Ohio University

Telehealth

OHIO Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) is providing Telehealth services to currently enrolled OHIO students. Telehealth services may include either face-to-face video conferencing or audio phone therapy.  This service is available to students who are screened as being appropriate for mental health services through Telehealth.  

Getting Started 

If you are new to counseling OR currently not receiving services at CPS, please call our office to schedule a Telehealth Initial appointment at 740-593-1616. 

If you have a counselor, you may directly contact your counselor via email to schedule or call our office to schedule a Telehealth appointment. 

Additional information on CPS’s Telehealth services, including structure and limitations of counseling sessions, scope of eligibility and more:

Your First Telehealth Appointment

Consent, Rights and Responsibilities

Confidentiality and Privacy

Emergencies/Crisis

Technology Requirements and Risks/Benefit of Technology

 

Your First Telehealth Appointment 

  1. After you call and schedule an initial appointment, you will be instructed to complete Intake Questionnaire and Consent forms PRIOR to your initial Telehealth appointment. You will be contacted via your OHIO email account with directions how to complete these forms.  

  2. After your initial appointment, you and your counselor will determine whether the follow up appointments will be audio only (phone) or video (Microsoft Teams).   

  3. Your counselor will verify your identity and your location  

  4. If you choose to have follow-up appointments on video format: 

Tips for Successful Telehealth Appointments 

  • Choose a confidential location and ensure no one else is present. Do not have a counseling session in a public location.  

  • If utilizing Teams for video session, have an environment with good lighting where your counselor can see you well. Nonverbal signals are a significant part of someone’s communication and will help you and your counselor have better communication  

  • Ensure your environment is distraction-free and have a plan should you encounter distractions (e.g. a phone call, a pet, someone interrupts or walks in)  

  • Be sure you’ve identified a back-up method for your appointment in the event your technology has problems.   

Student Counseling Services Agreement for Telehealth 

Consent, Rights and Responsibilities   

  • To receive Telehealth services at Ohio University’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS), you must be physically located in Ohio. Telehealth services may not be provided to anyone across the Ohio border or in international jurisdictions.  

  • If you are not an adult, permission from your parent or legal guardian (and their contact information) is needed for you to participate in Telehealth.  

  • Students must meet the usual eligibility criteria for receiving counseling services which includes:  

    • Any Ohio University undergraduate or graduate student who is currently enrolled in classes is eligible for services.  

    • Undergraduate students are covered under the Guaranteed tuition plan for the current semester.  

    • Graduate students are covered under the WellBeing plan for the current semester. 

  • Telehealth should not be viewed as a substitute for face-to-face counseling or medication by a physician. It is an alternative form of counseling with some differences from traditional counseling. 

  • Your CPS provider will determine if Telehealth services are appropriate.  

    • Not all mental health concerns are clinically appropriate for TELEHEALTH services.  

      • If you are having a crisis, acute psychosis, or suicidal or homicidal thoughts, Telehealth might not be appropriate for your needs. 

    • Your provider will regularly reassess the appropriateness of delivering services through technology.  

    • Your provider may recommend the provision of in-person services for specific concerns. 

    • If a need for direct, in-person services arises, your provider will refer you to a local mental health provider. It is your responsibility to contact providers in your area. 

  • Requests for services from students outside of Ohio are limited to phone consultation at this time.  

    • Phone consultation will focus on some immediate support and assistance with finding resources that are local to student’s area. 

  •  It is your responsibility to maintain privacy on your end of communication.  

    • Any family member or other individual that you would like to have present during the virtual visit must have a prior approval from your provider and may require additional consents.   

    • All individuals present for the virtual visit must be within view of the camera so the provider is aware of who is participating. 

  • You may decline Telehealth services at any time without jeopardizing your access to future care, services, and benefits. 

  • You shall not record Telehealth counseling sessions. Your CPS counselor does not record your sessions unless there is a written agreement between you and your counselor for supervision purposes only.  You or CPS shall not disseminate any personally identifiable images or information from the Telehealth counseling interactions to other entities without a written consent agreement between you and your counselor. 

    • CPS uses HIPAA compliant Microsoft Teams application that does not allow recording of sessions. If your Teams meeting has a record option, please notify the counselor immediately. 

Missed Appointments/Cancellations 

  • Telehealth counseling appointments occur at the times agreed upon between you and your provider. If you miss your scheduled appointment, you must contact your provider or the CPS main office at 740-593-1616 in order to reschedule. 

Confidentiality and Privacy  

  • CPS utilizes multiple measures to ensure client’s confidentiality and privacy from the counselor’s side of the session.  CPS discusses measures that the student should take to ensure confidentiality and privacy from their end.  Examples include: 

    • Conduct the sessions in a private location where others cannot hear you. 

    • Using secure video conferencing technology. The CPS uses Microsoft 365 TEAMS, a HIPAA compliant application. 

    • Do not record any sessions on Teams. The CPS HIPAA compliant TEAMS application does not allow recording of sessions. If your TEAMS meeting has a record option, please notify the counselor immediately. 

    • Password protect your computer, tablet, phone, and any other device with a password that is unique.   

    • Always log out of your sessions. 

    • Do not have any software remember your password. Sign in every time. 

    • Do not share your passwords with anyone. 

    • Do not share your computer when you are logged on to any counseling software. 

    • If you wish to avoid others knowing that you are receiving counseling services, clear your browser’s cache (browsing history), and on your phone, list your therapist by a name rather that as “counselor or therapist”. 

    • Have all of your devices set to time out requiring you to sign back in after a set idle time. 

    • Keep your computer updated. 

    • Use a firewall and antivirus program. 

    • Notify your counselor if you suspect any breach in your security. 

  • Limits to confidentiality include:  

    • if such disclosure is necessary to protect the client or someone else from imminent danger; 

    • in cases of apparent ongoing child abuse or abuse of a person unable to care for themselves; 

    • in those rare instances when courts subpoena counseling records. 

Emergencies/Crisis 

  • Your counselor will need to know the location/address in which you will consistently be during counseling sessions and will need to know if this location changes. 

  • Your CPS provider and you will develop a plan that you will follow in the event of an emergency that includes at least one emergency contact, your local crisis hotline telephone number, and your local emergency mental health telephone number. Your provider will have access to these numbers, as well.  

  • Emergency Contact Plan includes: 

    • Emergency contact name, phone number, and address 

    • Client’s phone number and current address, including county 

    • Contact information for local law enforcement 

    • Contact information for mental health crisis service providers operating in client’s county of residence 

  • When you are in an emergency or experiencing a crisis, you should not try to contact your provider via Telehealth. Your provider may not check their messages outside the scheduled appointments.   

  • In an Emergency, immediately call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-784-2433 or utilize the emergency plan you and your provider developed.  

  • During after-hours you may also call CPS afterhours emergency number (740-593-1616) and press 1 to speak with a counselor. You may also seek help from a local hospital or local suicide hotlines. Visit our Suicide Prevention page for more information.

Technology Requirements and Risks/Benefits of Technology  

  • Your CPS provider will determine if your technological capacity (private space, proper equipment and sufficient internet access) and competence are appropriate for Telehealth services.  

  • All technology utilized by your CPS provider is compliant with Ohio Administrative Codes that apply to providers’ licenses, with the exception of email used for scheduling.  

  • CPS utilizes Microsoft 365 TEAMS, a HIPAA compliant technology.   

  • All communications between the client and the counselor occur within the secure patient portal, with the exception of email for scheduling purposes 

  • You must have a device that can access the internet, and to maintain the highest level of confidentiality, it is important that you are in a private space with a secured internet connection (i.e. not a public or shared connection).  

  • Preferred mode of technology for clients is using desktop/laptop/Tablet for video conferencing 

  • Telehealth services allow for greater convenience in service delivery.  

  • However, there are risks in transmitting information over the internet that include, but not limited to:   

    • The possibility, despite reasonable efforts on the part of the provider, that: the transmission of your personal information could be disrupted or distorted by technical failures;  

    • the transmission of your personal information could be interrupted by unauthorized persons;  

    • and/or the electronic storage of your personal information could be accessed by unauthorized persons.  

  • Other limitations include reduced quality of service due to the use of technology. 

  • Video communication may lack some visual or audio cues that on occasion may result in misunderstanding. Should this ever happen, it is important to assume that your counselor has positive regard for you, and to check out your assumptions with your counselor. This will reduce any unnecessary feelings of discomfort. 

  • Your CPS provider will discuss the possibility of technology failure and the procedure in the event services are disrupted, anticipated response time to electronic communication, alternative service deliveries, and electronic communication between scheduled appointments and after normal working hours.  

  • Backup Plan in Case of Technology Failure  

    • The most reliable backup is a phone. Therefore, it is recommended that you always have a phone available, and that you provide your counselor with your phone number.  

    • If you get disconnected from a video conferencing session, re-start the session. If you are unable to reconnect within ten minutes, please call your counselor. 

Download a copy of [CPS Counseling Services Agreement for Services]

Download a copy of [Emergencies/Crisis]

Download a copy of [Technology Requirements and Risks/Benefits of Technology]