Hannah Page, one of our Psychological Therapists for our Veterans Mental Health Complex Treatment Service, spoke to us about her experience moving to online consultations.
They were a face to face service before, but had already started to pilot OneConsultation, our online consultations system so it was set up quickly. For those who didn’t want to work with us online or without access to the internet we offered regular texts or calls depending on their risk.
For most people it makes treatment more accessible. Some clients have injuries that make travelling tricky or some have anxiety and so going to new places is hard.
Another benefit, explains Hannah, is that “we can do some more clinically interesting things like using own environment to support the therapy. We often practice skills in the therapy room then they will try them at home but now they can use day to day things around them.”
We asked Hannah if anyone had especially benefited from working online.
“A client who stands out for me is one who had their first telephone assessment at the start of lockdown. They have mobility problems and don’t drive so getting to sessions would have been a barrier to treatment. They also don’t sleep well so getting up for sessions would have been hard.
“This client had complex trauma and we followed a treatment plan, doing everything online. They were discharged this year and are symptom free after 20 years of PTSD, so it’s massive that we were able to achieve that without seeing each other in person.”
From the extra time not travelling, the service also set up one-off workshops for veterans based on different topics such as ‘difficult dates and anniversaries’. “We’d wanted to do these for a long time but hadn’t figured out the logistics but using OneConsultation we were able to deliver these as an add on to treatment” said Hannah.