Reply To: Challenges of Care with COVID-19


Hello All!

As many of you have discussed, I found that the pandemic shifted a lot of the care we provide as mental health clinicians from being in-person to virtual. And as many of you have noted this works better for some clients and not so well for others in terms of their engagement or ability to make appointments. Even if some clients prefer it, I do think the quality of assessments is impacted when care is being provided virtually. Mental Status Exams rely on so many visual observations of motor activity, affect, eye contact, etc., and this can be much harder to assess in virtual/video session, and impossible to assess over the phone.

That said, the increase in acceptance of virtual care has really improved access to some specialist teams and physicians that for those of us that live and work in rural and remote areas of the province. For example, I now have an EPI role in Smithers, a small town in Northern BC, but the town is much to small to require a full EPI team. Instead, I am a satellite of the Prince George EPI team. I provide in-person supports and case management for local clients, and I can help them access psychiatry, cognitive remediation, and family therapy virtually through my colleagues in Prince George team. If COVID hadn’t made virtual services more common, I’m not sure it would have been thought possible to provide EPI services in this way.

I’m not familiar with the 2-Com either, but I do think that standardized assessments have a place in terms of providing a baseline to measure improvement or decline, and also as others have mentioned, as a starting off point for discussion.