Coping with COVID-19

Coping During COVID-19

TeleMental Health Services

In response to COVID-19, Mental Health Service (MHS) will be utilizing TeleMental Health (TMH) therapy sessions. TMH therapy sessions will be brief 30-minute sessions to discuss current concerns, coping strategies to address those concerns, and when appropriate connect students with other local resources to address their needs.

Below are answers to some of the questions that you may have about TeleMental Health Services.

TeleMental Health is the delivery of behavioral health services using interactive technologies (audio, video, or other electronic communications) between a provider and student who are not in the same physical location. To connect with your provider, you need only a computer or smartphone and access to WiFi. Your TeleMental Health appointment will be scheduled for 30 minutes and the focus will be to check-in about safety and healthy coping.

Installing Microsoft Teams:

We will be using the HIPAA-compliant platform Microsoft Teams to deliver audio/ video tele-health support. This platform is free on Windows, macOS, iPhone, and Android.

Download Microsoft Teams for your device.

Log on to Microsoft Teams using your MyLSU username and password

View an interactive demo on Microsoft Teams.

To make a TeleMental Health appointment, please call 225-578-8774

Signing in for your appointment:

  1. Once logged into Microsoft Teams, visit the Patient Portal.
  2. Log on using your MyLSU username and password.
  3. Under Upcoming Appointments, there will be an option to “check-in.” Read and digitally sign any required forms.
  4. Once you check-in, your provider will be notified you are ready for your session.

Tips for using TeleMental Health technology:

  • It is important to be in a quiet, private space that is free from distraction (including cell phones and other devices) during the session.
  • Use a secure internet connection rather than public/free WiFi.
  • Be on time. If you need to cancel or change your tele-appointment, please call 225-578-8774 in advance.
  • Prepare for a back-up plan to restart the session or reschedule in the event of technical problems.
  • You can designate a phone number where you may be reached.

TeleMental Health services facilitate convenient access to treatment when emergency conditions limit availability of standard service delivery. Students can schedule a virtual appointment with their provider while abiding by current national recommendations for “social distancing” during the COVID-19 outbreak. We hope that this option assists students in balancing their physical and mental health needs.

TeleMental Health requires use of online video-conferencing technology which introduces confidentiality issues that are different from in-person sessions. Services offered through digital video-conferencing are protected to the greatest extent possible within the limits of digital and physical environments. That is, both provider and student should take responsibility to use secure internet connections and choose spaces that are private. It is also possible that relying on technology for service delivery may result in disruptions due to technical difficulties and thus a back-up plan should be discussed. TeleMental Health services are not suitable for students in crisis who are directed to the emergency resources listed in a section below for immediate evaluation.

MHS offers TeleMental Health services using Microsoft Teams, a HIPPA-compliant video-conferencing platform. The interactive technologies used for TeleMental Health incorporate network and software security protocols to protect the confidentiality of student health information transmitted electronically.

Students who are in the current care of the MHS psychiatrist may make requests for refills by calling 225-578-8774.

If you are presently in crisis, the following resources are available:

  • ThePhone offers phone, text and chat options for 24/7 mental health support and crisis assessment.
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit to chat via message.
  • Our Lady of the Lake COPE Team can assess immediate safety and determine if higher level of care, including psychiatric hospitalization, may be needed.
  • Call authorities (9-1-1) regarding immediate safety risks.

As a safety precaution, students participating in TeleMental Health will be asked to identify an emergency contact in close proximity to their physical location.

Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists

Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners

Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners

The Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) Board of Examiners issued the following statement on 3/14/2020 regarding the temporarily lifted restrictions for practice of teletherapy:

"Louisiana LPC Board Teletherapy Regulations Rescinded Effective Immediately

In accordance with the Public Health Emergency Powers Act, La. R.S. 29:760, et seq., the

Governor of the State of Louisiana has emergency powers to deal with public health. In

response to this announcement, the LPC Board called an emergency meeting and rescinded

the teletherapy regulation to prepare for public health needs. As we all continue to monitor

the situation very closely, the board will continue to work to best serve the needs of the

public. Furthermore, the emails and additional concerns board staff received over the last few

days will be reviewed and discussed at the next board meeting, Friday, March 20th, 2020.

Additional information will be released after the meeting. Thank you for your service and

commitment to the citizens of Louisiana."

Recommendations for Managing Distress

Recent and ongoing reports about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), travel restrictions, concerns for our own health as well as the health of loved ones may contribute to increased mental and emotional health distress. Please reach out to Mental Health Service (MHS) and other campus resources if you (or another student you know) are experiencing any of the following.

  • Excessive worry, fear, and/or feelings of being “stressed” or overwhelmed.
  • Persistent sadness, tearfulness, and/or dread about the future.
  • Unexplained physical symptoms, such as upset stomach, increased heart rate, nausea, fatigue, etc.
  • Increased anger, irritability, agitation and/or disruptive behaviors.
  • Inability to concentrate or focus.
  • Significant changes in sleep, appetite and/or self-care.
  • Social Isolation or withdrawal.
  • Fear or avoidance of public spaces.
  • Thoughts about death, dying and/or suicide
  • Impulsive, reckless or risky behaviors (Substance abuse, self-injury, etc.)

Mutual Trust, Respect, Civility, and Dignity

MHS is aware that fear and anxiety can lead to mistrust, bias, prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping and micro-aggressions, which we are committed to proactively combating. In an effort to maintain and promote mutual trust, respect, civility, and dignity in our community, please consider practicing the following.

  • Be mindful of your behaviors, thoughts, beliefs, and/or biases about international students, faculty and staff.
  • Avoid making generalizations about students, faculty or staff who may be sick, protecting themselves from getting sick, and/or from abroad.
  • Practice and seek good healthcare if you believe you are sick.
  • Wash you hands!
  • Listen and attend to each other with empathy, kindness and compassion.

Information adapted from Fordham University