UPDATE on Clinic Re-Opening for In-Person Appointments:
We recently received direction from our governing body, the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology (NSBEP), to remain seeing clients and providing services virtually by phone or video (a.k.a.Telehealth) for the duration of the pandemic.
We know some clients have been waiting for in-person sessions to resume treatment. Unfortunately, given the ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19 and social distancing recommendations, we are not able to offer everyone in-person sessions at this time. You may contact your psychologist if you would like to discuss your telehealth options. There are many factors that now need to be considered when treating clients and we are in ever changing times. If we are directed again to adjust these new measures we will again update you. The health of our clients, ourselves, and our families are very important to us, and we are following the directions of the Department of Health and Wellness, Public Health and the Government of Nova Scotia, the Chief Medical Officer, and our governing Board with this update and ongoing approaches to treating our clients.
In-person sessions may ONLY be provided if deemed necessary. In-person sessions would be considered necessary if:
- Treatment outcomes are not being met via telehealth.
- The type of treatment you are receiving is not conducive to telehealth sessions.
- There is a lack of secure internet connection where you live.
- There are concerns regarding your safety (e.g., self harm risks, etc).
All other sessions will continue to take place virtually through telehealth or via phone. We will continue to offer secure telehealth practices going forward.
If your treatment is considered necessary for in-person sessions, there will be a new protocol you will have to follow before each appointment and when entering our building / office space:
- 24 hours before every in-person appointment you will receive a questionnaire by email screening you for COVID-19 symptoms. If you have ANY of the symptoms on the screening questionnaire you will contact your psychologist or the office immediately and your session will be changed to one of our telehealth options (phone or video). The 24-hour cancellation policy is still in place, so you will not be able to cancel an appointment without financial penalty if there is less than 24 hours’ notice.
- When you arrive for your appointment, please only come into the building a couple of minutes before your appointment time. When you do, you will notice the doors to the Business Centre will remain open so you will not have to touch any doorknobs. When you come into the Business Centre area you will need to wash your hands with soap and water at the kitchenette off the waiting room or using the hand sanitizer provided. You will then take a seat in the waiting room (6 feet away from any other client waiting) until your psychologist comes out to say they are ready for you. Your psychologist will open their office door, prop it open, and you will be able to enter and take a seat on the couch or chair allowing for 6 feet distance. When you are done with your session the same will happen, the psychologist will open and prop the door open and they will move back and allow you to leave. You will then be asked to leave out of the second door attached to the business area, following the exit arrows.
- Any person who enters our Business Centre area will have their name and phone number taken and logged into a logbook. This information will ONLY be used by the Nova Scotia Health Authority to contact individuals in the event of a potential COVID-19 exposure. This includes parents dropping off their child for a session, or any other reason a client would be accompanied by someone. Although we will take all precautions to protect your information, we will be required to provide names and contact information if there is a risk COVID-19 exposure. This, of course, only applies to in-person sessions.
- We, your treating psychologists, will also be completing the online screening questions daily if there are any in-person sessions taking place. If we screen yes to the questionnaire your session will also automatically be changed to one of our telehealth options. These symptoms may not make us unable to perform our jobs but will take caution and continue to offer our services through telehealth to reduce risk of exposure to any clients and their families.
We know these are strange and difficult times, but we have been very happy to see so many clients still receive and even reach out for the first time through virtual or phone sessions. Good treatment can and has been taking place via telehealth and we will continue to provide the best services to you through the means we have before us. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and flexibility in navigating all of this!
Please reach out to your psychologist if you have any questions. Keep staying safe and taking care of one another, and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
The Crossroads Team