As the overall health and well-being of all of our clients and staff are our highest priorities, we want to address the evolving situation regarding Coronavirus / COVID-19, and to share our current plan for continuing to provide services in a way that feels best suited for each of you individually. It is vitally important that each of us do our part to help curb the spread of the virus and take the precautions required to do so. However, there is provision within the current Stay Home Order that has been issued for Springfield and Greene County to allow us to remain open and continue to provide services. Below are details about our efforts to provide continuity of care through this anxious time. It is our intention that we can provide our clients with the best possible support and that we all do our part to minimize the spread and impact of the virus and to return to providing services in the usual fashion as soon as possible.
At this time, we are still seeing clients for individual counseling sessions as well as hope to continue to conduct some of our intensive outpatient classes and group process sessions in person at our office. In addition, we are equipped to facilitate HIPAA-compliant online therapy services via telehealth for any clients who may feel more comfortable not coming into an office environment right now. A statement from our Executive Director regarding the precautions we have put in place for safety in the center and group guidelines for safe interaction in the classroom environment are attached to this email.
It is imperative that each client and staff member helps us keep our office a safe environment for all by contacting our office to reschedule in-person sessions via telehealth if they are experiencing any symptoms of illness, including fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath or have been recently exposed to someone with these symptoms. At this time, we are not charging cancellation fees for any appointments canceled due to illness or exposure to illness but please alert us of an absence as other clients may be able to see the therapist during that time.
As many of you already know, we are able to continue all individual counseling appointments via telehealth easily through either a computer or smartphone. If you would prefer to make use of this option, your counselor will send you a link to their personal waiting room where you will simply sign in. This system will not allow anyone other than the clinician from seeing who is or has signed in and does not log any information about you, the device on which you accessed the system, or your location. Our office staff can provide any explanation you might need as to how this system works and how to easily prepare your phone or computer for these kinds of sessions. Copays or self-pay payments can be made for these sessions by calling our office at (417) 351-4282 and paying by phone. There is a special telehealth informed consent form that can be emailed to you, though many of you have already completed it.
We are currently moving some of our classes and groups online to telehealth so that we can continue to support those that are unable or uncomfortable coming into the office. If you are interested in participating in our telehealth online classes and groups, please call us at the center so we can provide you with additional information. Posted is a group schedule that indicates which groups will not be meeting in person but will be offered online. We are already certain that tonight’s DBT Skills and Process Group will be online. Please check our Facebook page daily for the latest updates. Rest assured that all of the therapists and staff are eager to see and offer you support and that all of our classes and groups will be offered in one manner or another. We hope to see participation in our classes, and groups grow by making them as convenient for you as possible and to even be able to add additional topics and class times. An additional informed consent agreement regarding our telehealth online classes and groups will be emailed and must be returned for anyone that might participate in these groups.
We have contacted all of our in-network insurance partners and so far most have confirmed they will cover sessions conducted by telehealth. We are confident that others will make exceptions to cover this service so that their insured members are able to access the support they need. We can provide more information on specific policies and coverage by phone.
At this time, our SMART Recovery and SMART Friends & Family meetings have been suspended. We encourage all participants or those interested to go to the SMART Recovery website (https://smartrecovery.org) and explore the options for online meetings. Attached is some information on online Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings as well.
A great resource we are utilizing is the https://www.virusanxiety.com website, which provides information and encouragement for getting through this difficult time.
Please reach out and let us know if there is anything we can do for you: 417-351-4282.
Our medical team, executive and clinical directors are receiving all updated information and recommendations from state and federal health agencies, as well as recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), to ensure that we have the most up-to-date information to guide our policies and procedures.
It is important to know we DO NOT have any reports of confirmed exposures within our organization. Should there be an impact to our clients or families, Synergy Counseling Center will take the necessary actions to inform clients, families and employees as soon as possible.
This is what Synergy Counseling Center is doing:
Our staff has been instructed to remain at home if they have a fever, have symptoms of a respiratory infection, have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, the flu, or any communicable disease, or if they have recently traveled to a high risk area as identified by the CDC. Also, staff have been trained on transmission and recognition of this virus.
Information regarding flu protocol has been provided to all staff and patients as COVID-19 is believed to spread primarily the same way the flu spreads – through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs or sneezes. We are working to ensure our center is properly stocked with necessary supplies. Staff has received verbal and oral instructions on proper hand-washing techniques and respiratory etiquette (cough or sneeze into a tissue or arm and disinfect area with wipes and air sanitizer).
Synergy Counseling Center is wiping down “high touch” areas, such as doorknobs, phones, and handles. Synergy Counseling Center has a professional cleaning service using a special cleaning agent, Nex-All, to disinfect the air as well as all surface and touched areas. We are practicing social distancing with staff and clients.
We are not meeting in groups over 6 people. We are offering to all our clients the option of using a HIPAA compliant teleheath option for individual and couples counseling. We are no longer holding are SMART recovery meetings in our facility but are offering this online at the regularly scheduled time. All staff have been educated on practicing safe measures when off work and have made a commitment to not be in social settings, to practice proper hand-washing, to not be in contact with anyone who has any flu-like symptoms (body aches, fever, cough), or traveling outside our community.
Our medical and clinical staff continue to work together to ensure safety measures are in place and are well prepared to respond to any needs. We assure you that client and staff safety is our number one priority.