These are some troubling times we find ourselves in, but I would like to take this opportunity to assure our clients that we’re keeping a very close eye on the pandemic as it unfolds and making sure to update our policies and procedures regularly in line with the most well-informed recommendations.
I have no wish to increase the level of panic out there, but I do feel it’s important to let you know what precautions we’re taking and why we think they are necessary. So I feel like now may be a good time to mention, that before I was a psychologist and the director of 12 Points Psychology, I worked in medical science and I happened to be working in the Immunology and Infectious Diseases department of a major hospital during the SARS outbreak all those years ago.
I tell you this now because I hope it goes some way to reassuring you that you’re in good hands with us, because 1) I am coming from a place of experience and 2) the policies and procedures we’re implementing here at 12 Points are based off guidelines that were part of the reason SARS all but disappeared from the community only 2 years after it first emerged. With a bit of luck and a decent amount of care, hopefully COVID-19 will go the same way!
Given my former experience in immunology and my current experience as a mental health professional, I don’t believe that now is the best time to be restricing access to mental health care and I do believe that with some basic precautions, we can continue to operate safely for now. That is why we are going to continue to offer face-to-face sessions at 12 Points Psychology while implementing the the following changes:
- you will now receive an email reminder in addition to your text reminder prior to your appointments. These messages will serve to explain the measures we’re taking to keep you, our staff and our clinicians well and healthy. We will update them regularly with any new information that we feel may be relevant to your care, so please read over them prior to each appointment. (If we don’t have an email address for you on file, consider adding it to your updated information sheet next time you’re in or email it to us with a request to have it recorded in your client file: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- if you are unwell, or have recently returned from overseas, PLEASE STAY HOME.
I cannot stress this enough. If you present to the rooms with any flu-like symptoms, you will be asked to leave (and we really don’t want to have to enforce that, but for everyone’s comfort and safety we certainly will).
- if you are needing to self-isolate, or would just prefer to do telehealth sessions, please speak to admin via phone (0451 044 015) or email (email@example.com) and we can arrange either a phone session or an online session via a secure (yet surprisingly simple to access) healthcare platform.
- we will be providing hand sanitiser and reminders about hand-washing in each of the rooms and posting information on our Facebook page regularly. Please use the sanitiser and please familiarise yourself with the proper handwashing technique (see Dr John Campbell’s video here for a great example). It is not an exaggeration to say learning how to do this properly literally saves lives.
- we are removing all of the kid’s toys and high traffic items (like magazines) in the waiting rooms effective immediately. It’s just too hard to keep them sanitised. Sadly, this will include the mentos too, so keep that in mind if you enjoy a sugary snack after an appointment and think about bringing your own for now! 🙂
- we will be doing full wipe downs with an alcohol-based disinfectant at least twice a day on all the high traffic surfaces, like the desks, door handles, light switches etc
- unfortunately we will not be offering tea or coffee to clients on arrival for the time being either (again, it’s just too hard to keep things sanitised). We will have disposable cups available if anyone needs a glass of water, but otherwise, considering bringing your own drink along to your session (keeping hydrated is another simple yet incredibly effective way to reduce your chance of getting sick).
We hope by following these current procedures and staying on top of developments as they arise, we will not only be keeping ourselves and our clients safe and healthy, but we will also be contributing to the flattening of the curve (reducing the rate of spread in the community to keep the strain off our medical system).
So if you don’t already follow us on Facebook – now’s the time as that’s where we’ll be posting the most regular updates, and in the meantime, just follow Dr Jersey’s advice.*
*warning, Dr Jersey is not a medical doctor, despite the stethescope.
Take care of yourselves!
Clinical Psychologist & Director
12 Points Psychology