Telehealth has more recently become commonplace amid the challenges presented by COVID-19. While Telehealth is a more recent alternative to receiving treatment, it has been around pre-pandemic, though, many have just begun to learn and utilize the benefits that Telehealth offers. While the transition from face-to-face interactions has changed due to recent restrictions, many have adjusted their Peer Recovery Support Services (PRSS) to a Technology-Assisted Peer Support (TAPS). This transition has helped to maintain support in a timely and convenient way.
Many wonder how effective these programs are—if these interactions are too impersonal? However, the short answer is these programs are very beneficial. Still, because so many people are new to using such services, they might not know how to get the best possible experience. These are five ways to ensure you are getting the best treatment that Telehealth has to offer.
A Phone is a Primary Tool
Some worry that Telehealth is a completely unilateral communication meaning it is up to you to initiate, maintain, and follow-up with treatment. Telehealth is different. These programs help to synchronous and asynchronous support, which means that PRSS coaches use phone calls to perform regular check-ups and follow-ups with you. You may also communicate through chat, text, or video conferencing. This way, you can not only express how you are managing your recovery, but you will receive notifications of any beneficial opportunities to help your recovery, including; 12-Step meetings, group support, and therapy support.
These services will also accommodate wherever you’re at in your recovery journey and are referred to as “warm lines.” These lines help provide additional care for any concerns that you have. Since the outbreak, more staff has been available at centers to operate these lines, creating a 24/7 service where you can call for help. Additionally, there are also emergency lines so that you may get in contact with peer workers. Between having many support options and their assertive outreach system, you will never feel forgotten or less motivated to get help.
More than Just Zoom Meetings
Thankfully, the pandemic has happened in an age where there are many alternative ways to get help. While platforms such as Zoom, take a lot of the recognition, you are not limited to using these services only. If you prefer Google Hangouts, Skype, or Apple Facetime, this is perfectly okay—especially when it comes to one-on-one chatting. So long as the platform has sufficient security measures, you can use what makes you feel comfortable. Since many people are using these online outlets, these interfaces are also developing better security measures.
Some have expressed concern with transitioning to using online outlets to receive treatment. Among the most significant problems, were not correctly using the technology. Certain aspects, whether hearing or talking, were creating a distraction. However, the follow up is; many who have used these platforms one or two times have been able to correct these issues and focus on the meeting or appointment. These interfaces are relatively easy to learn. For additional guidance, there are many online tutorials to help you set up these programs so you will avoid any hiccups.
This new way of communicating has also seen many newcomers who otherwise might not have attended, since doing this from home is much easier than going somewhere, planning transportation and mileage cost. This is both true for individuals and families needing support during this time. Many individuals like the idea of immediately finding support based on the context of their needs because it is easier than searching for in-person meetings that may or may not exist in their community. If you are wondering if the right group for you exists—online, it does.
When you are going through recovery, it is essential to know who your support is and when they are available for you. You also want to know that you are protected in an online setting, which is why peer specialists have been adapting to and educating others about in-room guidelines. This includes; etiquette and confidentiality. These regulations are in line with those used in other Telehealth forums. These regulations also go beyond the Peer Specialist and patients and extend to all staff involved.
These measures are to create boundaries for patient-patient, patient-doctor, patient-staff, and doctor-staff relationships. This will also help you know when doctors and clinicians are available to you, providing you with their working hours. You may find a doctor or specialist that is available in the times where you think you will need them most. The idea is to provide the best treatment and protection as possible. It is an evolving process that will only continue to get better.
Finding Quality Services Through TAPS
You might be wondering how to find these services that offer the care that you need? Most PRSS programs are working on getting their information out there. Great places to search are by looking to see if your treatment center has any social media pages; Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. These social media feeds often have recurring threads posting links and advertisements for these programs. You may also visit their websites as there are links provided with the information and contacts you need to get started. When in doubt, call the treatment center.
The pandemic sparked uncertainty in the world. It created uncertainty about when things might return to normal, how we will socialize, work, and receive healthcare. We currently remain under much uncertainty as to when we might make a full return; however, Telehealth services provided through TAPS continue to grow and expand upon the already abundant benefits.
Here at True Recovery, we have been using and refining these services before the pandemic and will long after. True Recovery is a trusted and reputable source for pursuing treatment because we believe in putting the patient’s needs first. To get started on finding virtual quality care, call us today at (866) 399-6528.