Skip to main content

COVID-19 Status Update for 05/07/2021

Marin County COVID-19 Status Update for May 7 includes a plan to vaccinate 12-15 year-olds once state and federal authorization is received; an upcoming forum to discuss adolescent vaccinations; updated local COVID-19 data… Read More

Joint Statement from Marin Behavioral Health Providers

Content

Overview

Internet and phone services have been the primary ways to ensure continuity of care during the COVID-19 pandemic for providers of behavioral health services throughout Marin County. In this joint statement, representatives from five major Marin health care providers explain how the public health emergency has affected service delivery. Throughout Marin, health organizations saw similar patterns with the need for increased telehealth services and higher demands for services.

Delivering Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

  • All Marin-based Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) services remained open throughout the Shelter in Place Order, though through some service modifications. Marin County BHRS services shifted to telehealth and phone to ensure continuity of care while maintaining the health and safety of clients and staff in mid- to late-March. 
  • Marin Community Clinics moved to telehealth (telephonic and video visits) for all BH services (Psychotherapy, medication mgmt., recovery services/MAT, and complex care/case management services. We have recently hired additional clinical staff to respond to increased demand for services and are opening additional positions.
  • At the onset of the pandemic, MarinHealth’s primary focus was to continue to provide safe access to behavioral healthcare in the inpatient, hospital-based outpatient, ECT, and crisis services. MarinHealth’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) transitioned to telehealth as of 3/23/20 and remains 100% virtual. 
  • Kaiser addressed emerging needs for by rapidly adapting all behavioral health services to a virtual telehealth platform increasing the percentage of video visits in 2 months from 21% (April 12) to 70% (May 31).
  • Coastal Health Alliance shifted to virtual behavioral health appointments, offering video and phone visits. They have seen a 20% increase in services during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Sutter Health continued to expand telepsychiatry services systemwide—including 24/7 access for patients at Sutter’s Novato Community Hospital. 
  • Marin City Health and Wellness Center has maintained access to needed Behavioral Health and Medication-Assisted therapy services without interruption throughout the crisis. Nearly all services have been provided via telephone and video visits to preserve the safety of members of our community and staff. 

Meeting the Increase in Demand for Behavioral Health Services

  • Marin BHRS expanded expanded video telehealth capabilities to all BHRS programs.  BHRS also added Disaster Service Workers across essential services to meet the increase need and allow for rotation of staff during these critical times.  
  • Marin Community Clinics moved to telehealth (telephonic and video visits) for all BH services (Psychotherapy, medication mgmt., recovery services/MAT, and complex care/case management services. We have recently hired additional clinical staff to respond to increased demand for services and are opening additional positions.
  • MarinHealth has a deep commitment to support the behavioral health needs of all in Marin County. To support increased demand, MarinHealth added personnel to support remote staff access and patient care for acute inpatient treatment. MarinHealth is committed to collaborating with community partners to increase access to behavioral healthcare, address social determinants of health, and decrease social inequity and disparities that impact mental health and wellness.
  • Kaiser expanded access with telehealth allowing them to meet patients where they are so they can access care even if they are without a car, childcare, have mobility issues.  Additionally, Kaiser launched Mental Health and Wellness Digital Tools and Therapeutics (including CALM) for managing depression, stress, anxiety and more available to all our members and as an adjunct to treatment for our patients.
  • Coastal Health Alliance is recruiting for additional staff to meet the increased demand. 
  • To address the demand, Sutter is working to expand access to our Quartet services, a platform to link patients with community-based mental health providers— achieving a coordinated physical-mental healthcare experience. Quartet offers access to in-person, telepsychiatry and digital-care services. As of May 2020, we have referred 20,501 patients to Quartet. We are in the process of expanding the Quartet services to all Sutter Health care centers.
  • Marin City Health and Wellness Center has continued to accept new patients for Behavioral Health and Medication-Assisted therapy services throughout the crisis. We were able to actually increase our capacity during this time to meet the increased need for our services in these stressful times.

Next Steps

  • Throughout Marin, health organizations including: County of Marin, MarinHealth, Kaiser, Sutter Health, Marin Community Clinics, Marin City Health and Wellness Center and Coastal Health Alliance saw similar patterns with the need for increased telehealth services and higher demands for services. 

  • A virtual event is being planned for late July/August to bring Marin agencies together and hear more about responses to the COVID-10 pandemic and what additional patterns are emerging for behavioral health needs in Marin.  The goal is to prepare for the emerging needs in Marin County and develop additional ways to support residents.  For updates, visit marinhhs.org/bhrs. 

Image
Youtube Video
Remote video URL