Governor Ron DeSantis declared a public health emergency on Sunday, March 1, regarding coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). Amid the ongoing threat of the new coronavirus, Mayor Lenny Curry on Friday, March 13, 2020, signed a declaration of emergency for Duval County.
This developing COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone professionally and personally. I sincerely hope that you are all staying safe and taking care of yourselves and your loved ones. I also realize that the ongoing cancellations in and around our city, county and state are causing disruptions to our everyday lives and our communities. Many of us are having to coordinate care for our children, elderly parents, work and school despite many unanswered questions about the virus. The stress, uncertainty and barrage of updates can cause anxiety, but remember, this too shall pass.
After carefully considering all the data and recommendations for risk-reduction, I made the decision to offer services via teletherapy only until further notices. While this may not be the most preferred mode for counseling, it is readily available, therapeutically effective, and is a proactive way of doing our part to help flatten the COVID-19 curve.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals with preexisting mental health conditions continue their treatment during the pandemic and be aware of possibly worsening symptoms caused by increased stress and anxiety.
- Aetna announced it would waive copays for telemedicine visits, including for mental health, until June 4. The insurer is also looking into ways to expand digital mental well-being methods.
- Aetna Employee Assistance Program counseling sessions can be delivered via televideo or telephonically until June 4, 2020.
- The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said some of its plans, including Anthem, Florida Blue and Horizon, are making mental health available in their telehealth offerings.
- TRICARE covers the use of interactive audio/video technology services, and are subject to the same referral and authorization requirements and include, but are not limited to: clinical consultations, office visits and telemental health.
For existing clients and anyone seeking to begin counseling services, you are encouraged to take advantage of the virtual care option available at Beyond The Matter Counseling to limit the spreading of COVID-19. Teletherapy is covered by many insurance plans.
Access the most current information on COVID-19 and information from our local authorities at: