When conducting treatment via Telehealth, there are several plans that can be put into place to increase client and provider safety during and following the sessions. Prior to even meeting with the client, the provider can prepare for potential emergencies or crisis situations in case they could arise. While many policies are established for in-person sessions, it is important to understand how they relate to Telehealth sessions. Here are some helpful steps that can be taken to prepare for safe Telehealth sessions:

  • How does the agency define an “emergency” or “crisis situation”?
  • Who is responsible for responding to an emergency or crisis?
  • Does the provider or agency have partnerships or collaborations with local providers to assist in emergencies or crisis situations?
  • How will the agency assess appropriate resources for emergencies?

  • EAP services available to fire service professionals
  • Behavioral health professionals that are integrated into the fire service
  • Peer support teams associated with the local fire service
  • Community or mobile crisis units that can be contacted in case of emergency
  • National resources including the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (can call/text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org)

  • Are there any physical, emotional, or intellectual disabilities that may impact Telehealth delivery?
  • Does the client experience difficulties with auditory processing (e.g., deaf or hard of hearing)?
  • Does the client experience difficulties with visual processing (e.g., visual impairment, blindness)?
  • Does the client have limited English proficiency (LEP) and require the use of an interpreter and/or translation of written materials?
  • Does the client have written literacy?
  • Does the client have access to appropriate technology or have adequate technology literacy?

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