On July 30, 2020 several therapists from Birmingham Maple Clinic along with clinic owner and director, Lori Edelson met with Blake Goodman, Communications and Legislative Director for State Representative Mari Manoogian, Michigan House of Representatives District 12 via zoom to discuss the future of telehealth treatment in the State of Michigan.
Because of COVID-19 and the associated Stay Safe orders the therapists at Birmingham Maple Clinic moved to telehealth almost completely to provide uninterrupted care to the patients in our community. For the time being, legislators and insurers have supported telehealth by offering improvements to telehealth policy and reimbursement to providers so that patients can get important mental health care during this uncertain time without having to risk their personal health or safety.
Birmingham Maple Clinic therapists reached out to the elected officials in their home districts to further advocate for this method of treatment. It is unclear when insurers will expect people to resume face-to-face care but clinicians believe that the mental health toll of this devastating disease and associated lock downs will persist well into 2021 and maybe for many years to come. Further therapists are concerned without adequate support from insurers some experienced therapists will have to leave the field causing a “brain drain” of talented professionals from a mental health field that is already understaffed and widely needed.
If you are a client or clinician that believes telehealth therapy is an important modality for treatment consider contacting your own elected officials to communicate the importance of mental health care moving forward. If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma as a result of COVID-19 or other uncertainty that is present consider scheduling a telehealth or in-person appointment at Birmingham Maple Clinic.