An essential service now connecting through telehealth
Uncertainty and anxiety are on the rise for all of us, especially those of us who live with substance use disorder or who have a loved one in recovery. Research has shown that rates of substance use and addiction increase during times of crisis, and so we cannot – and we will not – let down those in need of our help. That’s why De Paul has, and will, remain open for residential treatment through the entirety of the COVID-19 crisis.
Keeping our patients and staff safe is one way De Paul is working to reduce the trauma experienced by our community during this pandemic. Early in March, as news surrounding COVID began to spread worldwide, De Paul put together a response team and rapidly implemented a set of protective safety protocols. With reduction of harm in mind, De Paul’s staff have completely retooled how they connect and offer outpatient care, taking to the phones and utilizing zoom meetings to continue serving patients and their families. These telehealth services have allowed us to continue delivering highly personal and individually tailored therapy for each patient’s unique situation.
The process of providing outpatient services virtually and over the phone has reminded us about the power of basic recovery principles, even as we enlist the help of modern technology. De Paul’s clinicians and therapists have spent hundreds of hours getting back to basics, revisiting our patient’s recovery goals and reviewing what brought them to De Paul to seek support. Our team has worked together around the clock to develop new strategies to build trust and confidence in our telehealth programming. As a team, we have adapted quickly to share best practices, problem solved, and supported each other so that we can be there for patients and continue to provide the highest level of service possible.
Since March, we have seen a 25% increase in usage of our outpatient services, and the acuity of the cases we encounter has risen considerably. We are so grateful to be able to continue to serve our community and meet the growing need for Substance Use and Mental Health Treatment as we all navigate the new normal.
We also want to thank the many supporters who have stepped up to aid our efforts. We never expected our needs would so suddenly include personal protective equipment, laptops for remote work, and an abundance of high-powered cleaning supplies. Oregon really is a wonderful place to call home, and we are reminded of that every day by our generous community as we work together to help people find freedom from addiction.