Vermont Press Releases

Mental health professionals gather to gear up for telemental health

News Release — Lifemap Counseling
September 11, 2017

Media Contact:
Sarah White, Co-Director, Lifemap Counseling, LLC
[email protected]
(802) 622-0683

LifeMap Counseling and Coaching Services, LLC in Central Vermont is celebrating the passing of Act 64, signed by Governor Scott, June 7, 2017 with a workshop for mental health professionals at Capitol Plaza Hotel and Conference Center. The act expands the ability for mental health practitioners to see clients remotely, lifting the “location restriction” which previously required patients to be in the office for their appointment even if the provider attended remotely. Starting October 1st, 2017, Patients can attend a counseling session from home, on their lunch break at work, or from anywhere their smart phone has a signal.

On September 15, 2017, from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, in the Ethan Allen Room, LifeMap Counseling will facilitate an opportunity for all mental health providers in Vermont to engage in professional development related to telemental health. In order to help prepare mental health providers for a “digital office,” LifeMap created a training that draws from best practices already in place in other states and those that are suggested nationally.

Lifemap is pleased to have Senator Debbie Ingram (D. Chittenden) who sponsored the original bill (S.50) as our lunch guest.

Sarah White, M.S., LCMHC, LifeMap co-owner and co-clinical director, notes that: “Anytime a counselor engages in a new area of practice, training is recommended for competency’s sake. Telemental Health is a great opportunity for patients and providers but it has to be done correctly. There are many things to consider, such as patient privacy, HIPAA compliance and billing. This isn’t as simple as turning on your computer and hosting a session.” White, a licensed clinical mental health counselor in Vermont, is a member of the American Telemedicine Association.

Jim Pugliese, M.S., LCMHC, LifeMap co-owner and co-clinical director adds, “It’s an exciting advancement in mental health, particularly in Vermont’s rural setting – think snow days, mud days, or anything that might prevent someone from physically attending a session. Clients can, and should, ask their mental health provider about Telemental health and if they plan to use it.”

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