Continuing education is included in mental health licensure requirements because keeping informed of best practices and learning new tools is helpful to supporting the community’s needs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, those needs are growing and will continue to increase even as stay-at-home orders are lifted. Social distancing has not only changed how licensed mental health practitioners are accessing continuing education offerings but also changing how they are serving individuals, families, and groups.
The Tulane University School of Social Work is committed to serving the licensing and educational needs of mental health professionals through its Porter-Cason Institute and Center for Life-Long Learning. To do that during social distancing practices, PCI and CLL brought existing workshop offerings online and developed a free telehealth-focussed series.
“Social workers, licensed professional counselors, and other mental health professionals provide essential services, and we want to support them through innovative virtual opportunities to connect and learn,” said Parker Robinson, MHA, LCSW-BACS, who serves as the director of both programs. “We’re known for providing many of the best continuing education opportunities for licensed social workers in Louisiana. We want to continue doing that as well as create a community that can keep in touch to share knowledge and support.”
On Fridays for the next several months, the School is offering a free CEU-accredited workshop series focused on telehealth. “TGIF: Telehealth Gains - Internet Friday” supports mental health professionals acclimate to the use of electronic communications to support long-distance clinical care.
Licensed professional counselors need at least nine continuing education hours specifically in telehealth. “While social work licensure is less specific in that area, we’re proud to reach across the mental health delivery system to provide helpful information and skills to everyone that needs it,” says Ms. Robinson.
The first TGIF session was held on April 17, and over 150 individuals attended online. “COVID-19 has impacted every one of us, and we seek to nurture the mental health of each other and all others,” said Ms. Robinson. “Each week, we’ll discuss the day-to-day changes, and the best approaches to our new but temporary lives.”
The TGIF series includes the following:
- April 24 - What are Your Telehealth Checklists? For Yourself, Your Agency, and Your Client” (1 clinical credit)
- May 1 - The First Meeting With Your Client - Preparation and Important Communications Before and During the Meeting (1 ethics credit)
- May 8 - Developing a Safety Plan With Your Client in Mind (1 clinical credit)
- May 15 - Risk Management Policies and Procedures (1 clinical credit)
- May 22 - Client Selection for Telemental Health Sessions (1 clinical credit)
- May 29 - Telehealth and Discussions Around Treating Children (1 clinical credit)
- June 5 - Telemental Health and Discussions Around Treating Couples and Families (1 clinical credit)
- June 12 - Telemental Health and Discussions Around Groups (1 clinical credit)
All sessions are at 12:00 pm Central Time and require pre-registration.
In addition to the TGIF series, more continuing education offerings are listed on the School’s website.
For more information, please contact Jessica St. Pierre at firstname.lastname@example.org.