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AVAPL has established a new Special Interest Group (SIG), the Telemental Health SIG.  Any psychologist who has an interest in the growing presence of Telemental Health in the VA is welcome to join. We have monthly calls to discuss new information and exchange ideas and best practices, and also have established a listserv where members can post questions and engage in discussion. In order to be added to the listserv, please send a request to either of the SIG co-chairs (ruth.varkovitzky@va.gov OR ann.smith2@va.gov).
 
The mission of the SIG, our monthly calls, and the listserv is to cultivate a community of telemental health practice and exchange of ideas. Such topics include, but are not limited to:

      Telemental Health program development:

  • Policies, directives, and national guidance

  •  VISN and facility-level implementation

  •  Developing TMH infrastructure and coordinating with FTCs and TCTs  

  •  Promoting VVC usage within mental health service lines

  •  Creating clinic-to-clinic partnerships with CBOCs

      Telemental Health practice:

  •  Clinical considerations when offering TMH

  •  Best practices for delivery of EBPs via TMH 

  • Considering the intersection between technology and diverse identities, using TMH to address healthcare disparities 

  •  Leveraging other components of connected care (Secure Messenger, clinical apps, etc.) to optimize usability

  •  Guidance and support for providers and trainees new to TMH

  •  Developing best practices to support retention of TMH psychologists

Chairs of the Telemental Health SIG
 
Ruth L. Varkovitzky, Ph.D., ABPP
Clinical Psychologist, VISN 20 Western Telemental Health Network (WTN)
ruth.varkovitzky@va.gov
 
Ann E. Smith, PhD
Clinical Psychologist, VISN 23 Telehealth HUB
ann.smith2@va.gov