing or telephone for those affected most by the pandemic - healthcare providers, caregivers, parents, food services personnel, and more.

The line is staffed by Wright Institute Clinical staff as well as Wright Institute students currently completing practicum training. As some practicum sites have temporarily closed or limited their services, some students have had fewer opportunities to gain the hours of clinical experience that are required to pursue licensure after graduation. Working on the COVID-19 support line enables them to gain that experience while helping especially impacted and vulnerable populations. Student clinicians have already been assigned clients, and services have begun.

The launch of the COVID-19 support line has been a team effort within the Wright Institute community. Director of Clinical Services Deanna van Ligten, PsyD is providing consultations for each clinician. Counseling Psychology Full-Time Faculty Member Kristin Dempsey, EdD will provide group supervision, and Counseling Psychology student and Wright Institute Clinic Program Assistant Jane Shamaeva is overseeing client intake interviews.

The COVID-19 support line is launching alongside the Wright Institute Older Adult Counseling and Psychological Services (OCPS), which is offering individual and group therapy for older adults. "This is an opportunity to work with people who are living independently," says GIlbert Newman, PhD, Wright Institute Vice President for Academic Affairs. "It's a chance to engage our expertise with a deserving population."

Newman also sees the support line as a way to expand the Wright Institute clinic's telehealth services. "The pandemic has helped establish online and telephone services as legitimate and helpful to the general public," he says. While some services, such as clinical assessments, must be done in person, many other services can be provided online and over the phone.

The Wright Institute remains committed to providing the communities it serves with mental health support, and encourages all those who are struggling to seek help from within their own social networks and from professional resources.

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