Psychological Services

Telehealth Policies and Procedures

COVID-19 RESPONSE

The Wellness Center’s Psychological Services have migrated to a virtual (telehealth) modality as of March 2020. We conduct all appointments via our secure virtual platform, Therapist Assisted online (TAO), and will continue to do so until it is determined that face-to-face sessions are safe and appropriate.

If you have never been seen by a provider in our center or if it has been more than 6 months since your last attended appointment, you will be asked to complete our new client paperwork and meet with a provider for an initial session. You may schedule this appointment any time by contacting us at (727) 873-4422. We will provide you with all the information you need to start this service quickly.

If you have been seen by a provider within the last 6 months, please contact our office to resume services. You may be asked to complete an additional documentation related to our telehealth service.

PLEASE NOTE: you must reside in Florida to obtain telehealth services, per professional licensing guidelines.

Whether or not you have been connected with our office, we would like to remind you about a number of resources you can use during this time:

  • A self-guided version of the TAO program is available for all students, including self-paced sessions and a library of guided meditations free for use. TAO is an interactive, web-based program that provides assistance to help improve mental health. Please use this educational and interactive content to support your mental wellbeing.
  • Our after-hours mental health consultation services for urgent needs continue to be available and can be reached anytime outside of normal operating hours at (727) 873-4422, option 2
  • The office of Student Outreach and Support (SOS) is available to available to provide support and connect you to resources in the community.
  • Distance Success and Wellness Coaching is available! Coaching is free to enrolled USF students. It’s short-term, action-oriented and helps you work toward any area of improvement: health, wellness, relationships, time management, etc. It is not counseling and does not involve a long-term commitment. Please go here to sign up!
  •  The Wellness Center is pleased to offer Relax-a-Bull, a drop-in workshop teaching stress management skills, now in an online format! Please Be Aware: While substantial efforts are made to protect privacy, confidentiality and HIPAA compliance cannot be guaranteed on the Microsoft Teams platform. To abide by state licensing regulations, it is recommended that only USF students currently located within the state of Florida attend. For security purposes the Teams meeting will be locked after 10 minutes into the workshop.

As always, please know we at the Wellness Center are here to serve you. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call. Please also see the Wellness Center Changes to Operations page.


TELEHEALTH PROCEDURES

Initiating Services, Documentation and Your First Appointment

All psychological services begin with an initial appointment. When you are ready to schedule, contact our office to provide your basic contact information and schedule your first appointment. You will then receive an email from us with a link to complete the New Client Forms and instructions for attending your first telehealth session.

We STRONGLY RECOMMEND saving the email we provide with the online portal URL, or simply bookmarking the site in your browser. This URL will be the same each time you need to complete paperwork (e.g., before any follow-up appointment).

Currently, we are not allowing students to complete paperwork in the office due to health and safety considerations. If you need accommodations for access, please contact us.

Here are some important notes about this process:

  • Your intake forms must be completed before your scheduled appointment. If you do not complete the paperwork beforehand, your appointment may be delayed, canceled or rescheduled. If you are not sure if your online paperwork has been completed in its entirety, please call our office at (727) 873-4422 to verify.
  • The New Client Forms will take 20-30 minutes to complete and must be done in one sitting. You will not be able to save your information once you have started.
  • Completing online paperwork does not constitute treatment, nor does it establish your care at the center or a relationship with a mental health provider. Your paperwork will not be viewed until you attend your scheduled appointment.
  • We will retain your new client paperwork for 72 business hours in the event you to not attend your first session. If your appointment is not rescheduled within that time, your paperwork will be deleted. Should you wish to reschedule after the 72-hour window, you will need to complete the forms again.
  • Once we have your forms, you will receive a second email from TAO asking you to register your TAO account. This step is essential in order to access your first appointment.

At the time of your first appointment, please follow these steps to connect:

  1. Visit the TAO log-in page and use your user name and password to log-in
  2. Navigate to Video Conference in the top menu bar
  3. Select your provider’s name
  4. You will automatically directed to your virtual meeting space

Individual Follow-up Appointments

Prior to attending any follow-up session with your provider, you will be asked to enter our online portal and complete the Returning Client Forms. Once you complete these forms, you will be asked to once again log-in to TAO to connect with your provider as you did previously.

Our model of care includes assignment of new clients to specific providers for all follow-up care. So, the provider you see for your first appointment may be different from the provider you will see for follow-up appointments. You will always be informed if you have a new provider prior to scheduling with that person. IF YOU HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED A DIFFERENT COUNSELOR, please be sure to select the new provider’s name when you access the telehealth platform.

Here are some important notes about this process:

  • Each time you complete the Returning Clients Forms, enter your first name, last name, and U number (digits only) as you did previously. This will help our providers identify your paperwork quickly.
  • We recommend completing these forms 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. As noted above, your paperwork will not be viewed until you attend that appointment. If your paperwork is not complete before your appointment, the start time of that session may be delayed. If you complete your paperwork more than 24 hours in advance of your appointment, you may be asked to complete it once again

PLEASE NOTE: You will be asked at the start of every virtual session whether you are in a safe, secure, and confidential space. If you are not or if your confidentiality is compromised, your telehealth session may be disconnected and rescheduled.

Group Counseling Appointments

For students engaging in group counseling services, the telehealth procedure will be similar to what is described above, with some minor differences