BY MERISSA REED firstname.lastname@example.org
Although the MSUM campus has shut down temporarily during this trying time, the Hendrix counseling services are still here to help.
Hendrix counselors, therapists and other staff members have moved to their home offices, but they are still able to be here for the students. The staff has begun setting up meetings with students via Zoom and phone calls. These meetings, like in-person meetings, are strictly confidential and helpful.
Jamie Skrove, case manager navigator and licensed social worker at Hendrix, said, “Our therapists continue to do counseling. I’m continuing to meet with students. We do those via phone call or Zoom, and we’re all operating with HIPAA compliance Zoom, so it’s a secure platform, so you know confidentiality is not placed at risk.”
The Hendrix staff is prepared for this new way of helping students. Angela Bellanger, director of the counseling program at Hendrix, said, “We went through some Zoom HIPAA training before we actually got everything up and rolling … We had to make sure all of our Zoom (sessions were) HIPAA-compliant with the state system.”
Hendrix is working to get contact information, insurance questions and need-to-know information up on social media platforms so students can have easier access.
“We do have Instagram and Twitter … I do have an intern as well so he is kind of working on developing that platform for us,” Bellanger said. “He is looking at our social media too and putting some information out there about how you can call, a link to our intake page, the services we can offer, and any other (stuff we put up). We are in the process of recreating our web page with marketing at MSUM as well.”
Hendrix has also been partnering with other organizations to make sure that students are getting all the help they need.
“We actually just partnered with the Dean of Students office and online learning, and we partnered with Learn to Live. It actually rolled out April 1, and all students got an email from my supervisor Kara Gravley-Stack, the Dean of Students. Students can utilize this. It is free of charge for students, and it is using online coaching … We think this is going to be a great resource for students as well,” Bellanger said.
The Hendrix staff has had to endure big changes like the students during these new transitions.
“I think the biggest change is going to be in how we connect with our students,” Skrove said. “You know, no longer having that in-office, face-to-face visit, and the way that we operate in protecting and securing confidentiality, just because we no longer have full control … But we continue to do everything we can, of course, to make sure it is secure on the students’ end and to make sure they’re informed of those risks.”
The staff members at Hendrix are hopeful moving forward.
“My hope is that this opens up more creative thinking and opportunities to look at the ways we serve students. I hope it builds a stronger bond. I hope it builds resilience. I hope it makes us more of a united family than we already were,” Skrove said.
Hendrix would like to hear your feedback and ideas on how they can improve their services for the needs of students during this time. You can email email@example.com with feedback.